Alternative music brand wins 2022 NatWest Graduate Prize

Stephen Goode music graduate

A Music Business graduate from the University of South Wales has won this year’s NatWest #Powerup Graduate Prize, thanks to his vision for championing artists in the genre of alternative music.

Stephen Goode, who graduated in July with a first-class honours degree in BA (Hons) Music Business, was nominated for the prize by lecturers at USW after putting forward an impressive business plan for the music brand, as part of his final year project. NatWest supports final year Music Business students to build on entrepreneurship studies, simulate a real-world initiative and launch music start-up businesses.

Each year, students research, plan, develop, brand, market and manage a substantial project that has the potential to scale and succeed after graduation. 27-year-old Stephen, who is originally from Hereford and now lives in Cardiff, created No Poetry, a music brand which aims to champion artists across the alternative music genre spectrum through an artist-centric format.

nopoetryblackThe main objective of No Poetry Music is to exist as a safe and engaging networking hub for people who identify with alternative subcultures and have congruent musical interests.

The business does this by facilitating alternative music events throughout the country, operating primarily in Cardiff. 

As part of the prize, Stephen will receive two coaching sessions with a NatWest Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager, designed to support him with business skills.

Stephen said: “I’m fortunate enough to have had an unwavering amount of support from family and friends - ever since No Poetry Music began as a hobby project - but now, to have my business plan recognised both academically by USW and independently by NatWest as a viable and promising business venture, I now feel an entirely new wealth of confidence, excitement and determination for the future.

“Cardiff and South Wales has a really vibrant and exciting grassroots music scene, and is naturally a brilliant environment to develop a music-industry-focused project. The Music Business course at USW was invaluable in preparing me for the music industry; the range of modules was really extensive and covered all of the topics I had wanted to develop on, including the live music industry, music publishing, artist development and general finance and business.”

Gemma Casey, NatWest’s Ecosystem Manager for Wales, said: “The NatWest #Powerup Graduate Prize gives students on the BA Music Business course the opportunity to learn and develop enterprise skills. This introduction to the world of entrepreneurship, and to skills including pitching, is invaluable for students, whether they go on to set up their own businesses or go into employment. These are transferable skills which can really give students the edge, whatever their future path.”

Lloyd George, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Music Business at USW, added: “The Music Business degree is designed to offer a range of career and employability paths in the contemporary global music industries. We pride ourselves on our industry contacts, which give our students first-hand experience of working with live music events, publishing, artist and label development, for example. We are also looking to the future for design thinking and how the live sector can rebuild itself better in the post-pandemic age.”

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