The Ruby Star team were selected to facilitate the UKTI Entrepreneurs Conference 2013. This three day event brought together around 200 of high potential graduate entrepreneurs from across the globe. Held in Manchester by United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI), the Festival attracted nearly 700 applications from around the world. Around 200 lucky students and graduates representing more than 40 countries were invited to spend three days in Manchester in an intensive programme of lectures, workshops and business brainstorming. At the end of the programme, 24 teams pitched to judging panels for the chance to win prizes aimed to help them launch their business ideas.
Our team facilitated throughout the festival, offering a mixture of content/training, coaching and action learning, with 5 of the 7 selected festival facilitators coming from the Ruby Star Associates team. Over the course of 3 days we supported the entrepreneurs to form teams, develop business ideas, create workable business models and get “pitch” ready, as well as facilitating the input of over a hundred volunteer mentors and coaches.
We used a range of coaching, mentoring, training and action learning techniques to ensure that each group of entrepreneurs was able to create a viable business model for pitching on the final day.
There were particular challenges for the groups in assessing the viability of the models; we worked in pairs with each group, using action learning to help them identify weaknesses within the models and develop solutions to improve sustainability of the businesses.
In the run up to the festival and in the months since we’ve also actively contributed to and led discussions on Yammer, the online platform selected to accompany this activity. This allowed us to effectively tailor our approach, even in advance of meeting participants face to face.
Troy Aitken of UKTI said:
“Hello to my favourite Facilitators in the universe!
I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for your work at the Festival last week.
It was such a brilliant event for everyone to be involved in and you guys were just fantastic the way you helped the entrepreneurs over the 3 days. They spoke very highly of all of you and you should all feel very proud of helping to mould the next generation of entrepreneurs for the UK.
Please stay in touch and we will circulate photos and our video with you in due course.
Thanks again and I hope you all had a well rested weekend.”