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    ISSUE 17 // SUMMER 2019

  • Ed ito

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    WELCOME I am pleased to introduce the latest issue of Inspire, the magazine of the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University. In each issue of Inspire we aim to bring together the work that is going on in the School around a specific theme. On this occasion, we are focusing on our research and a range of activities around small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    It goes without saying how important SMEs are in driving any economy, and with this issue, we have focussed on the broad range of support we provide for enterprising students, the teaching and development activities we engage in with SMEs (nationally and internationally) through to research relevant to SMEs in the global context.

    As a School we recognise the importance of engaging our students in enterprise throughout their studies. At the core of this is the enterprise skills we teach students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, described in the “Year in Enterprise” article. Some of our undergraduate students choose to use their third year working on setting up their own company, whilst many others take their placement year in an SME, which usually affords an intimate understanding of the breadth of activities required in developing a business.

    One exciting venture that we launched last summer is the Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA). This brings together four teams of students from the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering and the School of Business and Economics over the summer period. We provide funding (with some external sponsorship) and mentoring support to help the students develop a business idea. In doing so we are able to meld skills in product design and manufacture with business skills.

    At the end of the summer, the students present their business to a group of investors who provide feedback to help them take their business idea forward. Following a successful inaugural year, we are repeating the IDEA this summer.

    We are proud of the work we do with our students and with the many SMEs with which we work locally, nationally and internationally. In the pages that follow we give you a glimpse of some of the work that is going on in the School.

    I hope that you enjoy reading this issue of Inspire. Please contact me if you would like to discuss ways in which we can engage with you or your organisation.

    Sincerely yours,

    Stewart Robinson Dean, School of Business and Economics Loughborough University



  • The School of Business and Economics has been collaborating successfully with Boots for nine years on a ‘live’ retail project for students on the BSc in Retailing, Marketing and Management degree (RMM).

    The second-year RMM students worked in groups to investigate aspects of pharmacy operations in the Boots Loughborough Market Place store and were tasked with presenting their research and recommendations for improving the efficiency of the pharmacy within the Boots store.

    The project was the students’ first experience of studying pharmacy operations and the Loughborough store manager, Charanjit Singh, provided valuable guidance and support to the groups of students throughout the seven-week project.

    Mr Singh was particularly impressed by the quality of the presentations, and subsequently invited four of the groups back to the store to personally congratulate them and provide feedback on their recommendations.

    Dr Cathy Hart, Senior Lecturer in Retailing and module leader, said:

    “This project is a great opportunity to experience first-hand the pressures of operating a busy pharmacy retail business. This work- based learning approach enables students to analyse real operational issues and develop powerful problem-solving skills in a live business environment.”

    The student group with the highest score – Charlotte Evans, Olivia Brown, Stuart Graham, Seren Roberts (pictured here with Store Manager Charanjit Singh and Boots colleague Manj Nahal) – won the Best Presentation Award.

    We look forward to next year’s project and continuing this fruitful collaboration with Boots.

    Retailing students awarded prizes for consultancy project with Boots


    SBE staff member helps raise nearly £14k for LOROS Hospice SBE staff member Julie Collett has raised an impressive total of £13,794.28 for LOROS Hospice, a local charity dedicated to providing care for more than 2,500 people each year across Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Christine, Julie’s late sister, had originally started fundraising for LOROS but then discovered she had breast cancer. Julie now carries on her sister’s legacy through her continuous efforts of raising funds for the hospice.

    Having started fundraising back in May 2011 with her family, the first campaign they supported was the Canal & Boat Festival which raised a total of £703.59 through donations alone. Fundraisers throughout the years have consisted of supermarket collections, occasional raffles, yellow day, penny for the guy and bake sales.

    In April this year, Julie and fellow SBE staff members from the SBE Undergraduate Admissions Team (Charlotte Connor, Ann Jones and Sue Upton) participated in the LOROS Twilight Walk fundraiser in Leicester. This involved a 10-kilometre walk around Leicester dressed as octopuses, for the Under the Sea theme, and raised £764.

    When asked if there was a specific goal for fundraising, Julie said: “To keep on raising funds each year without a set target, and to continue raising awareness of the hospice”.

    The next large fundraising event for LOROS, arranged by Julie, will take place at the Tesco Supermarket Park Road, Loughborough, on 7th December 2019. Please join us if you can.

    2018 Summer Graduation

    Field trial in Finland tests new technologies for mass-casualty incidents

    SBE students win the 2019 Global Master’s Universities Business Challenge

    The technologies and systems have been developed as part of the Loughborough University-led TOXI-Triage project which launched four years ago with the aim of creating new ways to give effective and diagnostically sound medical and toxic assessments to the casualties of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) event.

    Funded by the European Commission, the project brings together 18 teams spanning the emergency and health services, defence industry and university academics.

    The team travelled in May to Finland to test out the capabilities of the TOXI-Triage technologies on an acted- out chlorine gas escape, joining forces with the Finnish fire service, medical emergency response service and military for the field trial, which involved more than 100 ‘casualties’.

    Two of the technologies that were tested during the trial included tools to tackle the spread of fake news during an incident and improve official communications, and a new way to utilise social media to track a crisis situation as it develops to aid the deployment of the emergency services

    These two elements comprise the TOXI-MOTIVE segment of TOXI-TRIAGE, led by Professor Tom Jackson and Dr Ejovwoke Onojeharho at the SBE’s Centre for Information Management.

    Student teams from the School have been entering the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) competition for the past seven years and have a good track record of reaching the semi-finals.

    For the first time, 2019 marked the addition of a new, separate postgraduate competition, with three teams from the School taking part. Two teams progressed to the final of the postgraduate competition – one placed 7th overall, and the other team won the competition, which was held in London in March.

    The ‘standard’ UBC competition, for undergraduate students, saw three groups of first years from the School enter, one of which made it to the finals.

    UBC Worldwide is the world’s longest-established simulation-based competition designed to develop employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship skills enabling undergraduates and postgraduates to practice and develop key life-changing business start-up and management skills.

    Dr Amanda Berry, University Teacher in Enterprise Education, said:

    “It’s fantastic to see an undergraduate team in the final for the first time, and winning the postgraduate competition is a great demonstration of SBE’s commitment to enterprise and employability for students at all levels.”

    Congratulations to Andreas, Louis, Tolulola, Naomi and Aidan!





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