NACUE: Connecting enterprising students to opportunity through GEW

Ewan Gaffney | November 08, 2016
Photo Credit:

This year we're excited to be joining forces with the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs ( NACUE) as our official partner for entrepreneurship in universities.

NACUE is the leading membership organisation for engaging students in enterprise. In addition to the NACUE Varsity Pitch competition, which is a featured event of GEW, NACUE support a network of over 260 enterprise societies in universities across the country. in the past six years NACUE have helped launch 1,600 businesses in innovative spaces, creating  hundreds of jobs and supporting investment. 

We caught up with the team behind NACUE to ask them why and how they got involved with GEW.

Tell us a bit about NACUE's involvement with GEW

NACUE is delighted to have been welcomed as a Compass Partner as part of this years Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Having been involved in the wider campaign for a number of years, particularly due to hosting NACUE’s Varsity Pitch Finals within the week itself, we are incredibly pleased to be part of this growing network.

Our ethos is that Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the UK’s entrepreneurship eco system, which is particularly inline with this year's theme: Stages of Entrepreneurship. From NACUE’s perspective, GEW’s dedication to championing ‘GEW Youth’ comes as a welcomed stream, providing the next generation of entrepreneurs the opportunity to shape this year's campaign through skills orientated, student-led activities.

How do national campaigns like GEW help NACUE to reach more students and encourage them to start more businesses?

At NACUE, we believe GEW acts as a catalyst for young people and a platform to inspire the younger generation to be more entrepreneurial and most importantly experimental. As an organisation dedicated to supporting the development of young people, we regularly encourage young people to just ‘give it a go’. Our belief is that providing a practical, hands on experience for any young person is an essential part of their own personal development; whether they are 6 years old and running Lemonade stalls as part of Citrus Saturdays fantastic programme, to students from Westminster Kingsway college running their annual Enterprise Festival with over 200 attendees, to Manchester Entrepreneurs student-led accelerateME programme.

The examples above are only snippets of the amazing entrepreneurial activity that is being driven by the younger generation, there are plenty more example within the NACUE network which showcases young people building relationships with local businesses, developing partnerships with university faculties, university academics and most important, being ambassadors for peer-to-peer engagement.

What kind of support can NACUE offer to students who are coming to the end of their education and might be considering a career as an entrepreneur?

NACUE is an organisation, founded by students for students a little over 7 years ago and we still follow this ethos today. Young people from colleges and universities are still very much the heart of NACUE, a not-for-profit organisation, shaping NACUE’s services and tailoring to their needs, contributing to our annual events cycle and much, much more.

NACUE can support you by:

● Connecting you to like-minded individuals around the UK

● Supporting you on your entrepreneurial journey when you attend NACUE’s annual Student Enterprise Conference in March 2017

● Learning from NACUE directly and their guest bloggers

● Raising the awareness of your startup, through NACUE’s online media presence

● Using their dedicated products, designed specifically to support student entrepreneurs

Tell us a bit more about the Varsity Pitch competition

During GEW, we will highlight powerful voices and ambassadors that promote the increase of young entrepreneurs; events, activities and competitions targeted toward youth in entrepreneurship; and GEN’s partner organisations that are playing active roles in the space.

We are delighted to host our annual Varsity Pitch Competition, sponsored by Tata within Global Entrepreneurship Week. 7 budding entrepreneurs will be joining us on Tuesday 15th November to compete for up to £10,000 worth of startup funding. To find out more about our finalists click here.

Sounds fantastic, we'll see you there


Ewan Gaffney
Managing Director of GEN UK and GEW UK. I'm a social entrepreneur, digital strategist and facilitator. I'm also an award winning campaign... About the Author