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LCF students get 'business ready' at the Graduate Futures Business Bootcamp

Screen capture of virtual session with Cemal Ezal, Frances Odell and Ian Mason
  • Written byC. Wilkinson-Ayre
  • Published date14 April 2022
Screen capture of virtual session with Cemal Ezal, Frances Odell and Ian Mason

Each Saturday in February, LCF Graduate Futures collaborator, Ian Mason, CEO of Rainbow Bridge Education and HUMBLE delivered a virtual bootcamp ensuring any attending students or alumni could get business ready. The weekly sessions covered theories and methodologies for creating businesses with value and validation, that are established and shaped by understanding customer needs and unique through brand building and storytelling.

Attendees were given the opportunity to network and share value propositions for their businesses through collaborative workshops. Equipped with the tools needed for business start-ups, groups developed persona profiles for their customer base, solutions to any risks associated with their business ideas and brand values and truths.

The bootcamp programme welcomed a host of award-winning business founders and entrepreneurs based locally and internationally. With representatives from a range of industries such as fashion, hospitality, food and drink, attendees gained insight into a multitude of business models and missions.

Screen capture of virtual session with Ian Mason and Hannah Fiedler
Screen capture of virtual session with Hannah Fielder talking about her pop-ups

LCF alumni, Hannah Fielder kickstarted the guest speaker programme discussing her womenswear brand of the same name, that creates effortless and timeless collections with quality, locality and circularity at their core. Fielder shared the importance of sourcing and manufacturing locally, selecting natural, bio-degradable fibres and the financial sensibility of emerging brands creating capsule collections. Hannah Fielder’s unique business value has caught the attention and support of luxurious, world renowned department stores Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. A student shared her thoughts with us about Fielder’s talk, saying

Hearing a person in the industry speaking about real issues, I found relatable but also made me feel it’s ok not to have it all sorted out on my own as I’m still just a start up.

The speaker programme continued with presentations from Nick Coleman, Founder of Snaffling Pig and Mark Livings, Co-Founder and CEO of Lyre’s Spirit Co. Both commented on the importance of developing new audiences, rejecting stereotypes associated with entrepreneurs and creating best-selling, award winning products. Another attendee fed back that

Week 3 was so valuable, especially completing the group workshops and hearing the guest speaker’s advice on investing time into developing an emotional connection with the customer.

Snaffling Pig Company Branding

A talk from Cemal Ezal, Founder of Change Please and Co-Founder of Old Spike Roastery responded to the global shift towards making more socially and environmentally conscious businesses and models. Both of Ezal’s businesses are social enterprises that train and employ people experiencing homelessness as baristas, providing a living wage job and in some cases housing. As a winner of the Queen’s Excellence Award for Social Mobility, Cemal Ezal’s ethos resonated with attendees interested in giving back to communities.

Starting a Business Bootcamp 2022 proved fruitful, educational and inspirational to all those attending. LCF Graduate Futures looks forward to 2023’s rendition and supporting more emerging and aspiring start-ups.