Bangor University students and graduates work with local social enterprise to champion green product development
Bangor based company ‘Greenhouse’ (Ty Gwydr) Bangor describes itself as an independent community resource centre working for a sustainable future. Greenhouse Ltd, a local social enterprise established 30 years ago to raise awareness on green issues and climate change, has been termed ‘the first formal networking centre in Britain’. A new trading website has been developed ‘eBuyGreen’ which is a collaboration Greenhouse and the two Greenhouse directors, Chris Walker and Xuejiao Li (Jojo) – the underlying ethos being to have a site where customers can find good value, organic products that can be trusted to have legitimate green credentials. Even more important than this is the creation of a green-minded community of people to go forward with this philosophy. The website, just recently online is still under development but staff profiles and company philosophy can be viewed at this link - http://www.ebuygreen.co.uk/pages/team-presentation. The individuals involved, being from a diverse range of academic and cultural backgrounds each bring their own individual expertise to the group.
One such individual, Bogdan Pop, a European student who has recently graduated from the Business School said:
‘I am helping the team with logistics consultancy and support, and also general administrative work. I am really enjoying collaborating closely with other members of the team’
The Master classes run each year run by B-Enterprising and facilitated by Chris Walker used eBuyGreen as a real life scenario.
Of the process Chris Walker said: ‘this virtual reality process enabled the students to engage with this scenario and make the transition from academia to a process of learning to be consultants’.
Many of the students who came forward to join the eBuyGreen community did so by engagement with these master classes and other B-enterprising workshops which gave them the initial inspiration and networking opportunities in particular. The master classes were designed around diversifying the activities of Greenhouse to include a website selling goods of genuine environmental integrity; the output from the class being a business plan and application form for £70k funding. The group were aware of the very real scope for job creation – the open intention of the classes being that any job created out of the process would seek to either employ or subcontract to those already working on it. Those students who became involved effectively became interns and are gaining valuable work experience. These student successes are testament to the fact that getting involved in enterprise activities can be the start of a life-changing journey.
For more information on Greenhouse Ltd see their main web site : http://www.tygwydr.com
The B-Enterprising Programme is dedicated to helping students develop their enterprise skills and receives funding from the Welsh Government to run activities through the North West Wales Regional Hub and the Enterprise Support Programme.
Publication date: 4 August 2014