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London's universities say ‘OpenSME’ to new support for capital's small businesses

A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.

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Fit Jobs

30 October 2012

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Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series: Gordon McQuoid
The question underlying Gordon McQuoid’s talk is whether his business, only twelve months old, will be a flyer or not. Jobs in Network, Gordon’s own brand new start-up is the result of an idea he had and parked a long time ago, but never abandoned completely.

Gordon comes from South Africa. He arrived to the UK in 2002, where his career in recruitment started off. The first company he worked for was Latronis. Gordon joined with a clear goal in mind: to learn everything about recruitment, so to have the opportunity, if he wished so, to fly solo as an entrepreneur one day. A few years later, he was selected to be part of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation.

The Foundation was “pivotal in shaping the process to the business up to this point” and offered Gordon extremely valuable mentorship. He was able to study the online recruitment market –a big, constantly growing, very competitive one- and find “pockets of opportunity”. The Accelerator Academy, a London-based academic programme especially designed for emerging entrepreneurs, was also key to Gordon’s career. It provided many networking opportunities and taught Gordon what he defines as “investor readiness”.

Jobs in Network began with a piece of software, the launch of a website and its customisation. Its aim is to develop an online careers platform for job seekers, “a talent pool with a social twist” which employers can refer to. The “pocket” it fits is the regional market. Gordon is a sole founder; in financial terms, the crucial challenge will be to find his first lead angel investor soon. At the moment, fund-raising  for Jobs in Network takes place through SEIS, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which is brilliant “to get the ball rolling”.

Written by Carolina Mostert

The UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lectures are organised by UCL Advances which is affiliated to UCL Enterprise

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