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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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UCL students give team from Langdon Park School a taste of Citrus Saturday

29 January 2013

Students from UCL have introduced a team from the Langdon Park School, a community sports college in East London, to the highs and lows of running their own business.

Lemons

The volunteers – part of UCL student society SIFE – gave the school students a tour of the Bloomsbury campus before they set up two stools to sell lemonade over lunchtime to thirsty members of the university.

Students at both UCL and the school are benefitting from the project, with the twenty school students learning business skills from the UCL team over the last term using the model of Citrus Saturday, the project run by UCL Advances to encourage secondary school students to think about setting up their own business through a fun, realistic and financially rewarding day setting up a lemonade stand.

Likewise, through SIFE UCL – the university’s branch of SIFE – the university students are developing their potential as socially responsible business leaders, through the organisation’s programme to bring together university students and business leaders to make a difference in their communities.

“Citrus Saturday is really popular with everyone that takes part, and with good reason,” says Jack Wratten, Citrus Saturdays Manager at UCL. “The approach combines learning business skills, how to work effectively as a team and selling a product to maximise profits. Enabling students to keep the profits they make is a real incentive, just like in real life, to students to give it their all – and a lesson in the dividends that being an entrepreneur can bring.”