23 May 2016

Have you heard the news? Today we launched an MBA scholarship with Manchester Metropolitan University.
MMU MBA scholarship
Having spent more than 30 years in business, I have seen first-hand just how important it is for budding entrepreneurs to get the support that they need. I was taken in by the Manchester business community when I was a young man and wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for that support.

That’s why, at UKFast, we focus on giving everyone the opportunity to learn and develop. I think it’s one of the reasons why people consider us such a great place to work and people to work with.

I’ve made my intentions clear when it comes to tackling the infamous tech skills gap. The government simply aren’t doing enough, fast enough. Whilst it would be easy to sit back and complain, I believe it actually means that it is the responsibility of the businesses affected by the skills shortfall to come up with the solution.

UKFast is becoming more closely linked with tech education every day, both internally and externally. We have our own training and development centre and we collaborate with over 40 schools in the Greater Manchester area, reaching 35,000 students. We’ve also developed a very popular apprenticeship programme. Investing £4.5m into our training and education team and programme was a huge gamble, but it’s one that’s paid back, and continues to pay back, in spades.

Now we’re looking outside of our own team. It’s no longer about growing our own talent; it’s about helping Manchester to grow. It’s about nurturing the Steve Jobs, the Bill Gates, the Tim Bacons, the Tom Bloxhams, the Lawrence Jones of the future!

Creating a scholarship was a natural next step for us. Manchester Met is a fantastic university, only a stone’s throw from our campus. The MBA from MMU not only offers the teaching of business skills, but also gives students the chance to visit other businesses and speak with inspiring mentors. Hands on, real life experience – that’s what future business leaders need.

I have always invested a lot of my time and effort into supporting budding entrepreneurs; there are immeasurable benefits to mentoring for both the mentor and the mentee. Business leaders should be there to inspire and help those at the start of their entrepreneurial journey.

It makes absolute sense to invest in the intellectual landscape of Manchester and to support young entrepreneurs. Manchester is a fantastic city at the start of its own journey to become the UK’s number one tech city. This is exactly what makes this scholarship so relevant! It’s critical that opportunities are open to anyone with the skills and ambitions this city needs – not just those who can afford it.

So, if you feel passionate about Manchester and business, and if you have a great business idea, why not apply? I look forward to hearing from you!

Visit the MMU website and get your video applications in before 15 July.

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