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Dec. 14, 2007

Calling all budding entrepreneurs!

An innovative scheme designed to encourage more student entrepreneurship, the Microsoft Ideas Igloo Roadshow has been launched at Thames Valley University, Ealing, as one of many events that made up the fourth annual Enterprise Week that took place on 12-18 November 2007.  It is now touring around 20 UK universities and colleges until March 2008.

Why is entrepreneurship so desirable? Simple, the skills needed are the secret to business success, be it on your own or as part of a company. These skills are highly prized by employers, particularly those seeking to improve their market position through innovative technologies or business practices, thus giving your career opportunities a boost.

The Roadshow, as the name suggests, is simply a giant igloo that is designed to attract maximum attention on arrival on campus. It then provides a series of workshops, developed by researchers at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, to interested students, giving them advice on how to translate their ideas into business opportunities. After the workshops, a Dragons’ Den-style panel of judges with business experience then scrutinise participants’ ideas to see how worthwhile they are – for instance, the launch at Thames Valley University included such important businesspeople as Alex Tew of MilllonDollarHomePage and James Eder of studentbeans.com. The student with the idea that the panel judges to be the best wins £150 and the opportunity to attend a national final. There, the overall prize will be £2,000 and a package of Microsoft products to help them set up a business.

You can find out more about the Microsoft Ideas Igloo Roadshow and other entrepreneurial initiatives across the UK from the Enterprise Week website .

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