Powerhouse launches on Greenwich campus


The University's new enterprise hub officially opened last night. Representatives of businesses, the council and the university heard from current and recent students about the help they had received to give them a start in business

It was an evening of celebration and entrepreneurial flair at the University of Greenwich last night, with the official opening of the new enterprise hub.

The Powerhouse, named as it was once a source of power for buildings on the Greenwich campus, officially opened its doors during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

It will be home to a community of entrepreneurs who will run social and commercial enterprises and it will also offer teaching space for current students.

Within the Powerhouse is the Generator, previously the i3Centre, which will be the focus of student and graduate enterprise activity, with an advisory board led by chairman of Rhokett Limited, Peter Le Voir.

The hub will provide opportunities to develop a new style of collaboration between staff, students and the business community in Greenwich and beyond.

Students in the UK are more entrepreneurial than ever before. Last year, a report from Santander found that a quarter of students run, or plan to run, their own company. Student enterprises collectively generate revenues of £1bn a year.

The Powerhouse will help the university realise its ambitious target that by 2022 1,000 students a year will engage in enterprise and 20 will be supported to launch their own businesses.

Senior academics, partners and business leaders and current and past students were in attendance last night to hear from Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor of the University, who said: "The opening of Powerhouse marks a huge step forward. We will now be able to offer facilities from which students, graduates, staff and local start-ups will be able to operate their businesses.

"The Powerhouse is designed to bring together such researchers, students, entrepreneurs, knowledge exchange experts, and the local community. We see promoting enterprise as a core part of our public and educational missions."

Also on hand was an enterprising panel which included current and recent students behind Rapid Bio-labs, winners of the Lord Sainsbury Engineers in Business prize earlier this month, Advertuu, and JDM, a social media agency and Commercial Category Winner in the University's most recent Enterprise Challenge competition.

Amira Elthoky, founder of Rapid Bio-labs, said the support from Greenwich had opened the door to business for her.

She said: "I wouldn't have been able to do anything without the enterprise partners here which offered mentoring and advice to help me develop my own business. It was a great opportunity to learn from people from different backgrounds."

In the panel discussion Amira added that a space like the Powerhouse "gives you courage – you know you are not alone."

Find out more about the Powerhouse.