How my time at Salford Business School has prepared me for a career in Entrepreneurship.

I am Raima Butt, an MSc Digital Business student at The University of Salford. Currently, I am undertaking my last taught module of my master's and as a part of my assessment, I have to create an optimised blog post where I will talk about my experience at Salford Business School.

Raima Butt

Instead of boring you with the details of how my degree has helped me gain business skills, I want to talk about how Salford Business School has helped me grow and expand my business, Islamic Party Store through attending extracurricular activities.

The Islamic Party Store is an online party store selling decorations specifically for Islamic celebrations such as Eid and Ramadan. Our main focus is on the selling of Eid decorations.

In my first few at Salford Business School, I came across Launch, an incubation space designed to help students grow and develop their start-ups. This is really where the journey began for me, I was a part of Cohort 7.

Launch Cohort 7

At Launch, not only did I gain the skills I needed to run a business, I also networked with other amazing entrepreneurs such as Andy who was able to give me some very valuable advice such as using certain learning platforms to learn about SEO.

Networking at Launch

Whilst on Launch, I was assigned a business advisor from the GC Growth Hub, Ashley Alletson. Ashley was a valuable and knowledgeable advisor who helped me get my business's finances in order and perfect my business model.

Through Launch, I was contacted by the university PR team and had an amazing article written about me and my business published in the university’s news.

News Article on Islamic Party Store

After the Launch program had finished, I was still benefiting from it. I was soon after introduced to SantanderX where I had the opportunity to pitch for funding for my business. I was awarded the funding and will be putting it towards Eid décor and expanding my product collections.

Also, after I had completed the Launch programme, I was contacted by EnterprisingYou, where I was assigned another business advisor, Nick Langley. We had one to one meetings to go through my business which made me realise many aspects of my business which I hadn't considered, for example, trading standards. As I started the Islamic Party Store with very minimal business skills, this was not something I had before considered.Once I investigated the trading standards, I found that many of my Eid balloons were not legal to sell due to the packaging labels.

If this had occurred a year earlier before my time at Salford Business School, I would have panicked and thought that the only option was for me to give up. Instead, I put everything I learned during my time at Launch into action and became a problem solver. Only then was I able to successfully overcome the issue. Even though I had some problems with the balloons, I started to focus more on the other products such as the eid banner and eid décor collections.

To conclude my post, I want to highlight that the most valuable skills I learnt during my time at Salford Business School were not necessarily the theory I learnt in lectures, but more of the opportunities I was presented with by being a student of the school.

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