An award winning Sheffield Hallam University scheme that develops students’ skills through projects with local businesses and charity organisations has contributed an estimated £1.7 million to the regional economy.
‘Venture Matrix’ is a unique scheme that brings together students with businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations from across the Sheffield City Region.
The company can then use the advice offered to make a change to their business including better engagement on social media, potential international expansion, store location and pricing.
The students carry out the projects as a part of their studies and their work is supervised by academic staff.
Since 2013/14 the scheme has contributed over £1.7m to the local economy through more than 1,150 projects involving almost 4,500 students.
Of the 1,157 projects around 500 were with charities or not for profit organisations.
Charmaine Myers, the University lead for Venture Matrix, said: “The scheme is the biggest of its kind and is having a tangible impact on the regional economy by supporting the growth and development of local businesses.
“The companies involved with Venture Matrix with are often small or are not-for-profit organisations that wouldn’t be able to justify spending money on projects that aren’t business critical but by working with us they get access to innovative and creative ideas for free.
“The students benefit by working with a real client on a genuine issue or opportunity for the company, which is great for developing their understanding of actual challenges in business and in society.”
Local charity, the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB), has worked with Venture Matrix on several projects over the last four years. These include digital production students who have created films about the charity’s service; interior design students who have given the charity design ideas for their building and business students who carried out market research.
Jane Peach, from SRSB, said: “Working with Venture Matrix is always a pleasure. They are very friendly team, but also very professional and organised.
“They have connected us to a wide variety of courses at Sheffield Hallam University where we have worked with many different students on several different projects over the last four years.
“As a charity we feel that our relationship with Venture Matrix offers students the opportunity to work on real life projects. It also means that we are raising awareness of visual impairment, and we are pleased that students will remember their research and delivery of projects for us when they begin work in their chosen career.”
To find out more about Venture Matrix visit the website.
For press information: Joanne Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Students taking part in a physical activity project with SRSB users.
Notes to Editor
The figure of £1.7million is reached on the basis that the consultancy based service on offer on each of the projects has a conservative value of £1,500 – including the initial ‘consultation’ with the client and time spent considering and presenting options/solutions to the issue.
£1,500 x 1,157 projects = £1.7million.
Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) provides opportunity, support, friendship and services to blind and partially sighted people in Sheffield, helping them to achieve whatever they wish to do and whatever they aspire to be.
About Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students.
It is one of the country’s largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses. It is also home to the UK’s largest modern business school.
Its courses are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, professional associations and practice specialists to ensure that the skills our students develop are relevant. As a result, 93 per cent of its students are in employment or further training within six months of graduation.
As one of the UK’s most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. 96 per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds.
Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. 65 per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.