From the street to the boardroom: Swansea University Launches new course to teach business skills to disadvantaged

Swansea University is set to run a unique new course aimed at getting the best out of disadvantaged people and inspire them to take a different path in life.

The university has teamed up with Bristol-based initiative Street2Boardroom for the five-week course called Enterprise and Creativity: Entrepreneurship in Practice which launches this autumn.  It aims to not only provide the learners with new skills and knowledge but also to give them first-hand experience of university life.

There are 15 to 20 places available, and it is open to people from all walks of life, including those considered at risk of engaging in street crime.  It will deliver an introduction to business and highlight routes to formal employment or education.

The Street2Boardroom course uses a well-established combination of experiential and class-based pedagogies to inspire people to jump-start their careers or build their own businesses. It will be run as an intensive, on-campus, experience with lecturers, workshops, masterclasses and interactive sessions in September and October.

As well as passing on valuable education in entrepreneurship and business start-up, the team behind the initiative say they want to encourage those who may have thought university was unattainable to continue with their education.

Professor Louisa Huxtable-Thomas, (pictured above) from the School of Management, said: “When Street2Boardroom approached us to make this course a reality I couldn’t wait to make it happen. As well as providing real world knowledge, this intensive short course gives people an opportunity to experience University and decide if it’s for them.

“So many people feel that higher education is too exclusive or out of reach for them, and this is one of the many ways that we at Swansea are developing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all backgrounds. I’m so proud to be a part of it!”

Clayton Planter

Street2Boadroom was founded in 2016 by Clayton Planter who felt the system repeatedly rejected certain types of people; preventing them from reaching their full potential, finding positive role models they could relate to or ultimately rejoining society.

He said: “Changing and challenging perceptions of people from disadvantaged backgrounds is our main goal at Street2Boardroom.

“If only young people and adults who find themselves caught up in illegal activities could believe that they could achieve greatness. Giving them the opportunity, knowledge and confidence to apply what they have learnt from the streets – to learn the legal hustle – has the ability to change their lives.”

Clayton added: “I am so pleased that Swansea University has agreed to this partnership. What I like about Swansea is that they do things differently – think outside the box, challenge the status quo.”

The course will cover a variety of topics including essential business skills, understanding customers as well as street business vs corporate business.

At the end of the five weeks, students will receive a higher education certificate of 7.5 European Credit Transfer Scheme points, 15 credits in UK.  This is proof of their ability to learn at university level, which can be used during application for a bachelor’s degree (Level 4).

Clayton says this course will just be the start – his project now aims to develop Street2Boardroom: Learn the Legal Hustle into a course that is accessible across the country.

Anyone who wants to find out more can email Professor Huxtable-Thomas or go to the course page.


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