Blessed with an ideal location in the global landscape, the UK has become a cultural, financial, and commercial hub where the East and the West, the North and the South meet. This unabated influence is growing at an ever-accelerating pace; British openness to foreign culture and business, its historical ties with various countries, and finally its language being the foremost spoken tongue in the world are only a few reasons to name.
Unexpected fluctuations in the global job market have prompted many governments to look beyond the conventional wisdom. Britain is recognising the potential of new university graduates' entrepreneurial ambitions. These graduates are brimming with passion and enthusiasm that is untainted by market cynicism.
Let's for a moment imagine a lone ant. A very talented, accomplished, lone ant. That is a young entrepreneur fresh out of university. The newly launched Sirius Programme is a pioneering initiative that recognises that fact and is ready to help that ant along its journey. How? By introducing it into a colony of ants. The Programme is aimed at recent international graduates (and final-year students), educated both within the UK and abroad that have a bright business idea.
To kick off the Sirius Programme, UKTI last week, brought together the most passionate and driven individuals to the heart of Manchester for the Entrepreneurs' Festival. Over the course of a three-day entrepreneurial marathon, the young graduates networked with people from all over this blue and green planet of ours; people who want to change the world through innovation and ingenuity. Meanwhile, inspiring figures from the land of business and investment who possess a wealth of knowledge acted as mentors throughout the Festival. Graduate entrepreneurs are diamonds in the rough--perhaps in some cases, they are more like rubies and emeralds. The point is that the mentors prepared us all for real-world entrepreneurship in the UK.
As a young entrepreneur, my life has been transformed through this extraordinary three-day adventure; seeds of future collaboration and enterprise have been planted and a new era of creative empowerment has been ushered in. Now the real fun is about to begin. I am going to enter the Sirius Programme, because I believe it will challenge and guide me as well as allow me to contribute to this brave new world. I have no doubt that anyone that attended the Festival did so because we have a fire that rages within us and inspires us to move and build and innovate and transform what is and what will be for the better. And we will do so through the magical power of business.
The future never ceases to amaze and disillusion simultaneously. And this quality about it makes it all the more fun. At the end of the Festival, regardless of the outcome for the teams and the individuals, one thing was clear; the contacts, the acquired skills and the invaluable knowledge gained will accompany us for a lifetime. And that alone is what made the Festival an incredible event.
The Sirius Programme is now open for entries at www.Siriusprogramme.com. Places will be allocated each month between October 2013 and January 2014, and then deadline for October's intake is 30 September 2013.