Bristol Women’s Voice: International Women’s Day event
Bristol City Hall
International Women’s Day 2023 is being celebrated at a day long event organised by Bristol Women’s Voice. Researchers from UWE Bristol, University of Exeter and the University of Edinburgh will be showcasing their research during this event, as summarised by three local female artists.
This artwork represents a focus group that these institutions conducted to discuss and explore women’s experiences of reproductive events (e.g., menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause) and how they are related to mental health. Dr Kayleigh Easey, a Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol who led these focus groups alongside Dr Siobhan Mitchell and Dr Kate Ash-Irisarri, explains “We were very fortunate to be joined by three local artists, who have produced some amazing artistic interpretations of the conversations and themes discussed on the day. We can’t wait to share this artwork with members of the public at the IWD event, to help bring awareness and discussion about the impact reproductive events can have on mental health, and what avenues exist to promote positive mental health around this area”.
Some of the outputs to be showcased at this event are from an ongoing GW4 funded grant awarded to the researchers to further investigate an understudied, but pivotal area that can contribute to poor mental health.
This International Women’s Day event is being organised by Bristol’s Women’s Voice, to be held at Bristol’s City Hall from 10am-5pm, involving multiple workshops and interactive displays.
UWE Bristol are pleased to be offering a new 5-day course; “Creativity & Innovation for Strategic Leaders”.
This course is designed to familiarise participants with the important aspects of innovation and provide frameworks and practical tips to implement innovation in their own teams / organisations. By learning about why organisations struggle with innovation, participants will come away with insight into how they can overcome this to create and capture value.
On completion of this course participants will:
Understand the need for innovation within an organisation
Assess an opportunity for innovation and improvement in own organisation
Understand organisational and team-level factors required to support creativity and innovation
Gain and use a range of tools and techniques to generate and lead innovative options to deliver the improvement identified
Understand the innovation implementation process and how best to organise for innovation to enhance performance
The learning on this course is experiential and enquiry based. Each of the five days include a balance of theory input, practice exercises, peer feedback and discussion.
If you are interested in this course, the dates and further information can be found below:
The College of Business and Law is located in the heart of Frenchay campus in a purpose built, ground-breaking building that is home to collaborative spaces, mock courtrooms, state of the art lecture halls and a Bloomsburg trading room.
The College is home to two schools, Bristol Business School (BBS) and Bristol Law School (BLS).
Bristol Business School
BBS is an innovative community full of diverse experts across business management, marketing, economics and accounting and finance. Its courses are accredited by leading professional bodies, such as Chartered Management Institute to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and support not only Graduate learners but are also leaders of all fields through many Continual Professional Development courses.
As a prominent university research centre for business, management, and employment, BBS are producing applied research with real-world impact. They are shaping the future of organisations through our active research networks in all of our subject areas, Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Economics and Marketing.
BBS has one research centre and six research groups:
The Sustainable Economies Research Group applies inter-disciplinary approaches to the analysis of complex systems to develop solutions and tools that can better bring forth a sustainable economy.
Bristol Law School
Bristol Law School (BLS) has been a leading provider of legal education for over 40 years. They have a diverse and inclusive learning community benefitting from a growing network of alumni, volunteer opportunities stemming from our Business and Law Clinic and invaluable legal work experience.
Bristol Law School is one of the top-rated ‘post 1992’ law departments in the country, scoring consistently high ratings in the official research assessment exercises. This reflects the fact that legal research provides a central focus for the work of the Law School, and that many staff are engaged in research of national and international significance.
They’ve established connections with professional regulatory bodies, plus regional and national law firms, chambers, and businesses. They’ve also built an extensive global network of partners.
Their world-leading researchers collaborate with national and international organisations on Public International Law, Environment Law and Financial Crime. From environmental law to criminal justice, we’re creating solutions to real-world challenges.
The Global Crime, Justice and Security Research Group provides a forum for research activity in the field of financial crime, criminal justice and procedure, serious organised crime and cyber security.
The UK’s Graduate Route, introduced in July 2021, means that employers can now recruit international students into any role for up to two years after they graduate without the need for sponsorship, meaning absolutely no additional fees or admin, and making it just as easy to recruit them as home students.
However, in a recent paper, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) found that just 3% of employees had knowingly used the Graduate Route.
In this blog post, we share with employees how to use the Graduate Route to help transform your business.
Why the Graduate Route?
International students can bring a wide range of benefits to your company, including language skills, international contacts and multicultural awareness.
Historically, employers have found it difficult to recruit international students because of the stipulations, fees and red-tape associated with graduate visas.
The widespread skills shortages across the public and private sectors will only be filled with the help of international students already in the UK, according to Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI.
International students represent 1 in 4 students studying in the UK, according to HESA data, and this includes over 200,000 studying STEM subjects such as computing, engineering and mathematics.
Before July 2021, employers had to become a sponsor and could only recruit international students into a ‘graduate level’ role with a salary of £21k or higher, depending on the government’s code of practice salary for that role. And this had to be done before the candidate’s study visa expired, around 3-4 months after their graduation.
The new Graduate Route removes all fees and stipulations for two years after graduation, giving candidates and employers more time to find the right fit.
Accessing talent through our free online portal
In response to the Graduate Route, and with the support of FinTech West, UWE Bristol launched a new UK section on GradLink, a careers site for international students and graduates from all universities and HE institutions across the UK.
The award-winning platform is completely free to all – including employers. Employers can build their own profile on the GradLink site, advertise vacancies, search the site’s CV database and contact candidates directly.
The dual boon of a rich talent supply and ease of access to it, makes now a great time to consider recruiting international students and graduates to fill your skills and talent gaps.
Global Employability Development Manager David Gee commented on the scheme:
In order to thrive in the global market, employers must develop a workforce with a truly international perspective. International students and graduates are a great means for doing this, and they often bring key shortage skills with them too. The Graduate Route makes recruiting international students easy, while the GradLink service provides a trusted means for recruiting them for free.”
UWE Bristol are on the hunt for the next innovative start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs to join the high-impact start-up incubator programme.
Over the last 12 months, Launch Space has worked with more than 30 early-stage start-ups as they develop their ideas and grow their businesses. Many of these companies have already gone on to win grants, secure investment, and grow their team.
Based within the University Enterprise Zone (UEZ), the University’s incubator programmes have to date supported more than 130 early-stage businesses. These businesses have raised £52m and created more than 300 new jobs.
Applications are open until the 17 October 2022 – Find out more and apply here.
What support do I get?
Up to 20 people will be selected for the free programme of support.
If successful with your application, you will be invited to attend an exciting induction day on site in October. You will meet your peers, say hello to the innovation team, and get your first introduction to the science and tech community at Future Space.
During your six months with Launch Space, you will have access to tailored one-to-one support, workshops, networking events, and regular advisor sessions to help bring your idea to life.
Working directly with experienced mentors, you can also gain access to a wide range of contacts, industries, and expertise as you get ready to launch your business.
Who can apply?
Launch Space is open to graduate-led, or early-stage, businesses with high-growth potential. The team are looking for those that are working on new and innovative products and services across four key themes:
Health and life science
Sustainability and climate change
You might have a great idea you want to put into action, be in the early stages of developing your business, or need help to validate and develop your business further – either way, we are here to support your journey.
Launch Space is home to a wide range of businesses at various stages on the start-up journey, and you will be working alongside others who have a common goal of making their vision a success.
Award-winning mentor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Mark Corderoy, commented:“Launch Space is the perfect environment to create your start-up – a combination of community and one-to-one support, and a track record of success!”
Aimee Skinner works alongside Mark, overseeing the Launch Space programme and mentoring early-stage businesses. She said “The team has worked with hundreds of businesses over the last few years – the journey is rarely the same! That is why we take the time to work one-to-one with everyone, offering a truly bespoke experience”
Don’t just take it from us – hear what our members have to say
We caught up with the latest members of Launch Space to hear what they think.
Faiza Idris joined Launch Space in May of this year with her business, Fa Byoaqua. Fa Byoaqua is an innovative aquaponic farm which aims to alleviate food production concerns in locations with limited access to clean water.
“According to Forbes, 90% of start-up fails. To mitigate that risk, I decided to join Launch space to give my entrepreneurial journey and FA BYOAQUA ltd a good start by taking advantage of the resources available at launch space.
“Launch space has provided a safe environment where I can learn and grow as an entrepreneur. It enabled me to work with other like-minded entrepreneurs. A critical component of Launch space is its vast network of business experts, partners, and mentors such as Aimee and Mark that can assist my company in flourishing”
Morgan Edmondson is founder of Inchain – Inchain are hoping to help business avoid exposure of sensitive business data with their innovative blockchain solution.
“I joined Launch Space because I was captivated by the environment of entrepreneurs, mentors, and specialists within the program and the support that is offered.
“The support and navigation both technically and commercially through the team at Launch Space, alongside the great working environment have enabled Inchain to progress further and more efficiently day by day”
Gabriela Gomez has been working on her business, Open Labs, to tackle student mental health. Working one-to-one with Gabriela, the Launch Space team have supported Open Labs to apply for a variety of grant funding to help bring them one step closer to a working application.
“I joined the programme to turn my business idea into a reality with the help of mentors and the resources provided by Launch Space.
“Launch Space has allowed me to access invaluable start-up support by connecting me with mentors and an inspiring and supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs”
Organiko are creating universal, traceable, inclusive, and sustainable loungewear. Abbie Lifton, founder of Organiko, joined Launch Space to get support expanding the brand and exploring combined sensor technology.
“7,200 health and fitness facilities are highly populated by synthetic activewear, as 10,000 gym goers choose to abide by social norms, rather than consider traceability and whether their garment could assist in reaching their performance goals. Organiko is looking to change this.
“Launch Space has allowed us to work within a community of like-minded individuals, gain 1-2-1 support and have space for open discussion amongst peers in similar situations”
Rivern Macpherson is founder of Pair 2 Share, providing social and financial perks to restaurant owners and staff with an innovative meal swap solution.
“I began my entrepreneurial journey at Launch Space due to their ability to support me in growing my idea into a business through their fantastic community, mentorship, and facilities on offer.
“Since joining Launch Space, I have gained invaluable knowledge and experience on how to successfully manage a startup, and I am now ready to begin my first pitching round to investors”
The Fair Bus Fares for Young People policy briefing is produced as part of the project Transport to Thrive which aims to build the case for transport policy that better meets the needs of young people aged 16-24.
Transport to Thrive is a partnership project between the Centre for Transport and Society at UWE Bristol and Sustrans.
It is part of the Health Foundation’s Young People’s Future Health Inquiry. The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.
The Fair Bus Fares for Young People policy briefing has three parts:
Part 1 Current situation and future ambition: describes why buses and bus fare support is important to young people. It maps the current offers available across the UK, as well as future ambitions outlined in the Bus Service Improvement Plans of 79 local transport authorities in England.
Part 2 Case studies: looks at the policy justification, uptake and impacts of existing bus fare schemes for young people in different parts of the UK.
Part 3 Time to act: summarises the policy priorities that bus fare support for young people can help address. It ends with a set of policy ‘asks’ developed with young advisors aged 16-25.
Part 1 Current picture and future ambition
The policy briefing mapped the current offers available to young people across the UK:
There are currently many areas of the UK where there is no support for young people beyond the age of 16.
In areas with an offer, there is little consistency in the type of offer that is available and the upper age limit that is eligible. Offers range from free bus travel (London, Greater Manchester, and Scotland) to discounts ranging from 15-50%.
Very few schemes support young people beyond the age of 18. Notable exceptions to this include Scotland where bus travel is free for under 22s and West Yorkshire where 19-25s receive a 33% multi-operator discount (Map 2).
The report also mapped the future ambition for bus fare support for young people according to Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIP) – these are the plans that the 79 Local Transport Authorities in England (outside London) were asked to produce in November 2021 in order to access government funding for buses.
BSIP ambitions and recent policy developments in Scotland and Wales show increasing recognition of the needs of young people over the age of 16 in relation to bus fares. However, there is still little consistency in age criteria and offer-type.
“The price should be the same for everyone.”
“Being a young person doesn’t stop when you are 18”
Sara, 20, West Yorkshire
“Multiple offers and prices make fares confusing. Annual passes are only viable with consistent usage. Flat fares are the most obvious and simplest solutions.”
Sunshine, 16, North Wales
Part 2 Case Studies
The policy briefing looked at four existing schemes available to young people beyond the age of 16 (18-21 Zoom Beyond, South Yorkshire; 16+ Zip Pass, London; 16-25 MCard, West Yorkshire; Free travel for Under 22s, Scotland).
With few schemes available to young people over the age of 16, these case studies offered rare and valuable insights:
Bus fare support for young people could help to address multiple policy priorities including supporting access to opportunities, reducing inequalities and shifting travel behaviour away from the car.
There is a high demand for bus fare support beyond 16 and 18. For example, in London, a study found 98% of 16-18 year olds said free transport was important to them*.
Schemes can have wide benefits to young people and can enhance inclusion of young people from all backgrounds, helping to level the playing field by removing cost as a barrier to mobility.
Part 3 Time to act
Recent policy developments across the UK, present an opportunity to make bus fares fairer for young people.
We ask national governments to:
Set out a minimum offer for young people aged up to 25 and to support local transport authorities to move towards this.
We ask any transport authority or operator developing their offer to:
• Offer flat fares to young people up to the age of 25 years • Align offers across authority boundaries • Work with young people to develop offers to help ensure available support meets their needs • Collect and share evaluation data to show how these schemes meet policy objectives
Recent research conducted by undergraduate forensic students at UWE Bristol has revealed levels of drug contamination on the Bristol Pound (£B) notes.
A high percentage of circulating bank notes across the world are contaminated with illicit drugs. Contamination on bank notes can be spread through direct contact and contamination from cash points, whilst paper-based bank notes are also believed to present a suitable matrix for the inclusion of drug particles.
Research has revealed that it is possible to detect some geographical or regional variation in the drugs found on different bank notes- for example, cocaine is the most frequently seized stimulant in western and southern European countries, whereas, amphetamine and ecstasy predominates across northern and eastern Europe.
To present, there have been no investigations regarding drug contamination of local currencies. The team at UWE Bristol have delved into this area of research, which presents an interesting angle on drug circulation.
The Bristol Pound at the time of sampling was the largest local currency in the UK, with approximately 7 million circulating from September 2012. Using a total of 28 £B banknotes, drugs were extracted by simple sonication, filtered to remove dirt and paper fibres. The levels of drugs were then determined by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Cocaine represented the predominate contamination, mostly associated with the £B 20 notes, the highest domination in circulation.
Senior Lecturer Forensic Chemistry Dr. Kevin Honeychurch, who led the research, commented:
“This is an exciting piece of research, undertaken with a number of undergraduate Forensic Science students as co-authors on the paper. It highlights the extremely low levels of drugs that can be determined by sophisticated instrumentation such as liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. I now undertaking further research into the levels of illegal drugs in water and air.”
Inspired by the ambition of the national #10,000 Black Interns initiative, Hargreaves Lansdown in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Bristol City Council and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) launched the regional Strive Internship scheme.
Drawing on recommendations from McGregor Smith’s 2017 Race in the Workplace Review, this five-year long positive-action scheme aims to have a long-term and sustainable impact on the lives, career and earning trajectories of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and recent graduates in the region.
The programme created 45 paid internship opportunities, across 20 organisations in the region for Black students living or studying in the West of England.
The positive-action initiative offers Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students living or studying in the region the opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience across a wide range of sectors each year, providing critical training and development opportunities, mentoring and sponsorship. Their aim is to have organisations from across the region join together to have positive conversations around diversity and inclusion.
Jessica Tomico who sits on the board for the Strive Internship and is a Business Development Manager at UWE Bristol commented “We are delighted that the excellent work of the Strive Internship has been recognised at the Institute of Student Employers awards. The initiative is a great example of how organisations in the region can work together to have a lasting positive impact on the careers of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and recent graduates.”
UWE Bristol Researchers have developed a smartphone-based sensor for the determination of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB); a popular recreational drug. Its strong sedative and amnesic effects have led to drug-facilitated sexual assaults, poisonings, overdose, and even death, something widely reported in the news amidst a recent rise in cases of drink spiking incidents.
As a result, legislation has restricted its availability, leading to GHB consumers switching to its pro-drug, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). A pro-drug is a medication or compound that, after administration, is metabolised into a pharmacologically active drug. There is a growing need for methods capable of determining GBL in complex samples such as beverages. It was shown possible to quantify both, GBL and GHB, using the camera of a smartphone to record images of the purple colour developed following simple chemistry.
A downloadable free App available from the Apple App Store (Color picker and helper, version 1.1.6) was used to extract the numerical values of the Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) colour components of the purple colour. Using these values, it was possible to determine the concentration of the drugs present in fortified lager samples; indicating the method holds promise for the determination of both GBL and GHB in such drinks.
The findings were recently published in a paper: Procida, A., & Honeychurch, K. C. (2022). Smartphone-based colorimetric determination of gamma-butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate in alcoholic beverage samples. Journal of Forensic Sciences.
UWE Bristol are proud to work with many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the region. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for up to 90% of businesses, 60% to 70% of employment, and they account for half of global GDP, according to the United Nations.
To celebrate World MSME Day 2022 we are sharing some recent work and projects with MSMEs.
In this short video, we highlight three SMEs we worked with as part of our Scale Up 4 Growth Scheme. In partnership with NatWest and Foot Anstey, we gave SMEs access to grant funding and business support to help them scale up. In the below video we hear from The Bristol Loaf, Wiper and True and 299 Lighting about how the funding has helped transform their business.
Tell us a bit about what you are doing as an organisation to support sustainability goals in the region?
At Bristol24/7 we’re really proud to be in the process of recruiting a dedicated climate and sustainability editor. We are the first local media organisation to do so as far as we know, and we’ve created this role to engage conversation, inspire people to take action, hold authorities and companies to account and report on the positive work already ongoing in Bristol.
This is alongside our work to become more sustainable as an organisation. We are currently working with Action Net Zero to assess our carbon footprint, from which we will set goals to minimise our impact on the planet.
We believe that working together is the best way to tackle the climate crisis. One of the defining values of our Better Business network is sustainability and we share ideas, opportunities and resources with our business members at our quarterly meetings.
What steps have you taken to ensure you have a diverse workforce to drive forward these aims?
Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of all of Bristol24/7s plans. We recognise there are considerable barriers to working in journalism and we are aiming to level the playing field at every opportunity. We are continuously improving our recruitment process to make it welcoming and accessible to all those who are interested in working with us. We have redesigned our work experience programme and we are working to introduce a career ladder so that those who have their first taste of journalism with us are invited back for longer placements and interviews for entry level positions.
We work with the most underrepresented areas of Bristol to train new journalists in our community reporters programme. Our entire team take part in setting our goals and strategy for the year ahead and every voice is heard; we believe this allows for more robust decision making and creativity which are essential when tackling problems such as the climate crisis.
What support have you received from UWE Bristol, and how has it contributed to these aims?
We’re extremely grateful to UWE Bristol for their support. Over the last 12 months, our team have benefitted from Digital Skills support and training which has informed our membership strategy. We now also have a stronger marketing strategy which helps us capitalise on the support from our community and grow our membership – the result of which is that we can offer more work experience placements, train more community reporters and work with charity partners.
More recently, members of our team have also taken part in the Skills for Clean Growth workshops. We already feel more confident in addressing our own carbon output, and we look forward to attending more workshops as we set our new goals, induct our climate editor and take the next steps on our sustainability journey.
What successes have you seen as a result of the above work?
In the last year we have seen a 30% growth in our membership, which has provided us with the resource to grow our team, including interns from UWE Bristol, and increase our social impact work.
Workshops for MSMEs
Are you a Gloucestershire business looking to scale?
Digital Scale-Up for your Business
Hosted in the Advanced Digital Academy at Gloucestershire College in Cheltenham on Monday 11 & Tuesday 12 July 2022.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve competitiveness and productivity. We embed a recent graduate within your business and give you access to our academic expertise to help you transform your business.
The programme aimed to provide access to green jobs, training and business opportunities to Black, Asian and minoritised young people (aged 18-28), and recent graduates living in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset.
Get in touch
We are always keen to work with MSMEs so please do get in touch to discuss how we can support you and your business email@example.com