Engineers in Business helps to increase the level of participation in business courses and business competitions by engineering undergraduates and graduates, giving them the opportunity to gain more commercial education.
Engineers in Business focuses on business innovation and works with universities and FE institutions that already have competitions or enterprise modules in which engineering students can participate.
The competition offers HEIs/FEIs that run enterprise competitions the following:
- £3,000 Prize Fund: Typically this is awarded as £1,500, £1,000 and £500 prizes for the top three individual engineers, teams made up of engineers, or teams comprising students from different disciplines including engineers. A mixed team must include at least one engineer to qualify for a prize.
- Mentoring: The top team or individuals are eligible to have a Sainsbury Management Fellow mentor assigned to them to offer ongoing career guidance and support. They will also be invited to select EIBF networking events, such as those held at the Royal Academy of Engineering.
- Promotional Support: Engineering graduates and undergraduates are of special value, to be celebrated and supported, especially when it comes to being made aware of the opportunities that business skills offer and the way that employers view these skill sets. EIBF will, therefore, work with the HEI/FEI partner/department to help promote awareness of their Engineers in Business competition.
Benefits for Universities and FEIs
Universities and FE colleges compete on an increasingly global stage for their engineering students. The more effective departments and faculties are those that can demonstrate why their offering is different and superior to competitors. Students now look for vocational features, proof of employment market performance, and linkages to accelerator/incubator innovation hubs and other strong employer links.
Benefits for Students
Undergraduate and graduate engineers who have participated in the Engineers in Business funded-competition have reported a positive and useful experience, for example:
“The title Engineers in Business really appealed to me because I’m studying engineering and I have a passion for business and technology, especially with the new start-up culture really taking off.”
“when I saw entrepreneurship I wanted to do that straight away… work needs to be done to get more engineering students to study entrepreneurship.”
Engineering graduate employers have stated that they value skills which are not necessarily widely regarded as a standard part of the typical undergraduate experience. These include softer skills such as team working, communication skills, prioritisation, and commercial thinking. These skills help graduate engineers better compete in the workplace and, arguably, become better engineers – as well as pursue more successful careers. Recipients of the Engineers in Business prizes can also add this accolade to their CVs, making themselves more marketable.
Benefits for the Engineering Profession
EngineeringUK has reported that the UK has a shortage of over half a million engineering workers. At the same time, the UK is failing to persuade young people that engineering careers are exciting, well paid and worthwhile.
The ERA Foundation highlighted that undergraduate engineers feel that their degrees are too narrow:
“…engineering felt too narrow, closing down options on graduation. Engineering is viewed as being a restrictively vocational subject… Engineering is not creative or fun.… many view the profession as being deeply uncreative and technical”
The Engineers in Business Competition aims to help address these problems.
Some of the most important global challenges we face in the world today are not just technical challenges but require the ability to link technologies to an understanding of the market mechanism, business skills and entrepreneurial commercial thinking. The Engineers in Business competition aims to give participants a flavour of how business skills and engineering know-how can create wealth and potentially solve world problems. Participants also learn communication and team working skills.
Equipping young engineers with a business education can have a substantial and highly positive impact on the UK economy. The SMF scheme has supported over 300 of the brightest engineers who have then gone on to create over 270 new business worth over £4.5 billion and created over 18,000 jobs.
Apply for a Grant Now
Engineers in Business was piloted at one university and last year was extended to four universities: University of Nottingham Business School’s Ingenuity Lab; City, University of London; University of Bristol; Kingston University. The success of these universities’ competitions has resulted in the expansion of Engineers in Business – it is now being rolled out to 50 universities/FE colleges in the UK between now and 2020, with as many as 25 grants being made in 2018.
Apply for £3,000 grant if you can meet the following criteria:
- Existing competitions/electives: You have an existing business/enterprise elective that undergraduate engineers/alumni/researchers can take part in. Ideally, the business/enterprise elective will have the ability to increase the number of participants as a result of the Engineers in Business prize fund. The competition does not need to be tailored towards engineers/adapted in any way to meet our needs.
- Measurement of participant success. The prizes are normally awarded for 1st/2nd/3rd places (team or individual) so the business/enterprise elective should be able to rank and identify these winners as part of its standard assessment process. Having said this, that is the norm – we are flexible about the structure of the financial awards to winners.
- Measure participation. Our charitable aim is to increase participation of engineering undergraduates and graduates in a business elective. Therefore it is important that the number of participating engineers can be measured and compared to earlier years.
- Promotions: Promotion and communication of the Engineering in Business element of your enterprise competition to undergraduates, graduates, researchers, alumni. EIBF will provide support with promotional messages and we would work with you on the promotion of winners.
If you have questions, do check our Engineers in Business FAQs (scroll down beyond the scholarship scheme FAQs).