Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews returns to Swansea to pass on tips to students

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It's all about getting the right team, and being persistent. That's what entrepreneur and Swansea graduate Sir Terry Matthews told an audience of students were the secrets of success. Sir Terry was back on campus to kick off Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012, which runs from 12 to 18 November.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is a worldwide movement aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills, with events taking place in over 100 countries. 

GEW has as its theme this year the need to “pass on” skills needed for success.  Swansea University is taking part through its Swansea Employability Academy, which aims to boost students’ skills and experience and thus their employment prospects.  

Sir Terry Matthews, who graduated from Swansea in 1969, and went on to develop technologies at the forefront of the IT revolution, told students that the having a good team of people was "number one, two and three" on the list of priorities.  Persistence was also critical:  "don't give up, never go away". 

Sir Terry listened to business ideas from teams of students, including engineering kit, student calendars and luxury travel.   The teams have been set the task of making a profit within 8 weeks.

The week will also include other practical workshops for students, including:

- How to turn your research into a good business idea
- Simon Gibson on how the Alacrity Foundation can support students who want to start a high-tech business
- How Swansea students Ben and Jezz built an award-winning bike business “Mango Bikes”, which featured on the BBC series  “Be your Own Boss”, winning £50,000 of funding.

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, leader of the Swansea Employability Academy, said:
“Developing entrepreneurial skills is important for every student, whether they become employees or start their own business, because employers tell us that they require creative and innovative employees. Swansea University students are taking advantage of these opportunities to develop these skills during their student career, which we are organizing with the full support of the students’ union.”