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Rupert Gatty, CoolKit CEO, has been selected as one of seven business leaders to become the first Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The group of successful businesspeople will bring real-world expertise and entrepreneurial practice to students, academics and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) who get support from UCLan’s Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise (LSBE).

Each EIR will choose what support they will offer, but options will include mentoring students, guest lecturing, hosting student placements, sitting on advisory panels, contributing to curriculum reviews, and supporting academic research. They will also be able to take part at ‘Ask the expert’ sessions and career and employer events.

Rupert, CoolKit CEO, commented “It’s a great honour to be nominated to join the Entrepeneurs in Residence at UCLan’s Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise.”

“The Business School has a great reputation for student start-ups, and I look forward to working with the next generation of business owners.”

“I received great support from universities when growing my business CoolKit and so I am here to help the next generation as much as I can to unlock their true potential. I’m looking forward to supporting students with their own journeys and I can’t wait to hear their great ideas as part of the wider support that makes them a reality.”

The group was selected by a panel after nominations were submitted by LSBE staff. The EIR network will be coordinated by the award-winning UCLan Centre for SME Development, a free network for the region’s SMEs.

Professor Sue Smith, Chair of UCLan’s Centre for SME Development, commented: “This helps us to continue to strengthen our links with SMEs, drawing on the expertise of our Entrepreneurs in Residence for the benefit of the University and the region.”

Professor Chris Pyke, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Justice, added: “This provides a great opportunity for our staff, students and graduates to receive even more enterprising support from the Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise.”