The Founders

Enterprising postgraduates have the essential higher level knowledge and skills needed to make a significant contribution to the growth of the local, national and international economy.  

The global economic and social challenges we face means that our world class postgraduates must have an entrepreneurial mindset and practice enterprising behaviours.  

In response to this, a small but dedicated team of specialists in enterprise education and careers from the universities of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Salford have created the second North West enterprise conference dedicated exclusively to postgraduate students.  

The Founders have worked collaboratively since September 2011 to bring the conference to life by designing workshops and specialists sessions that will equip the students with the ability to become enterprising.  Postgraduate study enables students to gain a deep understanding of their subject.  

However, the catalyst for the conference was the recognised need for postgraduate students to gain enterprise knowledge, skills and experience to enable them to be enterprising researchers and have enterprising careers.  

The founders have shared their extensive and specialist knowledge to create a bespoke programme focused on the three themes of the conference; collaboration, inspiration and opportunities.

University of Salford Manchester

Jenny Warburton

Jenny started teaching Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability skills to undergraduate students from various disciplines from Computer Science to Advertising Design and Animation being just a few back in 2005.  Jenny passed with Distinction on the Master of Enterprise and Technology degree at Salford and gained her PG Certificate in Higher Education Practice and Research.  

She is currently looking at doing a Doctor of Education in relevance to the changing education in Physics and how Physics has now become a ‘sexy’ subject.  Jenny has been involved in many projects including; Passport to Trade – development of a free online guide to business culture and etiquette; Development of a joint European Master of Enterprise degree programme; Creative Enterprise Futures Boot Camp – The theme of the boot camp was how creative industries impact on urban regeneration.


University of Manchester

Jonathan Styles

Jonathan joined Manchester University in 2004, having spent 10 years at Imperial College in various research positions within the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

As an Enterprise Lecturer within Manchester Enterprise Centre, he is heavily involved in all aspects of teaching enterprise across the University of Manchester. Jonathan has developed numerous innovative enterprise modules as well as delivering many non accredited workshop session to doctorial students on the university wide Research to Enterprise Programme.

Jonathan is also the Programme Director for the Manchester Enterprise Centres flagship programme the Master of Enterprise (MEnt) research degree programme. This is considered to be one of the most innovative enterprise postgraduate programmes offered throughout the UK and which give postgraduate students the opportunity to explore business opportunities

In his role as Programme Director of the MEnt, Jonathan recognises the need for and has created a pool of North West Entrepreneurial Businesses from which he sources projects and mentors for his students. He maintains successful ongoing relationships and contact with Business Owners and has organised many external speakers from multiple sectors including enterprise, marketing, media, public relations and recruitment as well as international speakers and authors.

Jonathan has active research interests in: nascent entrepreneurial development, mentoring, entrepreneurial start-ups and networking as well as enterprise education. He has been awarded a number of teaching and learning grants and has also published in a number of international journals, as well as being a regular Conference Presenter at both international and UK conferences. Jonathan was also a member of International Editorial Board for the book “Irish Case Studies in Entrepreneurship”, 2011, Edited by Dr Cecilia Hearty, Oak Tree Press.

Jonathan has also been instrumental in the creation of a new Biotechnology company ‘AlerGenetica’, based in Tenerife Spain, and maintains his role as Strategic Consultant. In addition he is one of the Co-Founders Enterprise Futures.

Dr Robert A. Phillips

Robert holds an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from University College London, with a spell at GlaxoSmithKline R&D and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Southampton from an industrial CASE studentship with Actinova. He completed a postdoctoral appointment at the National Institute for Medical Research, London studying fast protein-protein kinetics measured using biophysical methods. Robert runs the EPSRC funded Research to Enterprise program for Ph.D. students and research staff, an integrated university-wide programme of skills workshops, business mentoring, a popular annual event featuring well known entrepreneurs and an annual residential enterprise school. The program has to date involved thousands of participants and was one of the first of its type in the UK. He is involved with several biotech start-up companies including Alergenetica, an allergy vaccine R&D company based in Tenerife, Spain which has raised significant amounts of grant and venture capital finance.

Robert is also a regular writer on technology transfer issues and has written for a number of publications including national newspapers. His research interests include the areas of biotech start-ups and entrepreneurial intentions among scientific researchers. He has presented his work internationally at conferences including in the UK, USA, Korea, Brazil, Netherlands and Poland. He also teaches on several programmes within the University of Manchester from first year to postgraduate level and also mentors Ph.D and M.Sc. students.


Manchester Metropolitan University

Claire Giddens 

Claire graduated from MMU with a BA (Hons) in Public Policy & Management and joined the university as a staff member in 2005.  Claire’s background has been focused on start up business and she spent 3 years working on the very successful New Entrepreneur Scholarship (NES) programme. The NES programme ran until 2008 and provided training, funding and business support for aspiring entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds. Claire was also a member of Innospace (MMU graduate incubator) management team from its initial inception until July 2009. She provided operational, administrative, marketing and recruitment support during her time working in the unit. Claire has also worked on a number of small HEFCE and ERDF projects focused on SMEs and Start up business.

Claire currently organises an annual rolling programme of inspiring workshops and activities on entrepreneurial learning to deliver the university wide ERDF funded Enterprise Champion project. The project focuses on developing enterprising and entrepreneurial students, graduates and alumni at MMU. As part of the project, Claire uses her knowledge and expertise to support and mentor people during the developmental pre-start stage of their business journey. In addition to her Enterprise related roles, Claire has worked as an associate lecturer within MMU’s Business School.

Louise Kenworthy - Taylor

Louise started work at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2012 as the Incubation Services Manager after 5 years as Enterprise Champion at the University of Salford and a three-year freelance career in television.  With this role, Louise is responsible for MMU’s shared office space, Innospace and is currently working on a move to better premises. 

Louise also encourages students and graduates to consider entrepreneurship as a new career option and ensures students and graduates gain enterprise and employability skills to help them create better futures.  She organizes extracurricular and university wide enterprise activities and mentors many of the Innospace tenants and students.

In 2010 she won the Students in Free Enterprise National University Adviser of the Year award, highly commended Enterprise Champion at the National Enterprise Educators Awards and was one of 100 Salford women to be profiled in an exhibition highlighting, acknowledging and celebrating the achievements and contributions of the University of Salford’s female staff.

Louise graduated from University in 2004 with a Masters in Television Production and has more recently achieved her CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.  She will be starting her SFEDI Certificate in Business Support shortly.

We all very much look forward to working with you during the conference and participating in your development as an enterprising postgraduate.

Enjoy the day!

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