This is supported by an intended £20 million charitable donation from Peter Coates to the Peter Coates Foundation.
The new Peter Coates MSc in Entrepreneurship has been made possible thanks to a collaboration with the City’s philanthropist Peter Coates and the Peter Coates Foundation.
Beginning in January 2023, the Peter Coates Fast Forward Programme will offer emerging entrepreneurs the practical business education skills and support they need to start new businesses in Stoke-on-Trent.
Peter is especially keen that the MSc in Entrepreneurship is accessible to those who do not have the academic record or financial support to ordinarily undertake such a programme but who can demonstrate that they have the drive and ambition to thrive given the opportunity. Full bursaries will therefore be available from the Peter Coates Foundation and non-academic criteria will be used to support applications.
Furthermore, at the culmination of the course, teams of graduates will be able to pitch for up to £200,000 investment in their business idea and the opportunity for ongoing mentoring and start-up support.
Peter Coates, who was awarded an honorary degree from Staffordshire University in 2008, said: “With this programme, we want to help our city and region by accelerating its entrepreneurial success. We want to give everyone who has ambitions to start a business the necessary practical business skills, funding and support, in order to give them the best chance of succeeding.
"I want to create a legacy of a thriving and growing ecosystem of new businesses to drive the economy and the region forward. Educating and empowering our next generation of local entrepreneurs is the key to the regeneration of our City.”
Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Martin Jones said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Peter and the Peter Coates Foundation on what could literally be a life-changing opportunity for individuals accepted on to the course.
“Working with and alongside those SMEs who are currently involved in the University’s Innovation Enterprise Zone, we believe the new one-year course will help to create a dynamic enterprise cluster and bring new job and wealth creation to our city and region. This is very much in keeping with our responsibilities as a civic university to improve the regional economy, support quality or life in our local communities and develop higher level skills in business and industry through the retention and development of entrepreneur graduate talent.”
The Peter Coates Foundation has been born out of Peter Coates’ deep roots in the Stoke-on-Trent area and his philanthropic passion for giving back to his community.
Peter Coates’ vision is to support regeneration of the area by:
- The provision of accessible practical business education. To hone talented people, regardless of academic background, with the skills and tools they need to identify and develop business opportunities to become the local entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
- Providing financial support to successful and ambitious graduates of the MSc to start up their own businesses by fuelling these new companies with investment.
The administration of The Peter Coates Foundation will be managed by SORBUS.org, the not-for-profit division of SORBUS Partners, a leading Private Investment Office.
Max Thowless-Reeves, Founding Partner at SORBUS Partners, said: “We believe we can have a significant impact on our city’s future with this project. Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire will be re-energised with this perpetual stream of new businesses. These are the building blocks that will create an expanding ecosystem of high-quality jobs and opportunities.
“The impact of this legacy is not short term; it is intended to last for decades, even generations. We are delighted that Peter’s generosity is enabling this project to come to life, and are excited to be working with him, the Trustees and Staffordshire University.”