Seven business leaders will bring real-world experience and entrepreneurial practice to degree students.

The successful businesspeople have been selected as the first Entrepreneurs in Residence at the University of Central Lancashire.

They will bring real-world expertise and entrepreneurial practice to students, academics and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) who get support from the universities school of business and enterprise.

The chosen seven are: Pam Steed, Managing Director of Monarch Personnel Group Ltd; Andy Gullick, Chief Executive of RIFT Social Enterprise; Glen Higson, Founder and Managing Director of Business Insight 3 Ltd; Michelle Bondesio, Business Coach, Consultant, Writer and Podcaster at Growth Sessions/Bondesio C&C; Rupert Gatty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoolKit Limited; Russell Hogarth, who ran his own companies for 25 years before retiring, and Joanne Boyd, Managing Director of CJX Business Services.

Joanne said: “As a business owner of an SME in Lancashire I am both delighted and honoured to be to be invited by UCLan to become a member of their new Entrepreneurs in Residence network.

“I have been very fortunate to have received tremendous support from UCLan’s Centre for SME Development through networking events, digital marketing and personal development.

"As a very successful business in Lancashire I look forward to being able to bring specialist expertise to both the students and the SME community to help them bring their entrepreneurial vision to reality.”

Each business leader 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.

Executive dean of the faculty of business and justice, Professor Chris Pyke 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.”