Students on seminarLarge group of students sitting in the lecture hall at university and listening to their teacher. Focus on teacher's hand. Unrecognisable people.
Based on an event held by the University of Plymouth in 2011, the Third Sector Workshop began in 2021 as an idea between Dr Nigel Jackson, Associate Head for Knowledge Engagement for Plymouth Business School, and Dr Steve Butts, Head of Plymouth Business School. The workshop involved the collaboration of teams across the University and its partners, including The Bridge, colleagues from Events who took on the management of the event, the chosen event speakers, the Procurement team, Plymouth City Council Economic Development Team, and colleagues from Research and Innovation.
In 2020/2021 Plymouth Business School held a virtual Conference in collaboration with the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network. In 2022, they wanted to hold a physical event that would build on and expand the virtual conference with a focus on organisations, specifically the Not-for-profit sector. The workshop saw attendees from charities, social enterprises, local community groups and their partners, as well as university students and staff.

What did the Third Sector Workshop involve? 

The Third Sector Workshop was a half day event that took place on the 7th April 2022 at the University of Plymouth. There were nearly 100 registered attendees, including key speakers, University of Plymouth staff, students from the Plymouth Business School and students from the Business Society and ENACTUS. The event also hosted stalls from the University of Plymouth Careers Service, Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, The Cube and Research and Innovation.
As part of the event, Plymouth Business School advertised six funded Virtual Internships for students, specifically made available to the audience at the event. These internships are now complete and provided students with the opportunity to put their skills, knowledge, and experience into practice through collaborations with industry leaders. 
Students were also brought into the organisation of the workshop by being invited to ‘live scribe’ the event; capturing the key themes, messages, and takeaways through innovative illustrations for attendees to engage with and return to at a later date. 
After the event, many of the speakers received contact from the audience either asking for more information or exploring opportunities to work together in the future.

The lineup of events

Opening with registration and a networking lunch, the event involved a variety of speakers covering engaging and important topics impacting the third sector. These included, Diane Stanley on evaluating projects, Dr Hanne Knight on planning your social media campaign, Dr Minchul Sohn on sustainability supply chains perspectives, Dr Jane Hudson on Fundraising Trends, Ben Thorne discussing finance in the Third Sector and Dr Catherine Hine exploring ways to engage with students, such as mentoring. There were also plenary sessions such as Dr Carl Evans discussing how students use consultancy in the classroom, and Prithviraj Ray, a student, who explained his experience as part of the Virtual Internships. The event finished with a summary from Professor Chris Bennewith, the Executive Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, and a final opportunity for networking. 
Plymouth Business School aims to hold several events with external organisations each year to increase engagement and provide access to the knowledge of academics. While also striving to create new opportunities to collaborate with these organisations and involve students in this work.

Plymouth Business School

Our industry-led programmes will set you up for successful employment.
Plymouth Business School is part of the University of Plymouth's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business. Our teaching and research disciplines include:
  • Accounting and finance
  • Business and management
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Shipping, logistics and operations
  • Tourism, hospitality and events
Our research-active school works in partnership with industry and organisations across the world to provide students with high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Shahana BSc (Hons) Economics student

This case study was written by Olivia Templeton, a student at the University of Plymouth. Connect with Olivia on LinkedIn.