Plymouth University expands its Formation Zone globally

Formation Zone, Plymouth University’s unique incubation space for starting a business, will be replicated in London and Bhubaneswar, India.

The University has secured licences with GSM London and Xavier Institute of Management, so both institutions can set up Formation Zones based on the University’s award-winning model.

Formation Zones are unique in the level of support they offer to their business tenants, and the fact that they work with pre-start ups, encouraging businesses to move on after two years.

They also have open plan spaces and actively encourage collaboration, as well as offering high level support from management.

The new spaces will use the Formation Zone branding and will replicate Plymouth University’s tried and tested model. Plymouth University staff will train staff in India and London, as well as offering long-term support to the centre managers.

They also aim to establish links between businesses in the Plymouth University’s four Formation Zones in Plymouth and Cornwall and the new centres.

Xavier Institute of Management, which is based in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state of Odisha, will set up a virtual Formation Zone in 2016, funded through the British Council’s Social Enterprise Education Program.

GSM London aims to launch its Formation Zone in February at its two campuses in Greenford, West London, and Greenwich, South East London.

Professor Simon Payne, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said:

“From its inception in 2007, Formation Zone has been a huge success, providing a pathway for many graduates and budding entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses, and a nurturing environment to support their development into viable and successful commercial enterprises. It’s a model that is ripe for expansion, and I’m delighted that we are rolling this out in London at GSM, one of our academic partners, and in India through the respected Xavier Institute of Management.”

Plymouth University runs four Formation Zones in the South West: on its Plymouth campus and in the innovation centres in Pool, Treliske and Tremough. In Plymouth, Formation Zone has so far supported over 178 businesses to develop and has helped to create 70 jobs.

Formation Zone Programme Manager at Plymouth University Eleanor Browne, said:

“We know that our approach works: 80 per cent of businesses that started out with Formation Zone continue to thrive, against a national average of 25 per cent. Because of this, we recognised the potential to license the Formation Zone model to other institutions in the UK and overseas. After putting in a lot of hard work, we are delighted that our two first licensed partners have now signed up. This is the start of a bigger and more diverse global Formation Zone community.”

Adrian Dawson, Head of GAIN Projects and Partnerships at Plymouth University added:

“This represents the respect that other institutions have for Formation Zone and for Plymouth University’s reputation for fostering enterprise. As well as providing a stage for the Formation Zone brand to establish itself globally, this is an exciting opportunity for our local entrepreneurs who can learn from peers in London and Bhubaneswar.”

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I would have no hesitation in recommending Formation Zone to future clients, great facilities, super staff, supportive and knowledgeable. Simply put, it is crucial. The contacts, the support, and the resulting possibilities are all excellent.

A former Formation Zone client.

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