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Friday 25 September 2015

Lecturer wins national award

Principal Lecturer and founder of Southampton Solent University’s Re:So store – an innovative retail initiative that encourages and supports student entrepreneurship and work-based learning – has won a top award at the 2015 National Enterprise Education Educator Awards (NEEA).

Lisa Mann was presented with the Higher Education National Enterprise Educator award by Dr Tony West of Anglia Ruskin University for her work with and development of Re:So – the first fully student-operated retail initiative in a UK shopping centre.

She was presented with the award at a glittering award ceremony at Hylands House, Chelmsford on Thursday 10 September. Jointly run by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) and Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), the annual awards recognise outstanding achievements in the enterprise and entrepreneurship education field.

lisa-mann-award

“I am thrilled to have been presented with this award and so proud of the staff and students past and present that have worked with me to make Re:So what it has grown to become.”

Before joining Solent Lisa ran her own fashion label providing retail and wholesale young womenswear in the UK and Europe. It was this industry knowledge and business experience that made her realise how much the retail project would benefit students.

“Combining academic credibility with commercial enterprise, Re:so gives our students the opportunity to develop industry-led enterprise skills and an understanding of the management of a working retail environment,” says Lisa.

The stunning store sells a unique mix of fashion, accessories, publications, furniture and art produced by the University’s creative students and graduates.

Initiated as pilot in 2012, Lisa wanted to capitalise on its success and spearheaded the move to a bigger, permanent premises in Marlands where it re-launched as a curriculum-based project in October 2014.

Under Lisa’s supervision, Re:So is run by a team of final-year students and provides a variety of work-based learning opportunities for the hundreds of students on the University’s fashion courses.

As well as providing teaching space for the art, design and fashion courses, the upper floor ‘learning zone’ hosts guest speakers from the fashion industry, workshops, photo-shoots and exhibitions – with an emphasis on developing student retail, enterprise and employability skills.

Keen to keep developing the award-winning initiative, Lisa has lots of plans for the store. “Looking at social enterprise, we are going to be the first ever stockists for a women’s group in Nepal,” she says. “We’ve got students who’ll be working with them to brand the products, helping these women to develop their business.”

“We’re also going to take Re:So on tour around the UK; we will have a stand at The Clothes Show Live, and we will be launching our own website in the next few months. There’s no stopping us.”