Leaving NACUE

After three and a half years of helping NACUE to grow, I have decided it is now time to move on.

It has been an exhilarating journey since quitting Enterprise UK in June 09 to join Victoria is transforming her and the Founding Members’ vision into reality. From the two of us working full time unpaid for a year alongside a raft of volunteers, growing to 5 of us in 2011, and more recently as part of a fantastically strong team of 24+, my time at NACUE has given me the unique ability to conceptualise, design and initiate a wide range of innovative projects (from training days, strategy workshops, conferences, Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards and Startup Milkrounds) all of which I am immensely proud of.

With the team well established and confident in their roles I feel comfortable that NACUE’s future is secure. By parting with NACUE at this time, I hope that I can go out to conceptualise, design and initiate even more innovative programmes that create real impact for young people across the UK and the world.

Some stats:

  • Joined (full time)  June 6th 2009; leaving November 30th 2012
  • Estimated 15,000 hours committed to NACUE
  • Delivered 50+ NACUE events
  • Visited 105+ universities and colleges across the UK
  • Attended 40+ national and international conferences
  • Worked with 75+ exceptional, talented and passionate volunteers and team members

Announcing the news, NACUE CEO Hushpreet Dhaliwal wrote the following on the charity’s blog:

“After three and a half years, our Founding Member & Policy Director Matt Smith is now bidding farewell to NACUE, the very organisation he helped launch and develop.

After quitting his job at Enterprise UK in June 2009 to join Victoria Lennox in launching NACUE, Matt has been a central and ever-present figure in the organisation, initiating and developing some of our most successful business endeavours.

From expanding the network, liaising with societies and managing events in the early years, to conducting policy, advocacy and fundraising activities in the latter years, Matt’s central quality has been the ability to conceptualise, design and initiate a wide range of new projects and activities within NACUE. As one would expect, today you can detect Matt’s hallmark on key network support activities that he spent hours designing in the early years.

Matt’s greatest strength has been his ability to bridge the divide between policy and practice, allowing us to effectively engage politicians of all parties and officials across government departments, positioning NACUE as a trusted advocate of students and an impartial advisor within enterprise policy discussions.

It was this unique contribution, coupled with his analytical and creative thinking, that allowed Matt and CEO Hushpreet Dhaliwal to go on to secure investments for NACUE from Government departments and agencies, allowing us to accelerate our impact in the student enterprise sphere.

Beyond his policy role, Matt has been NACUE’s No.2, assisting with organisational development. He has been a true team player with an eagerness to problem-solve that has helped NACUE immeasurably during its critical years of development, while also helping many team members acclimatise to their roles in a growing, fast-paced organisation.

In Matt’s own words, as he moves onto new horizons:

“It has been an exhilarating journey since joining Victoria in June 2009. From two of us working full time unpaid for a year alongside a raft of volunteers, growing to five of us in 2011 and more recently as part of a fantastically strong team of 22+, my time at NACUE has provided priceless opportunities, experiences and inspiration.”

“With the team well established, NACUE on track to achieve sustainability, and a new wave of Trustees and Non-Exec Directors set to join our Boards in the new year, I am confident that NACUE’s future is secure. By parting with NACUE at this time, I hope that I can go out to conceptualise, design and initiate even more innovative programmes that create impact for young people across the UK and around the world”.

Matt plans to remain in the youth enterprise and entrepreneurship space and retain his focus on government and institutional policy, strategy, and fundraising, operating as a freelance consultant to a range of organisations both in the UK and abroad.

Whilst Matt will be missed, he’ll remain an important part of NACUE’s history and story. We thank him and wish him every success.

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