Abigail Smith - sports scholar
Sports scholar Abigail Smith, completed an MSc in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management in 2019, and then secured a prestigious graduate job at the company she wrote her final business plan on.
Abigail, who was an Undergraduate at York College in Pennsylvania, was awarded one of the University’s Sports Scholarships, which allowed her to pursue a postgraduate education at Nottingham University Business School whilst playing on the UoN women’s lacrosse team.
And it was through sport that her interest was sparked in social entrepreneurship, which ultimately led her to her current role as a Content Manager at Yunus Sports Hub.
“My interest in this field and social entrepreneurship began in 2018 when I had the opportunity to get involved with Kenya Lacrosse Association and travel to Kenya that summer to coach lacrosse”, she explained. “This was an eye-opening experience for me as I recognised how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to be an athlete my whole life, and also recognise the transformational power that sport has to bring development to a community.”
Abigail’s interest continued whilst studying at Nottingham, where she volunteered with the Laureus Sport for Good Programme, delivering sport and play programmes at a local primary school. She was also invited to participate in the Investing in Youth Program at the Peace and Sport International Forum in Monaco, where she took part in a workshop ran by the Yunus Sports Hub. And her extra-curricular activities were able to be combined with her studies at the Business School.
The Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management MSc gave me the creativity to use my education to launch my career while building a global network. This combined with the opportunity to play lacrosse with the country’s most talented athletes made University of Nottingham an unmatched choice to continue my education.”
When it came to writing her final business plan, a key element of the MSc, Abigail sought advice from YSH co-founder Yoan Noguier.
“Yoan knew that I also had an interest in learning more about leveraging financial tools to combat poverty and using sports infrastructure to bridge the income inequality gap in sports. While giving me some advice and direction on my original idea for the business plan, he also mentioned they were just getting started on a cool project that I might be interested in. So I ended up switching topics and working with them to design a social business investment fund to finance the social ecosystem of one of their new Sport & Social Business Centres.”
Once she finished her studies, Abigail was offered the opportunity to join the team at Yunus Sports Hun permanently in the role of content manager, and continue to support on the project she wrote her business plan on.
“I am the luckiest person in the world! This is my absolute dream job and I get to work with an international team,”she added.