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Music entrepreneur reaches final stages of the Alumni Awards


Music entrepreneur reaches final stages of the Alumni Awards

400 nominees from 70 universities across the country were put forward for the Education UK Alumni Awards, and an MA alumna from Brunel has been named a finalist.

Elizabeth Cawein is one of three finalists in the USA Entrepreneurial Award category, for innovative new business opportunities with strong growth prospects. The other two finalists are American students from Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Run by the British Council, the alumni awards exist to celebrate the international student presence from China, India and the USA in Britain.

Completing her MA in Contemporary Music at Brunel in 2008, Elizabeth returned to Memphis, Tennessee, USA, and founded Signal Flow PR in 2011 after discovering her passion for music publicity while working for the Memphis Music Foundation. Her BA in Journalism supplied her with the writing skills, while her MA gave her the knowledge needed to develop a Music PR business.

Elizabeth's business aims to support and generate publicity for grassroots music talent to get their music heard by fans and industry professionals, and provide an affordable PR, marketing and digital media service. Around half of her clients are independent musicians and half are businesses including music non-profits and venues. She truly gives back to the community by nurturing fledgling musicians at the outset of their careers.

Elizabeth commented: "This is fantastic news and such a surprise for me. My initial decision to study in the UK was because I could not study for a Masters in music in the USA, as although I'd been a musician most of my life, I had no degrees or qualifications in music.

"In the UK and at Brunel though, I was able to prove I was qualified to undertake the course. Studying in the UK made the pursuit of a dream possible. Years later another dream came true and I launched my own business, something I never would've done if not for my time at Brunel.

"It was twofold: I'd moved thousands of miles away from home and my course at Brunel was immensely challenging: highly independent and self-guided, it required both tremendous discipline and creativity. I was accustomed to spending the bulk of my time in a classroom, and was surprised to come into an educational environment where some of my classes met only fortnightly. In the intervening time, it was up to me to read, synthesize, analyse, and learn - that experience is nothing if not entrepreneurial."

Vicky Phillips, Alumni Officer for Brunel and the person that nominated Elizabeth stated: "We have watched the growth of Elizabeth's business with interest – she has done brilliantly well in such a short time. She has also taught Music Marketing to young people at the Stax Music Academy and served as an Adjunct Professor at the Visible Music College, sharing her experiences and expertise gained from her studies and work.

"She has now grown her company, hiring staff and giving invaluable work experience to an intern every semester. To date she has given experience to around 10 interns, who have gone on to work within public relations or the music industry, or are pursuing further study in the field. We believe she personifies the entrepreneur and fully deserves this award."

The winners of the Education UK Alumni Awards will be announced on 21 March 2015. Find out more about all of the finalists through the British Council website.