Huddersfield Giants chairman Ken Davy is set to help students at the University of Huddersfield win in business.
Mr Davy, who is one of Huddersfield’s most successful businessmen, has been appointed Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at the university.
The professorship was conferred by university vice-chancellor Pro Bob Cryan who remarked on Mr Davy’s contribution to the local economy and community. He also referred to Mr Davy as “the saviour of this town’s professional sports clubs” following his rescue of Huddersfield Town from administration in 2003 and his commitment as owner of the Giants.
Mr Davy dedicated his inaugural lecture to the memory of his late wife Jennifer, who died in April this year. They had been married since 1963. Mr Davy also paid tribute to his long-time friend and associate Huddersfield accountant Roger Armitage, who died in September.
Filey-born Mr Davy, who has been based in Huddersfield for most of his career, told students that entrepreneurs were “the risk-takers of the world, its problem solvers and the creators of its wealth and jobs.”
But he said they needed persistence to keep going in the face of criticism, rejection and even ridicule. The most important trait they needed was the ability to visualise what they wanted to achieve and how to reach their goal.
Mr Davy stressed the importance of the sub-conscious mind.
“You can learn to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “Though you can’t actually control your subconscious mind, you can train it and programme it so you can think like an entrepreneur.
“The result is that you will start to see a world bursting with opportunity, where anything can be achieved if you are prepared to pay the price in terms of effort and commitment. An entrepreneur really does see the world differently because they are programmed for success.”
While qualities such as willpower were important, said Mr Davy, imagination was the most important factor.
Mr Davy drew on his own career – including challenges and setbacks – to illustrate his case. His successful enterprises include the financial services company DBS, which he took from start-up to a full Stock Exchange listing – and now SimplyBiz, the UK’s largest provider of support to financial services professionals.
“If it’s not impossible, it must be possible,” he said, adding that the goal of his lecture was to show “how you can turn that powerhouse of your subconscious mind into one that works for you.”