Graduates shortlisted for small business competition

Ben and Karolina

15 August 2013

Aston graduates who formed a social enterprise working with young offenders and those from a low income background have been shortlisted for a national award ‘The Pitch’.

Graduates Ben Smith and Karolina Korol formed their social enterprise BKSK Consulting to help young people from these groups back into work. The company work under the ethos of providing business support for young people, by young people.

The Pitch awards business support worth thousands of pounds to the entrepreneur(s) crowned champion and all finalists could win funding from their Investment Panel.

Ben Smith, Co-founder of BKSK Consulting said; “It is tremendously exciting to be on the shortlist and I am looking forward to taking part in The Pitch Live in Bristol next month. Karolina and I are passionate about reaching out to under 18s who have business dreams, but have not had the opportunity or courage to flourish.”

He added; “Karolina and I are grateful to Aston University for all the support they have given us. Our involvement in the BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Employability and Enterprise Network) programme, and support from UnLtd for BKSK Consulting has helped to develop our technical and professional skills, and given us the confidence boost to start a business.”

Shortlisted applicants have been given a personal profile page which they are able to share online in a bid to secure votes for The Pitch 2013 Social Media Award. To view BKSK’s profile and vote for them follow: 


For more information about BSEEN, please contact Carolyn Keenan on 0121 204 4452 or email or visit

Notes to editors

BSEEN is a business start-up programme and a collaboration between Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It offers students and graduates a great package of intensive start-up support including a variety of workshops, networking opportunities, tailored mentoring, a business grant and free work space.