Graduate wins £20k for enterprise expansion

Anisa Haghdadi

6 August 2014

An Aston University graduate has been awarded £20,000 and a place on the UK’s leading social entrepreneur support programme to help her business expand.

Anisa Haghdadi, founder and CEO of social enterprise, Beatfreeks, will receive an intensive 12-month course of guidance and advice from the UnLtd ‘Fast Growth’ initiative, funded by the Millennium Awards Trust.

The UnLtd foundation is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK. It provides resources to hundreds of individuals each year, offering funding, business assistance, networking opportunities and practical encouragement.

'Fast Growth' award winners are judged to be some of the country’s most promising entrepreneurs. Those on the course must be considered driven, focused and to possess the ambition and ability to use enterprise to solve social problems.

Beatfreeks, a not for profit organisation founded in 2013, provides consultancy services to companies and organisations wanting to engage young people and uses its profits to train young people in leadership, enterprise, creative and media skills.

Although firmly rooted in Birmingham, Beatfreeks aims to pioneer new ways of engaging, empowering and developing people and spaces through a blend of arts, media, training, leadership and enterprise across the UK.

Business and Management graduate, Anisa, said: “We are really proud to be awarded a place on the fast growth programme. Over the last year we’ve achieved some pretty awesome stuff, from working with BBC 1Xtra on a special edition of our regular music event ‘Soul Sessions’ which saw artists get national airplay, through to working with a group of young people passionate about mental health over 12 weeks to set up their own official social enterprise ‘Ripple CIC’.

“We are now looking forward to growing strategically and developing more regional partnerships. The support from the programme will be invaluable.”

Beatfreeks was supported to set up by BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network) a business start-up programme led by Aston University and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The BSEEN team support students and graduates who are setting-up businesses by offering mentoring, workshops, a business grant and workspace.



For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or