Innovative scheme to support new entrepreneurs


27 June 2016

An innovative programme offering recent graduates and students the opportunity to start their own businesses in Birmingham has secured another three years funding from the European Regional Development Fund. 

The new programme launched this month will provide an attractive package of intensive business start-up support for students and graduates launching their own business ventures. 

Participants will benefit from attending a five day boot camp which will equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their businesses and will give them the opportunity to meet existing entrepreneurs. Grant funding is also available, alongside mentoring from business experts. 

The programme will also provide new businesses with dedicated incubator space where budding entrepreneurs can benefit from day to day help and advice from the project team and socialise and share ideas with other new start-ups. 

The scheme will be delivered in partnership with Aston University, Birmingham City University, Newman University and University College Birmingham – drawing on the expertise of all four institutions. 

BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network) has supported over 450 students and graduates in the region and helped to create 230 businesses since 2012. The new £1.4 million project aims to establish another 225 businesses by 2019. 

Professor Helen E Higson OBE, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Aston University said: ‘We are delighted to be building on the success of the previous programme and supporting entrepreneurs for another three years. Entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers for the region’s economy, and it is crucial that we encourage our students and graduates to consider setting up their own businesses. The activities involved in the BSEEN programme have proven to provide participants with the relevant support and skills to give them the best chance of success with their chosen ventures.’ 

BSEEN is available to current students from Aston University, Birmingham City University, Newman University and University College Birmingham and graduates within the last five years from any university living in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area. 

BSEEN is currently recruiting for its first boot camp in September 2016 with further intakes in March, June and September 2017.

For more information on BSEEN visit or email [email protected]

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The project has received up to £729,885 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit