BCU alumna discusses exciting new graduate business programme

Helena Hunt, Birmingham City University alumna and illustrator, tells why she has signed up to the STEAM Hatchery programme, a ten-week course that offers third-year students and recent graduates the chance to set up their own business.

Posted 28 March 2022

The perfect challenge  

Helena has always been a creative individual with a passion for art, so she knew BCU’s BA (Hons) Illustration degree was the perfect choice for her.

Despite undertaking some of her degree amid the uncertainty of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns, Helena thoroughly enjoyed her time studying with the University.

“I had a great tutor that helped me throughout my final project, I grew tremendously as a person and realised what to aspire for as a career,” Helena says.

Since graduating, Helena has harboured ambitions to launch her own brand. Thus, signing up to the STEAM Hatchery programme felt like a natural decision.

The Hatchery, which begins on Tuesday 7 June and runs for ten weeks, offers students and graduates the opportunity to earn part of a £10,000 prize fund, as well as access to expert support and superb facilities.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to challenge myself and see what I can achieve in this setting,” Helena enthuses.

“Having a business of any kind means networking is important, so the Hatchery programme is the perfect opportunity to meet likeminded people who are also aiming for the same goal.”

Building confidence and skills

Helena feels that the programme will give her more confidence as a potential business owner, with her ultimate aim being to have her own art venture, inspired by the eye-catching artwork of Hello Kitty among others.

“I want to have my own small business selling bespoke art in forms such as canvas paintings, digital prints and tote bags,” she explains.

“My products will be sold on the market through my own professional website, and I hope for my brand to be known within the online community.”

Helena feels that the Hatchery programme is an incredible opportunity for recent graduates to receive the support that they need to flourish.

“It’s incredibly valuable for students and graduates from different backgrounds to receive great support not found elsewhere,” Helena says. “It’s helpful for alumni such as myself to feel supported and optimistic.”

Helena is looking forward to gaining access to STEAMhouse’s state-of-the-art facilities.

“It will really help me to create the necessary products to help my idea grow into a business in a fun way, while simultaneously learning something new,” she says.

“Other graduates should really get involved so that they can feel the necessary support for their future goals and help continue with their passion after graduating university.”

Interested in finding out more about the STEAM Hatchery programme? To discuss mentorship opportunities and access further details, contact Richard Scutt at richard.scutt@bcu.ac.uk.