Skills programme to provide additional support for aspiring entrepreneurs

This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund

This year saw the return of STEAMhouse Hatchery programme, which was launched in 2021 to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.

We caught up with Senior Lecturer Kelly O’Hanlon from Birmingham City University (BCU) to discuss why both programmes such as STEM-Up and the Hatchery are important for students and graduates today.

Posted 14 July 2023

Students in Steamhouse

Supporting entrepreneurs to thrive  

Following the success of the previous year which saw 60 third-year students, Master’s students, postgraduate researchers and recent graduates of Birmingham City University, the team has welcomed 100 new aspiring entrepreneurs.

Keeping with the same objectives of the previous year, the STEAM Hatchery programme will run over nine weeks and offer participants a wide range of sessions to help build their business plan and bring their ideas to life.

As part of the programme, participants had the opportunity to learn the necessary skills in selling and marketing, which has been delivered in partnership with STEM-Up. A programme part-funded by the European Social Fund that provides free skills training to individuals living in Birmingham. The courses and workshops have been funded by the project, meaning the cost isn’t passed on to the learner.

The additional support for students helps to complement their degree by providing access to industry related courses and workshops.  

Importance of building skills

The session delivered by Kelly O’Hanlon, Senior Lecturer in Public Relations and Media, covered the importance of clear branding, strategic communication approach and consistent messaging. Participants received guidance on how to effectively target and communicate with a desired audience, how to use different social media platforms to get their business message across and tips on making compelling content.

On why programmes such as STEM-Up are important for students and graduates, Kelly says “They help to bring focus to ideas and provide practical insights and useful tools that can be applied to projects, roles, and career development.”

We caught up with some of the Hatchery participants to see how this session has helped them when thinking about selling and marketing.

We asked Kelly on what advice she would give to those on the programme who are looking to sell their products or services, she listed that it is important to: 

  1.       Know your audience
  2.       Be clear on who you are
  3.       Plan your communication approach
  4.       Be consistent
  5.       Be patient

Gain a new skill today

There are a wide range of courses and workshops available through STEM-Up, provided by three institutions. On completion of the programme, you will receive a certificate and continued support.

Wondering what the difference is between STEM and STEAM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It was created to encompass a description of students and subjects that focused on these disciplines

STEAM is a branch off from STEM, incorporating the Arts and creative thinking to solve STEM-based issues. STEAM encourages collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking to help develop a deeper understanding of STEM principles and produce creative solutions and creations like the 3D Printer!

Find out more about STEM-Up by visiting STEM-Up is part-funded by the European Social Fund and is a partnership including Birmingham City University, Aston University and Solihull College and University Centre.