University tops region for student start-ups


Birmingham City University (BCU) is the region’s leading institution for student entrepreneurship, according to the latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

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Birmingham City University

Over the last 12 months, nearly 100 start-ups have been founded by BCU students and graduates – more than any other university in the West Midlands.

The figures see BCU rank 14th nationally for business start-ups, moving up one place from last year’s rankings.

The university has a range of initiatives and projects to support its students in becoming the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Business skills are nurtured at the university’s STEAM Pre-Incubator, based at Millennium Point, which has supported over 500 budding student entrepreneurs so far this year.

The BSEEN programme, a project run in partnership with Aston University, Newman College and University College Birmingham, has also supported strong start-up figures thanks to the provision of a 12-month support package for aspiring BCU entrepreneurs.

BCU has committed to finance the programme going forward, with its European Regional Development Funding due to end this year. The university will continue to partner with Aston University to provide an expanded support package, including a new mentoring programme and an entrepreneur in residence.

“Following investment from the University, we are committed to driving student entrepreneurship to beat our record as the leading regional institution and become a national benchmark,” said Joanna Birch, Director of Innovation and Enterprise at BCU.

“Our BSEEN and Hatchery programmes have already shown the appetite of students to start up their own enterprises. Working in partnerships with faculties, we aim to increase the number of students we are engaging with, supported by a new programme of activity, leading mentors and updated resources,” added Birch.

Last year the university opened STEAMhouse, a £70 million innovation centre based at its city centre campus.

The building – home to a multi-disciplinary community of entrepreneurs, businesses, academic researchers and students – drives forward the university’s STEAM agenda, which places the Arts at the centre of traditional STEM subjects to drive innovation and boost economic growth right across the city.

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