General: About BSEEN

BSEEN is a collaboration between Aston University and Birmingham City University. There is a team at each university who runs the project and supports the student and graduate entrepreneurs who take part –find out more about us here.

We don’t have a set amount, but we accept roughly 35 businesses each cohort. There are three cohorts per year.

We support current students at one of our partner universities who want to set up a business, as well as graduates (up to 5 years after you finish your studies). 

Take a look at a selection of our alumni on the Case Studies page.

Before: Applying for BSEEN

It’s not compulsory, but you’re welcome to send us any supporting documents that help us to understand your business! You could also send us a Business Model Canvas –a shorter, visual type of business plan. Check out our Resources page for templates and tips. The exception to this is if you are an international student.

Yes –please contact us via email to arrange a time to talk to someone. Get in Touch

You are still eligible as long as you have not been trading and/or registered as a business for more than 12 months. We support you to register your business at the start of the programme, so ideally you would not have already taken this step.

As an international applicant, you will need to either need to be pursuing the Graduate Visa or Innovator Founder Visa. Current International Students are not eligible to apply. Please contact your respective university for more information on this process.

Definitely. You can choose one team member as the lead applicant, and there is space on the application form to tell us about the rest of your team.

This is not a requirement, but we do expect you to be able to attend the bootcamp and other opportunities in person in Birmingham fairly regularly.

We work with a wide variety of business types, but if you’re not sure if yours would be accepted then feel free to get in touch before applying.

You need to apply to BSEEN with just one idea, and we recommend you spend your efforts exploring one idea rather than several. If you aren’t sure which to pursue, you could try completing a Business Model Canvas or SWOT analysis for each idea to see where the strengths/weaknesses lie.

You should be ready to commit to your business idea, ready to register the business legally (and be ready for the obligations this involves), and be motivated to make the idea a reality. We are looking for driven entrepreneurial people with viable business ideas who we can help.

We will provide some general feedback, and you are welcome to act on that feedback and apply again at the next opportunity. You can apply a maximum of twice with the same business idea.

During: The Programme

We support participants for a 12 months periodto launch and grow a business in Birmingham. Explore our ‘How do we help’ page for the benefits of joining us.

We provide a series of interactive training workshops to give you a solid foundation of knowledge as you start your business. We work with a group of experienced trainers who will put you through your paces with topics such as business planning, finances and marketing. You’ll also get the chance to interact with the other businesses in your cohort, the BSEEN team and BSEEN alumni. Take a look at the Bootcamps page to find out more.

Once accepted onto the programme, you will be asked to sign a Participant Agreement. You are required to attend all the bootcamp sessions and register your business legally. It is possible to both study or work part/full-time while you are participating –you must just be able to commit to the bootcamp, engagement with the Enterprise Consultant at your university, and a monthly mentor meeting if you have one. We are flexible and can accommodate your other commitments, but we ask that you engage with us and communicate with the team about your business.

The team at your university will match you with one of our mentors, and you will have a minimum of a monthly engagement with them.

As part of our support, you will be offered 1:1 guidance from the Enterprise Consultant at your university.

We will do all we can to help you promote your business –for example, using our social media channels to reshare your content. We may also be able to connect you to the marketing teams at each university to share any news stories you have.

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer the £500 grant previously provided through EU funding. The team at your University will advice you on other funding streams that might be available.

Yes. We work with a number of professional services firms such as these who provide a certain amount of advice to our entrepreneurs, before you may need to pay fees.

After: What Happens after 12 Months

Once your 12 months has ended, you’ll be an alumni of the programme and we’ll try and support you however we can. However, you will not automatically still have access to benefits such as a mentor, co-working space etc –this will be discussed on a case by case basis. We love to stay in touch with our alumni and would still encourage you to attend our networking events and other community initiatives.

Thereis a lot of support out there for new and growing businesses in Birmingham. We will send you our handy guide to what you can access, or you can check out our Resources page.

Sometimes, you may find that your idea hasn’t worked out as planned or your circumstances have changed and you no longer wish to pursue this business. In this case, we can support you to close the business down. There are no other consequences relating to the programme –for example, you won’t be asked to pay back your grant.

What is BSEEN?

BSEEN supports aspiring student and graduate entrepreneurs in Birmingham to stop dreaming and just start. Our 12 month programme supports you from idea to launch and beyond, through a comprehensive package of support; training bootcamp to cover all the start-up essentials, business grant, mentoring, networking opportunities and co-working space.

Full Programme Details

Students & Graduates

We offer a 12 month support package for aspiring entrepreneurs to help you stop dreaming and just start.

Find out more

Mentors

Join our mentor community and give back to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Find out more

Case Studies

Find out more about some of businesses we’ve helped to get going.

Explore Case Studies

Get in Touch

We’re here to help. Contact us with any questions you have about our programme.

Contact us today
Stay up to date with BSEEN

Sign up for News & Alerts

Sign up to our newsletter