Two businesses started by Aston University’s enterprising graduates have reached the National final of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.
At the recent semi-final, designer eye wear brand Josh Fano won the People’s Choice Award and Green Sisters, a gluten and egg free, vegetarian Indian food business were selected from the pre-revenue category. Both businesses won a selection of resources to help with their business, funding and a place on an accelerator week.
Out of over 2,000 entrepreneurs engaged in universities across the UK, 60 of the best businesses were selected to compete at three regional finals. 12 finalists were chosen to pitch their business at the national final and be in with the chance to win over £20,000 to grow their business.
Both Green Sisters and Josh Fano set up their businesses with support from Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme, led by Aston University in partnership with Birmingham City University, Newman University and University College Birmingham. The programme part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, offers students and graduates a great package of intensive start-up support for their new ventures. Successful participants benefit from a variety of workshops, networking opportunities, a business mentor, grants, and workspace.
Carolyn Keenan, BSEEN Project Manager said: “Both businesses have real commercial potential and we are proud for them to represent Aston University. It is an honour to have supported both graduates through the BSEEN programme.”
The BSEEN programme is open to students of Aston University, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and Newman University. Additionally, BSEEN welcomes graduates within the last five years from any university, currently living in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area.
The deadline for applications for the next intake of BSEEN is 1st August.