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News Graduates invited to apply for business start-up scheme

Staffordshire graduates with business ambitions are being urged to apply for a new scheme designed to get them off to a flying start. 

European Regional Development Funding will support new graduate start-ups
Image: European Regional Development Funding will support new graduate start-ups

We are delighted to have secured further European Regional Development funding for this initiative which supports enterprising graduates to establish new businesses in Staffordshire, helping to attract and retain highly skilled graduates in our Region.

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice-Chancellor

Staffordshire University has secured £1m from the European Regional Development Fund to help graduates start up their own businesses. The funding is set to create 100 graduate start-ups and 100 jobs in Staffordshire over the next three years.

It follows hot on the heels of the successful Be Inspired project run by the University, which has supported the creation of 124 business start ups and 152 new jobs in the last three years.

Be Inspired Programme Manager Clair Hameed said: “The key measure of success lies in whether a new business is sustainable and we have an excellent success rate where 81 per cent of our start-ups are in business after three years.

“We have been offering these programmes for 18 years and have developed positive relationships with businesses who have achieved growth and success and who are now mentoring others on the programme.”

The year-long Be Inspired graduate programme is open to graduates of Staffordshire University and graduates from other Universities who live in Staffordshire.

Applications must be submitted by Friday June 7 and this will be followed up by an induction day on June 14 and interviews after which applicants will be notified of the outcome. Successful applicants will be invited to two days of workshops in July and can benefit from monthly networking events, professional mentoring and other specialist support.

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice-Chancellor said: "We are delighted to have secured further European Regional Development funding for this initiative which supports enterprising graduates to establish new businesses in Staffordshire  helping to attract and retain highly skilled graduates in our Region."

“We are strongly committed to supporting the development of higher-level skills in business and playing a leading role in the regional economy.  We look forward to receiving a bumper crop of applications.”

Successful graduate start-ups role of honour

  • Stone-based Assured Systems is a leading technology company offering high quality and innovative computer solutions to the embedded, industrial, and digital-out-of-home market sectors. With offices in the USA, Assured Systems won the award for the award for 'Science and Technology' in Business at last year's Sentinel Business Awards.
  • Reels in Motion is a video production company based in Stoke-on-Trent. Specialising in high quality, high definition film, last year the company was named in the official Top 50 Corporate Production Companies by Televisual Magazine placing them in the top 1% of video production companies in the UK.
  • The Inspirational Learning Group was founded by Ben and Michael Dyer as a means of inspiring young people about their futures. The company runs the UKs largest schools enterprise competition, the Ryman National Enterprise Challenge, and the National Skills Challenge which gives 6thform students chance to compete in a real-life business challenge. Their activity has been supported by prominent business leaders Lord Sugar and Theo Paphitis.
  • James Wood is the founder of Totally Wild UK, author of The Forager Cookbook and the only Ofqual (gov) accredited forager in the UK. The UK’s top foraging and wild food expert, he’s on a mission to share this knowledge and runs regular foraging and cookery courses.
  • Defiant Embroidery was founded by Claire Edwards an award-winning freelance textile surface designer who specialises in work that pushes the boundaries or traditional hand embroidery. Claire uses materials such as metal wood and plastics to create her works of art that are suitable for fashion interiors or artistic market.


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