MEU institutions are continuing during lockdown with their mission to help people realise their entrepreneurial potential. Our students and graduates have shown that whilst the country’s economy has been slowing down, there are still opportunities especially for innovative young entrepreneurs.
MEU partner, De Montfort University (DMU), has started accepting applications for The Crucible Project 2021, its dedicated programme for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a product or service but do not know where to start. The year-long programme provides a mix of funding and support – as well as access to facilities and professional equipment – that will enable entrepreneurs to thrive. Every year, DMU supports its Crucible Project members to success – taking them from idea to launch within 10 months.
Coventry University, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the University of Wolverhampton have collaborated with Santander to look at funding support for student enterprise. The Universities are partners with the bank through the Santander Universities programme, which provides funding to support student enterprise, internships, and care leaver bursaries. Coventry University has received £25,000 to help support student-run businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding will be used to help students in hardship and those who have founded businesses, to support them through what may be a difficult time. NTU students will also benefit from a ‘Santander COVID-19 Hardship Business Support Fund’ which will award successful applicants with a one-off cash grant of £850 to directly support their business through the current COVID-19 crisis. The grant will support NTU students and graduates who have a business in its final stages of development or who are currently trading.
Meanwhile at the University of Wolverhampton, current students and graduates of the last 3 years that are running their own business have been offered to apply to the Santander Universities Crisis Fund. Successful applicants will be offered business grants of up to £2,000 to help them through the pandemic.
The Enterprise Hubs within MEU are also offering support to provide stability for the economy while the UK is combatting COVID-19.
Jenny Kenning, MEU Director, said: “Programmes taking place within Midlands Enterprise Universities act to stimulate economic growth. Our universities have an excellent track record of creating and supporting student and graduate start-ups through programmes such as ‘Be the Boss’ at the University of Derby and BSEEN at Birmingham City University, and the award winning incubation centre, Sparkhouse, at the University of Lincoln.
“This additional support and collaboration provides strength and a centre for Midlands activity. It benefits the regional employment of university graduates, as well as promoting business innovation, which will be needed in the economic recovery post COVID-19.”