Shaping the entrepreneurs of the future

Birmingham is a university of original thinkers. We nurture and stimulate inquisitive minds to produce graduates with innovative ideas, perspectives and approaches. Do you have the creativity, drive and enterprise to become an entrepreneur or leader of the future?

Employees are now seeking a different kind of candidate. They want students and graduates with not only qualifications which suggest a high level of ability to do the job, but also experience which demonstrates the skills, ability and tendencies to think and act differently and creatively to a problem or project; they want enterprising people.

We expect our students and graduates to develop the tools of entrepreneurship and leadership, such as identifying and seeking opportunities for change and growth, communicating clear vision, evaluating risks and rewards, mobilising people and resources, and following through with drive and determination.

Enterprise Scholarships

Up to five undergraduates a year receive our Enterprise Scholarship, worth £6,000 over three years, which you need to apply for before you come to Birmingham. Successful scholars need to demonstrate an entrepreneurial approach to life and passion for making things happen, but don't need to have ever started a business.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EI) team

The EI team provides specialist advice, support and guidance to give you the confidence to develop your own ideas, whether you want to set up your own successful business or social enterprise, or help to lead others.

The team offers a range of programmes and services designed to support you - from assisting business start-ups to running competitions - and you’ll have access to training, mentoring and start-up grants to help you shape your plans. Some of the current schemes that our students have access to include:

Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN)

BSEEN offers a diverse package of support to help students and graduates set up their own business. This includes a six-month placement with comprehensive business start-up training, mentoring from the BSEEN team, professional business coaching, access to incubation facilities and an opportunity to pitch for funds.

Plan B competition

Our annual innovative ideas competition Plan B, aims to uncover the best talent, the best ideas and a new generation of entrepreneurs. Ideas address one of our key research themes: saving lives, influencing society, innovation in technology and contributing to sustainability. Shortlisted candidates pitch their ideas to a panel of business experts, including companies such as Santander, with the chance to win financial support and one-to-one coaching sessions.

Enterprise Skills

A series of seminars and workshops that provide an overview of what you need to know to start up your own business. Topics range from the attitudes and essential qualities of an entrepreneur, to the specifics that will ensure you stay out of trouble. Learn how to write a business plan and try our your skills on a computer simulation game.

Social enterprise

Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing movement and we are placing it at the heart of our University, as well as giving staff and students the chance to start up a social venture.

Students and graduates can apply for pot of funding up to £15,000 and support to help their idea or project to become a sustainable social enterprise. These ideas can be big or small but must aim to benefit the lives of others, whether it's on a University wide basis or international scale.

Support ranges from workshops and events through to funding for concept testing and to launch new ventures.

In April 2012, Birmingham’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team scooped the Wilkinson’s Entrepreneurship Award for the second year in a row and made it through to the UK National SIFE awards. As a university with civic roots and a strong portfolio in sustainable society research, it’s natural that many of the businesses we support are social enterprises.