On the 14th September The Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) was presented with the" Entrepreneurship Award 2011" at the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) awards ceremony.
BSEEN is an innovative collaboration between Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham and was initially funded by Birmingham City Council. From April 2011, BSEEN continued to operate, funded by the three Universities. The programme assists graduates to set up their own businesses in the Birmingham area which support the regional priorities of: increasing employment and retaining graduate skills.
At Aston University, BSEEN’s start-up incubator is based at Birmingham Science Park Aston, creating new graduate managed businesses in an entrepreneurial environment. From November 2011, a drop in and mentoring service will be available to Aston University students and alumni.
The award recognised the effective and positive contribution that BSEEN has made to student and graduate entrepreneurship within the region over the past 18 months. Over 450 graduates from the local community have developed a greater knowledge of enterprise through networking events and career aspirations have been raised. BSEEN has also helped the region’s economy, supporting the retention of key skills and enhancing the career prospects of unemployed graduates.
Of the 90 emerging businesses that were supported in the three start-up incubations from March 2010 – March 2011, 47% were trading after 16-12 months. This is well above the initial target set for the programme and really illustrates the effectiveness of the support and training provided. Five owners were vat registered within 18 months.
The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) is the professional association for higher education (HE) careers practitioners and those involved in the provision of careers and employability education, information, advice and guidance to current or prospective HE students and graduates. Their awards scheme encourages and rewards best practice amongst HE careers practitioners by promoting high-quality, creative, innovative and collaborative projects and high professional standards across the full range of HE careers work.
For more information on BSEEN visit http://www.b-seen.biz/.