A Midlands based entrepreneur, supported by the innovative BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network) scheme led by Aston University, is successfully sharing in a £5m growth fund to boost her fledging business.
Eleanor Watson founder of Poikos Limited who went through the BSEEN programme in 2011, before progressing onto the Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) scheme based at Birmingham Science Park Aston, has now gone on to receive £100k in seed investment, and over £50k worth of business competition prizes.
A total of five companies in the West Midlands have been amongst the first businesses to benefit from the £5m Regional Growth Fund-backed cash pot. The funding has been awarded through Creative England's Business Investment Fund, designed to support companies which have innovative ideas for content development backed with commercial exploitation opportunities.
Eleanor faced strong competition to secure the funding. The programme launched last summer by Creative England attracted 109 applications prior to the submission of 23 projects to two independent panels for assessment.
Eleanor said without the initial help from the Birmingham BSEEN scheme she would have never been in this position. Eleanor said; "Being part of BSEEN has been fundamental to our success. The advice and support that we received from the programme team has been crucial to our longstanding success, through the friendship and support that we’ve enjoyed. I continue to enjoy the lasting relationships developed with my brilliant fellows in our cohort, and I will always be extremely grateful to BSEEN for providing me with the confidence and skills necessary to go and pursue my dreams.”
Poikos Limited, based at Birmingham Science Park Aston, aims to deliver custom-fit, custom-designed clothing at affordable prices by using innovative intelligent software that accurately records body measurements.
The BSEEN programme is an innovative scheme offering an attractive package of intensive start up support to for new ventures. The scheme financed by the West Midlands European Regional Development Fund, managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), is a collaborative initiative between Aston University, University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University.
Midlands Entrepreneurs can now apply to join the next BSEEN cohort. For further details visit www.b-seen.biz or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the BSEEN team on 0121 204 5202.