BSEEN wins prestigious enterprise award


21 September 2016

  • Aston's Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme wins the HE Team Enterprise award.
  • The honour recognises Aston for delivering exceptional enterprise and entrepreneurial education.

The Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme has won a prestigious award at the 2016 National Enterprise Educator Awards at the gala dinner for the IEEC conference in Liverpool Cathedral.

BSEEN, financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is a collaborative initiative between Aston University, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and Newman University. It is available to students from these universities and graduates within the last five years from any university living in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area.

The National Enterprise Educator Awards recognise excellence within enterprise and entrepreneurship education in UK higher and further education. The aim is to reward and celebrate those who have demonstrated an exceptional and inspirational commitment to supporting student and graduate entrepreneurship. The “HE Team Enterprise” award recognises a team of HE staff delivering exceptional enterprise and entrepreneurial education inside or outside the curriculum and is sponsored by the Higher Education Academy.

The BSEEN project team 2012 to 2015 comprised members from Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham working together to deliver a £1.5m project that was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  The project supported over 200 student and graduate businesses to start-up and 78 new jobs were created in the West Midlands region.

Carolyn Keenan, Project Manager for BSEEN said: “We are delighted to win this award that recognises the power of universities in Birmingham working together to encourage and support student and graduate entrepreneurs.”

The BSEEN programme has recently received a further three years of ERDF funding and has inducted its first cohort by leading them through an intensive 5 day boot camp of start-up training. The cohort’s businesses have a wide variety of specialisms and include an app for driveway sharing, a luxury jewellery designer and a social enterprise that inspires young people under special provision and youth offenders through independent film making.  Alongside the training the programme offers a small business grant, 12 months free office space, a business mentor and lots of networking opportunities.   

A further five cohorts will be joining the programme over the next three years with the next one taking place in April 2017. You can find out more about BSEEN by visiting the project website here.


Notes to the editor

  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce.

For more information, call Ben Kennedy, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 4592  or email b.p.kennedy@aston.ac.uk