Business in Birmingham

As the largest city outside of London, Birmingham boasts several enterprise zones all bustling with activity and has been voted the UK’s most entrepreneurial region by Start Up Britain.

If you want to make it in Business, Birmingham is a great place to make your move. 

  • The city for enterprise
  • At the heart of a £94 billion regional economy
  • A base for 75,000 businesses
  • Over 300 businesses, professional and financial services company headquarters are located in Birmingham
  • Large employers are moving their head offices from London to Birmingham to take advantage of the lower rents and the higher quality of life
  • A major international airport, just 10 minutes by train from the centre with 143 direct routes, including cities in Europe, North America and Asia.

Entrepreneurs study at Aston

At Aston University, we train business leaders, teach businesses how to grow and develop, and research entrepreneurial behaviour. Our location in Birmingham makes Aston a smart choice for entrepreneurs:

  • Awarded Outstanding Entrepreneurial University (Times Higher Education Awards, 2020)
  • Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe
  • There are more business start-ups in Birmingham than in any other UK city outside of London (Centre for Entrepreneurs (CfE), 2020)
The UK’s number one regional destination for start-ups

Birmingham is home to a thriving business and start-up community. Both on the Aston campus and in the wider Birmingham area, you’ll have access to a range of business and start-up support resources across the city, as well as opportunities to network and collaborate with other entrepreneurs.

Tech Wednesday

Tech Wednesday is a public monthly meet-up on the Aston campus. Each month there is a ‘Show ‘n Tell’: whether it’s a tech start-up demoing their pitch to the group for feedback and discussion, or start-ups wanting to talk about their journey so far or a particular business area. Tech Wednesday is a great opportunity for you to network, make friends and also receive ideas and inspiration to develop your business concept.

Birmingham Enterprise Community

Birmingham Enterprise Community (BEC) is an award-winning organisation that supports a global community of entrepreneurs and businesses through a range of programmes. BEC assist with the concept/idea phase, through to creating a start-up, as well as supporting high-growth scale-ups. BEC’s programmes help businesses of all sizes from all sectors, equipping entrepreneurs and companies with the knowledge, skills, resources and opportunities to grow and move forward.

The Growth Hub

The Growth Hub provides advice, guidance and funding for entrepreneurs and businesses across Birmingham. The advice is impartial, free and provided by expert business advisers. The Growth Hub work with specialist partner organisations in both the public and private sector. They also provide support in mentoring, networking, finance and business growth support. Aston works with The Growth Hub on a number of different projects and workshops each year. Our students have gone on to receive invaluable business support from them, including Aston graduate, Adil Delwar from Bangladesh, who took part in the BSEEN programme at Aston when setting up his business Palm Life, an organic and sustainable dinnerware brand.

Aston Enterprise programme

Aston Enterprise’s mission is to help curious students and graduates explore, experiment and launch new ideas. As an Aston student, you can take part and gain access to a range of entrepreneurial activities and resources. This includes training events, masterclasses with entrepreneurs, business model templates and advice. We’ll also give you advice on applying for a Start-Up visa after you graduate. You’ll have the opportunity to enter the Aston Enterprise Competition where you can pitch your business idea with the chance of winning the top prize.

Pitch Up

Pitch Up is an established pitching competition in the West Midlands. The competition provides students with the opportunity to win an investment and boost their business profile. Over the last 5 years, Pitch Up have put over 125 entrepreneurs directly in front of investors and helped bring over £3,000,000 of investments to the region’s small businesses. Investors previously involved with Pitch Up include: Ascension Ventures, Business Angels Association, Business Growth Fund, Blue Sky Corporate Finance, Ecrin Investments, Harper Dennis Hobbs, Innovate UK, Mercia Technologies, Midven, Minerva Business Angel Network, Santander, Seven Investment Management and The Syndicate Room.

Apollo programme

Apollo is a six-week part-time programme for new entrepreneurs to experiment with their ideas - each week you’ll cover a key theme such as identifying problems, exploring ideas, knowing your customers, choosing your business model, scaling up along with financing and pitching. With a mix of taught masterclasses, lessons from real[1]life guest entrepreneurs and practical group learning, Apollo will give you invaluable insight into what you need to take your idea into orbit. Guest entrepreneurs have included James Villarreal (CEO of Glide Utilities), Stuart Harrison (Founder of Remedy Roots), Bethan Bishop (Founder of Aliciyo), Omran Al Habbal (Founder of Gladington) and Alex Toft (Head of investment group Minerva).