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New startups in the West Midlands receiving much needed support


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The region’s future entrepreneurs are being encouraged to apply for a place on a programme to take their fledgling business to the next level.


Called E4F New Start (entrepreneurs of the future), the scheme aims to support young people leaving education, those not in education, training or employment, and people who have lost their job due to the pandemic. 


In January, the West Midlands was highlighted as a start-up hotspot, with Birmingham named as the UK’s regional start-up capital for the seventh year running – despite the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. Sandwell and Coventry were also ranked high on the annual survey conducted by the think-tank Centre for Entrepreneurs (CfE).


The programme, delivered virtually, will provide inclusive help, support and early direction for a diverse pool of talent from across the West Midlands.


There are 150 places available on the programme each year, split into three intakes of 50 entrepreneurs. After starting in May, it is now accepting applications for its second cohort from those who need help starting up a business that has an element of technology involved, such as e-commerce.


David Hardman, managing director, Bruntwood SciTech – Birmingham, said: “We have already seen some brilliant, innovative ideas coming through from the first cohort of the relaunched programme, showcasing the passion of the next generation of entrepreneurs in the West Midlands in starting their businesses and disrupting the tech sector.


 “We’re working very closely with those who have shaped their commercial proposition over the past few months to provide them with all the support they need to turn their ideas into reality”.


The first month of the programme will focus on supporting the entrepreneurs to shape and assess how commercial their proposition is before those with the most robust ideas are taken forward to refine and finesse their business plans.


First launched in 2010, the E4F programme has a proven track record as an incubator for start-up talent. It has supported 220 start-ups, with 60 per cent of companies still thriving two years on – well above the national average of 40 per cent.


Located in the heart of the city’s Knowledge Quarter, the Innovation Birmingham Campus is part of the Bruntwood SciTech network. It is set to be home to the 120,000 sq ft Enterprise Wharf – Birmingham’s first smart-enabled building.

To find out how to apply for E4F New Start, visit bruntwood.co.uk/scitech/business-support/programmes/e4f.


Written by: David Watkins

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