Amazing entrepreneurship support up for national award

  • Date

    Mon 31 Jul 23

Multiple photos showing students working with Essex Startups

Helping students turn their business dreams into reality has led to Essex Startups at the University of Essex being shortlisted in the National Enterprise Educator Awards.

Essex Startups is one of just three finalists in the Entrepreneurship Catalyst category – which recognises individuals or teams from universities and further education colleges who are delivering an exceptional entrepreneurship education.

The awards are organised by Enterprise Educators UK and winners will be announced at the IEEC2023 Gala Dinner on 7 September 2023.

Head of Startup Support at Essex Andy Mew said: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the Entrepreneurship Catalyst award, recognising the team’s mission to deliver exceptional entrepreneurship education.

“Essex Startups strives to provide the best support to students and graduates with entrepreneurial ambitions, and this nomination validates the team’s hard work and commitment to offering a wealth of opportunities to the University’s community of business founders.”

How Essex Startups supports students

The Essex Startups team offers dedicated support to entrepreneurial-minded students and graduates with their start-up business ideas.

The team creates and delivers small to large scale workshops, mentoring programmes and funding opportunities to students and graduates at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.

The team’s mission is to guarantee every student across the University of Essex, regardless of background or area of academic study, can develop and fulfil their entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial potential.

Over the last four years alone, the team has provided 1,300+ one-to-one mentoring sessions, awarded over £300,000 in funding, and supported the development of 20 new start-ups each year.

Our entrepreneurship education programme is delivered via extra-curricular workshops and co-curricular seminars. The extra-curricular programme is categorised internally as either ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ track, allowing us to assess market needs and customise our content to ensure it aligns with participants’ entrepreneurial journey.

Highlights this year

  • The evolve Accelerator Programme which runs annually across nine months and supports 15 selected businesses at minimum viable product (MVP) or launch stage.
  • The development of co-curricular modules promoting entrepreneurial skills and approaches in Essex Business School, Edge Hotel School, Department of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, and Essex Law School.
  • Targeted programmes for under-represented groups within our start-up community. Empower for female founders, and BE:ME for black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs, incorporate interactive workshops with expert external speakers to inspire students and help broaden their professional networks.
  • The annual iTeams programme which provides students with the opportunity to work for an external organisation on a tangible, real-world business challenge.
  • The first Innovation Factory project for students participating in the University’s paid work experience scheme, Frontrunners. This involved small teams working on the planning and management of a marketing and communications strategy for three University-based start-ups at MVP stage.
  • The first Student Start-up Showcase, a celebratory evening for our founders to showcase their businesses and share their achievements with the wider University and local enterprises.
  • Leadership of the Inno4YUFE project supporting the development and delivery of entrepreneurial education to a European community of student entrepreneurs and innovators.