Entrepreneur funding

Students hoping to beat the recession by launching their own business are set to benefit from a £5.2m scheme at Wolverhampton University.


The Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in Education West Midlands (SPEED WM) programme gives students the opportunity to set up their own business while they are still at university.


Students from all subjects are encouraged to pitch their business ideas to a Dragon’s Den style panel, with 30 selected to go forward.


Participants get financial support worth up to £4,500, with the ability to spend £1,500 on necessities for their business which are approved by the programme managers, and £1,500 to spend on professional services bought on their behalf by SPEED WM.


The other £1,500 covers help and support in the form of 10 hours coaching from a qualified business mentor, plus business training and use of incubation space at Wolverhampton Science Park.


Funded by Advantage West Midlands, the European Regional Development Fund and Higher Education Innovation Fund 4, the scheme is open to all UK, European Union or European Economic area students on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the university.


SPEED WM is a three-year project worth £5.2m, run by the University’s Institute for Innovation & Enterprise (IIE). Wolverhampton University also manages the project regionally for the partner institutions, which are the universities of Birmingham, Birmingham City, Coventry, Keele, Staffordshire, Worcester and Aston.


The selection process for the next group of SPEED will begin in September 2009. For more information, visit www.wlv.ac.uk/speed