Businesses starting out at Liverpool John Moores University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship will have financial support from the Bathgate Start-up Fund, beginning during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 (November 16 – 22).
There will be new opportunities to use these funds during degree sandwich years and even ‘Try it out' schemes, where students with a potentially viable business idea can apply for cash to enable them to test the idea and to explore its feasibility.
The Bathgate Start-up Fund is named in honour of the Bathgate Group of companies which has a varied business portfolio from silica sand and access flooring to transport, IT hosting and business finance. Running through its operation and in the spirit of their namesake is the entrepreneurial spirit of the founder and his continuing legacy of enterprise.
These funding opportunities would include small grants to test the marketplace, larger awards to support a new venture and targeted support for sandwich year students embarking on a self-employed placement. A wide range of self-employment opportunities will be supported including freelance opportunities, business start, partnerships, cooperatives, social enterprises and community interest companies.
Professor Nigel Weatherill, LJMU Vice Chancellor commented:
"As a University with employability, entrepreneurship and citizenship at the heart of the student experience, we are delighted to receive this support and investment into our students’ futures from the Bathgate Group. LJMU sits with great pride in the city and region of Liverpool; a true city of the world, and certainly a place where entrepreneurship can and does flourish."
Emma Robinson, LJMU Head Student Entrepreneurship said:
"The Bathgate Start-up Fund partnership and funding packages offer a significant opportunity to broaden the reach of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and to increase the number of Merseyside based start-ups emerging from LJMU. With mentoring to support business and social enterprise start up where appropriate, the number of student start-ups and students developing careers as freelancers will increase, with additional opportunities for all students to develop an “entrepreneurial mind set” no matter what their discipline.
"The employability of students remaining in the Merseyside region will be enhanced and the number of Liverpool based graduate start-ups with high growth potential will increase with measurable economic benefit for the City."
Rod Walker, former Pro-Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and Honorary Fellow has been involved with the group for some 50 years. He explains how the Directors of the company were seeking an opportunity to give something back and support a new generation of enterprising graduates in a tangible way.
"Bathgate is privileged, and delighted ,to be able to support Liverpool John Moores University in the important work of Entrepreneurship through the Startup Fund . The health and welfare of the community is best achieved by the provision of employment and this is vital for our future."
Universities are playing a key part in helping Liverpool become a leading entrepreneurial city by assisting the city’s increasingly important knowledge economy.
Tech City UK’s Tech Nation report showed Liverpool as having the second-fastest rate of growth in tech startups in the country and, over the last couple of years, there has been a real sense of a city and a cluster gathering momentum. A June 2015 report by Oxford Economics provided additional the evidence that the digital sector in Liverpool has shown significant growth in employment between 2010 and 2015, a trend that they predict will continue over the next five years.
Read about the story in the Liverpool Echo