Celebrating innovation for SPEED Plus 2015

Members of staff and beneficiaries of the SPEED Plus project will be celebrating its success to date in a celebration event for 2015.

The SPEED Plus Celebrating Success Event will take place on Thursday, 18 June at Weston Park.

The black tie evening event will welcome university staff and key guests from the Enterprise sector and will feature a talk from West Midlands Business man and motivational speaker Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, also known as ‘The Black Farmer’.

The event will enable all in attendance to celebrate the journey and the success of the project to date.

SPEED Plus, which is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund is currently run across five universities including University of Wolverhampton, Coventry University, Birmingham City University, Staffordshire University and Keele University

The project aims to give current students and graduates the opportunity to develop a business idea in a supportive environment alongside their studies or after graduation.

Philip Law, Project Manager at the University of Wolverhampton, said: "SPEED Plus is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in setting up a business.

“As the University of Opportunity we positively encourage all our students and graduates to not only take up all opportunities that arise but also look to creating them too.  

“One of the great things about SPEED Plus is that it gives students and graduates a safe and supportive environment to start their business, this directly reflects in the figures produced by the project as a substantial number of the businesses supported continue to trade after the key first year anniversary.

“Through the assistance provided by SPEED Plus we can help them reach this echelon and this event is not just in recognition of all the beneficiaries achievements but also a testament to the longevity of the project and dedication of all the staff involved".

The University of Wolverhampton is the lead partner in the project, which is now in its third year and has assisted over 3,000 individuals which has led to in excess of 200 new businesses being registered and over 400 new jobs being created in the West Midlands region.  

SPEED Plus designed to be inclusive and care is taken to ensure that students and graduates have a viable proposition initially and the aptitude to develop it further.

Particular consideration is given to students and graduates for whom self-employment or business activities would appear a difficult choice.

Students receive guidance and access to a variety of internal and external resources to give them the best chance of generating an income from their business and additional support from experienced business mentors is also offered for each stage of their business development.

Head of Enterprise at the University of Wolverhampton, Sarah Taylor, said: “What started out as a simple idea over 9 years ago when a number of enterprising individuals from 13 universities put their heads together has become one of the most respected and well-known business start-up projects in the United Kingdom. 

“Through collaboration and co-operation, five universities within the West Midlands region have continued to assist their students and graduates to flourish and realise their potential.

“The continuing belief in the ability from the Department for Communities and Local Government of students and graduates to forge their own business path enabling them to enhance the local economy has proved life-changing for many of the nascent entrepreneurs that we are proud to have supported.”

Ends

For further information please contact Iyma Atiq in the Media Relations office on 01902 32 2448

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