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SPEED Plus - Be your own boss
Closing date for Keele Alumni only - 19th December
Have you got a business idea or a hobby that you’d like to turn into a business
venture but need help and support to get it going?
If the answer is yes, then apply now for our business start-up project
SPEED Plus and be your own boss!
What is SPEED Plus?
SPEED Plus is a 6 month, part-time business start up project which offers Keele students, graduates, alumni and staff, plus other graduates returning to the West Midlands region, the opportunity to develop their idea or hobby into a business.
SPEED Plus is a £4.2m project which is run at Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, Wolverhampton University, and here at Keele University. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project started in July 2012 and aims to create 600 new businesses in the West Midlands by 2015.
What does it offer?
If you are offered a place on the prestigious SPEED Plus project, you will receive:
- Practical business development workshops
- One-to-one business consultancy sessions with business experts and specialists
- The opportunity to bid for up to £1500 of grant funding (as its a grant you do not pay it back)
- The opportunity to have a business address on Keele Science & Business Park for up to one year
- Access to a hot-desk in the Nova Centre incubator on Keele Science & Business Park for 6 months
- Networking and additional business development and funding opportunities
- Access to a large network of support and assistance to guide you along the way
When does it start & finish?
Cohort 3: 29 January 2014 - 31 July 2014
How much time will I have to commit?
You will be required to attend a one day induction, a two-day weekend (off campus) residential plus 8 afternoon workshops, and 2 review meetings.
|Attendance Required||Cohort 3|
|Induction Day (all day)||Wed 29 Jan 2014|
|Weekend Residential||1/2 Feb 2014 OR 8/9 Feb 2014|
|Workshop 1: Market Research & Marketing||Wed 5 Feb 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 2: Branding & PR||Wed 12 Feb 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 3: Planning & Business Finance and Record Keeping||Wed 19 Feb 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 4: Developing a Business Plan||Wed 26 Feb 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 5: HMRC & Insurance||Wed 5 Mar 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 6: E-commerce||Wed 12 Mar 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 7: Legal Contracts||Wed 19 Mar 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 8: Sales, Presentations & Negotiation Skills||Wed 26 Mar 2014, 2pm-5pm|
|Workshop 9: Intellectual Property||Wed 2 Apr 2014, 2pm-5.30pm|
After your final workshop, you only need to attend for your review meetings.
What will be expected of me?
In addition to attending the above events, you will be required attend 2 review meetings, draft an Action Plan, submit 2 Progress Reports, and an End of Project Review. You will be issued with the deadline dates for these during your induction. You will also be required to complete and sign certain documents as directed by the SPEED Plus Project Team.
You are also required to register as self employed with HMRC during the Residential Weekend and be able to start trading before the end of the project.
Failure to attend all workshops, registering your business on time or providing the required documents may result in your funding being reduced or even you being withdrawn from the programme and any funding already spent being paid back.
Who can apply?
The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and so is only available to EU and EEA Citizens and those with Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK status
You must also live and be prepared to register your business within the West Midlands
You may apply if you comply with the above and are one of the following:
- an undergraduate of Keele University
- a postgraduate student
- a member of staff
- an alumnus of Keele University
- a graduate of another university who are living in the West Midlands
- someone with a connection to Keele University
Please note: We cannot accept applications from anyone who has already incorporated their company, registered with HMRC or is already trading.
How do I apply for SPEED Plus?
Download the Application Form, complete it, ensuring that you sign it (typed signatures are not suitable), then scan it (in colour) and email it back to us at email@example.com along with a copy of your passport photo page.
Alternatively you can print off a colour copy and post it to:
Even if you are applying as a group, you must all complete an individual Application Form.
Please ensure that you send a colour copy or colour scan of your application form and passport to us - don't forget to sign the application form!
SPEED Plus Application Form (Jan 2014).docx (MS Word 2010 version)
SPEED Plus Application Form (Jan 2014).pdf (Pdf document)
Is there a deadline for applications?
YES - we are accepting applications from Keele Alumni only until 19th December, with a panel date set for 10th January 2014. The deadline for undergraduate applications has already passed.
We reserve the right to re-advertise until all places are filled.
What happens next?
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to present your business idea to a panel of friendly experts. Times and venues will be arranged nearer the time. You should indicate any dates you cannot attend on your Application Form. You will be required to bring 2 passport photos with you, with your name clearly printed on the reverse. You may also wish to bring samples or visuals to show to the panel.
Those who are selected by the judges to participate in SPEED Plus will be notified in writing, confirming your start date, time and venue.
The panel for Alumni applications will take place on 10 January 2014 - please keep this date free!
How do I access the funding?
If you are successful, this will be discussed in detail during induction. The funding can only be used to pay for goods/services to help you start your business. You apply before you make any purchase, then, once approval has been given, you buy the goods yourself and after we receive your receipts we reimburse you - usually within 2 weeks of receiving your completed claim. No expenditure prior to being accepted onto SPEED Plus or without the approval of an Application for Funding Form will be reimbursed.
If you need any further information, please take a look at the official SPEED Plus website