SPEED Plus - Be your own boss

 speed plus logo

FOR 2015-16!


Have you got a business idea or a hobby that you’d like to turn into a business?

Have you got an idea that will help your local community?

Would you like to create your own job and work for yourself?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then apply now for SPEED Plus, our business start-up project
and we will help you fulfil your dreams!

 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 real business. 

What does it offer?

If you are offered a place on SPEED Plus at Keele, you may receive:

  • Up to 10 business development workshops, covering the essentials of starting and running your own business (see timetable below)
  • Up to 10 hours of one-to-one business consultancy sessions 
  • The opportunity to have a business address on Keele Science & Business Park for 1 year
  • The opportunity to have access to a hot-desk in the Nova Centre incubator on Keele Science & Business Park for 6 months
  • Networking and signposting to 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?

There will be an Induction Day on Wednesday 30 September 2015, where you will introduced to the course in more detail. Then the workshops will start the following week on Wednesday 7 October 2015. These will run every Wednesday until Wednesday 16 December 2015. You will officially complete the SPEED Plus programme on 31 March 2016

How much time will I have to commit?

You will be required to attend the Induction day, each of the 11 workshops, and 2 review meetings.  There may be the opportunity to attend a weekend residential (off-campus), however this is not yet confirmed.

Attendance Required

Cohort 5

Induction  Wed 30 Sept 2015, 9am-5.15pm
Workshop 1: Branding, PR, Logos and Straplines Wed 07 Oct 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 2: Company Formation & Registering your Business Wed 14 Oct 2015, 9.30am-4pm
Workshop 3: Market Research & Marketing Wed 21 Oct 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 4: Planning, Business Finance & Record Keeping Wed 28 Oct 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 5: Developing a Business Plan Wed 04 Nov 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 6: Legal Contracts Wed 11 Nov 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 7: E-commerce Wed 18 Nov 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 8: Cloud Services for your Business Wed 25 Nov 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 9: Social Media for your Business Wed 02 Dec 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 10: Sources of Funding  Wed 09 Dec 2015, 2pm-5pm
Workshop 11: Business Insurance & Networking Wed 16 Dec 2015, 2pm-5pm


What will be expected of me?

In addition to attending the above events, you will be required to draft an Action Plan, a Business 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 SPEED Plus programme documents as directed by the SPEED Plus Project Team.

You are required to register as self employed with HMRC or Incorporate with Companies House during the workshop on 14 October and provide either your UTR letter or certificate once you receive them (approx. 6 weeks from registering).  

Failure to attend all workshops, registering your business on time or providing the required documents may result in your funding (if available) being reduced or you being withdrawn from the programme and any funding already spent being paid back.

Who can apply?

The programme is only available to EU and EEA Citizens and those with Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK status. 

 You may apply if you are one of the following:

  • an undergraduate of Keele University
  • a graduate of Keele University
  • a postgraduate student
  • a member of staff
  • an alumnus of Keele University
  • a graduate of another university who is living in the West Midlands
  • someone with a connection to Keele University (so please tell your friends and family members that they may be eligible to apply)

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?

You need to download the application form (select either Pdf or Word version below), complete ALL sections, sign the last page and email it along with your passport photo page to speedplus@keele.ac.uk before 5pm on Monday 25 May 2015.  

If you are shortlisted, you will be notified by email by Wednesday 27 May 2015.  

It is not always possible for us to give every applicant an individual response, so if you do not hear by Friday 29 May, then please assume that on this occasion you have not been successful.   


Is there a deadline for applications?


What happens next?

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to present your business idea to a panel of friendly judges. The panels will take place on campus on 3rd, 5th and 9th June. Your timeslot will be allocated to you, so please ensure you a free all day. You should indicate your preferred date(s) 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 the details for the Induction day.

How do I access the funding?

If you are successful, this will be discussed in detail during induction.  There is no guarantee of funding, however, if funding is offered, it 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 email the team at speedplus@keele.ac.uk