Award is sweet music for Keele student Jess

Jess Bell

Posted on 17 May 2010 An enterprising Keele University student has been awarded £2,000 to help provide opportunities for young people in the music industry.

Music and Music Technology student Jess Bell received the Higher Education Social Entrepreneurship Award after developing OCE Music, which aims to provide various opportunities for 16-25 year olds in the music events industry in Stoke-on-Trent and in her home city of Oxford.

OCE Music aims to help combat the lack of experience that young people can gain within the music events industry through teaching them about the technicalities of sound engineering, lighting effects and stage work.

The £2,000 award, which comes from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and UnLtd, a charitable organisation that promotes social entrepreneurship, will allow Jess to develop OCE Music and will support her plans for a summer music event.

Jess said: “The Social Entrepreneurship award is great news for OCE Music. Not only will the money allow the summer project to go ahead, but it will help considerably in providing opportunities to the young people that the business aims to help.”

Jess has also received £4,000 through the SPEED WM (Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in Education West Midlands) business training programme that she attends at Keele University.

SPEED WM and EFS (Enterprise Fellowship Scheme) are funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provide support to students, recent graduates and staff at Keele University who want to start a new business. Those interested can email: or, or call: 01782 733441 or 01782 734491.