Students have chance to study and become an entrepreneur via the BEA
Students who want to set up businesses while studying are being assisted once again by the Belfast Enterprise Academy (BEA).
Belfast City Council funds the popular pre-enterprise support programme to help third-level education students living in the city who want to become entrepreneurs. They receive guidance on developing a business plan, one-to-one mentoring and get to meet and gain advice from existing innovative businesses.
Running for the past 6 years, more than 40 student-led start-up enterprises have emerged from the BEA. Students on the programme can apply to complete the OCN Level 3 award in Business Development. They can also use the award towards The Edge award, run through the Ulster University and Degree Plus, run through Queen’s University.
Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said: “The Belfast Enterprise Academy is a stimulating and exciting programme that encourages students to consider self-employment and develop business ideas. The programme also emphasises the importance of entrepreneurship as a driver for our local economy.
“We believe that by developing these talented young people, we will form a strong base for the future entrepreneurs of our city and economy.”
There were 24 young people who took part in the BEA last year – among them Andrew Boyd, Vicky Potts, Adam Whiteside and Alex Caskey, students from Queen’s University who went on to set up a tech start-up business called Ivea Labs.
Developing a tech product to change the way tourists interact with exhibition, their ‘Visit’ product idea also won the Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition this year securing a prize fund of €10,000.
“What a year it has been for us – we have learned so much from the BEA,” Andrew said.
“From the excellent mentoring element of the programme to being put in contact with the right people – visiting T13, the Northern Ireland Science Park and the Game of Thrones exhibition and building an app for the tourism industry, it’s being a wonderful experience.
“The Belfast Enterprise Academy was definitely the best thing ever – it made our business idea real and gave us so many opportunities to make the business feasible.”
Students can apply for the programme online at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/bea. The deadline for applications is 4pm, Wednesday 14 October. For more information, contact Belfast City Council on or email .