Social enterprise and law firm partner to support diverse entrepreneurs

Law firm Shakespeare Martineau has partnered with the Birmingham Enterprise Community (BEC) to provide support to individuals from underrepresented communities who wish to start their own businesses.

Applicants can receive fully-funded support provided by BEC and then 12 will be selected to receive a place on BEC’s 6 week ‘Startup Sprint Programme’.

Participants will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to start their own business whilst building connections with others to enable their professional development through workshops, mentoring and industry events.

The scholarship programme aims to tackle the barriers and challenges diverse founders face.

Therefore the initiative will prioritise applications from backgrounds including (but not limited to) female founders, founders from ethnic minority backgrounds, refugee founders, founders from the LGBTQ+ community and founders with disabilities, but anyone is welcome to apply.

Jennie Davis a corporate associate at Shakespeare Martineau said: “At Shakespeare Martineau, our purpose is to unlock potential and we’re thrilled to be supporting a programme that will enhance productivity, innovation and diversity in the business community.

“If we want to speed up economic recovery it’s our responsibility as experienced business leaders to pay it forward with mentoring and support for start-up enterprises, not least those who potentially face additional barriers to getting a foot on the business ladder, which is already tough enough as it is”

During 2020 and 2021, a number of reports were released highlighting disparity when it comes to key elements of entrepreneurship amongst various demographics such as access to funding and access to networks.

Daniel Evans, the Chief Executive of the BEC said: “We’ve been working hard to create more opportunities to ensure everyone is given a seat around the entrepreneurial table. Anyone that has an idea should be given the opportunity to explore that further.”

Applications for the programme are open until 18th March and can be submitted by completing
the following application:

BEC Startup Sprint