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be inspired at Staffordshire University (biSU)

Welcome All…

freedom seekers, go-getters, curious explorers, social innovators, local pioneers, freelancers, commissioners & contractors.

The 2020 intake is going ahead as usual and all events listed below will be held online for the foreseeable future.  You will not need any special equipment or software for this.

We look forward to your application.



Ever had a lightbulb moment for a new idea? It can happen anywhere, any time – while you’re at Uni, work, out for a run or in the shower. Taking your idea and turning it into something tangible can be an exciting prospect. There are probably lots of questions flying around in your head: Is my idea good enough? Will I be able to do it in my free time? Do I eventually want to work for myself? Has someone done it before etc. etc.?

To help you answer these questions and get started on the road to self-employment, we have created the ‘be inspired at Staffordshire University’ (biSU) Start Up programme.

This is a resource designed to pool our experience in advising business start-up’s and our knowledge of growing small businesses to help set up your business and get it off to a flying start, avoiding the most common mistakes that most start-ups make.


Through a year long programme of support, we provide:

  • Ongoing Expert advice
  • Full initial training
  • A Business Network
  • Industry Mentoring
  • Workshops
  • Grants (reimbursement)

To help you to:

  • Find out if your idea is unique
  • Do some market research
  • Think about what type of business you wish to start
  • Put together a business plan
  • Become a successful, trading business


…we make sure you never feel like you’re on your own!

The thought of starting a business on your own can be daunting. Never be afraid to ask for guidance along the way.

Initial Chat

To make an appointment:

  • Go to the University’s My Career App and book a ‘Self-employment / Freelance Advice’ Appointment or,
  • Give the office a call on 01785 353809 or,
  • email

This is an informal chat about your idea and all the options you have to move forwards.


The application form is available here: biSU Application Form_v4 or you can request a copy via email ( ).  It will not take long to complete but we are here to support you if you have any questions or would like someone to sit with you whilst you fill it in – in which case call 01785 353809 for an appointment.

Please ensure that you have had a 1-1 appointment with a member of the be inspired scheme before completing an application form. This way we can answer any questions you may have about the programme or anything else you would like to know before applying.

If you require any sort of careers advice which may include interview preparation, CV writing, career planning or work experience, please follow this link to book an appointment with one of Staffordshire University’s dedicated Careers Team.

Expert Selection Panel

The panel will be made up of a few experts who can provide you with initial advice and guidance and to assess whether the biSU programme is the best solution for you. At your panel meeting you will have the opportunity to discuss your idea fully and chat about what you have done up to that point.

Within a week the biSU team will inform you if you have secured a place on the full biSU programme and provide you with the panels feedback.

Start your Venture

If you are selected for a place on the full biSU start up scheme you will be contacted with all the activity dates and times and the beneficiary contract.  Once this is signed and returned you will then join a cohort of new start-ups at the two day Business Start Up induction.  Following the induction you will choose your industry mentor and gain access to your Business Start Up Grant.

The biSU team will see you regularly and you will join a business network and attend monthly, evening business talks which, along with your industry mentor, will keep you on track to becoming a successful business owner.


One year following your start on the project you will ‘graduate’.   You will be provided with a certificate at your cohorts graduation ceremony followed by the after party. This is a great celebration day for everyone on your cohort and the biSU staff ;0)

Post-Project Support

Even though you have graduated from the programme, you can continue to receive advice, guidance, funding links and networking support from us for as long as you need us…even if its just for a catch up chat :0)


Our knowledge and experience of helping to grow small businesses makes us well placed to advise start-ups. We offer an independent and objective assessment of your business proposal to ensure you have the best chance of success.

  • We help you to build a strong customer proposition, which creates natural differentiation from your competitors and makes it easier for you to attract new customers.
  • You have access to our key resources and guidance on how to make the most of them, helping you to save time and money with your business set up.

Our continuous analysis of the small business sector means that we are alert to changes and developments in different market sectors and we advise you of any suitable opportunities which we come across.

What do previous programme participants think?

See the latest beneficiary VIDEO


Application Deadline  Midnight 14th June 2020
Notification of Interview 10th June 2020 (A date will be provided based on full attendance and qualification at pre-panel)
1 Day Project Induction ‘Pre-Panel’ (MUST ATTEND) 9am-5pm 19th June 2020
Interviews (MUST ATTEND) 20 minute slot 22nd – 26th June 2020
Notification of Outcome 29th June 2020
Being In Business‘ Workshops (MUST ATTEND)  2 full Days (9am-5pm) 10th & 24th July 2020
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