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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 programme is going ahead as usual and all activities 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 for spring 2021.



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 free 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 idea 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 and guidance
  • Full initial training – induction
  • A business network (It is very important to be part of a useful and productive group to avoid isolation)
  • Industry Mentoring (of your choice)
  • Workshops (short sessions to keep you moving forwards with your knowledge)
  • 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:

  • email

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


Please ensure that you have had a 1-1 appointment with a member of the be inspired project 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.

The application form is available here: biSU application form 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 email for an appointment.

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

Pre-Submission Event

Pre-Submission is a great opportunity to meet everyone in the process of applying for your intake, as well as some who went through the project in the previous couple of years.  It is the time to ask any questions you may have and learn the full details of the programme.  The full biSU team is on hand and will talk through each aspect of the programme and what we can expect of each other as well as what the funders expect.

This is typically a half day event and is a fun, interactive way for you to ensure this really is the programme/timing for you.


Video Submission to Expert Selection Panel & Outcome

The panel will be made up of a couple of biSU team experts, and one or two external assessors, who can provide you with initial advice and guidance and assess whether the biSU programme is the best solution for you.

You will be notified within a few days about whether the panel feel the programme is the most appropriate solution for you or whether we will be supporting you in other ways.  If you are selected for a place on the full biSU start up project you will be sent the participant contract to read and sign.  Once this is returned to the biSU team you will then join a cohort of new start-ups at the project induction events.  As part of the induction you will choose your industry mentor and on completion of some paperwork gain access to your 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 successful and sustainable doing what you love.


One year following your start on the project you will ‘graduate’.   This will be a day long event where you take part in an exhibition.  Towards the end of the day we will hold a Graduation Ceremony where you will be presented with your completion certificate. 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 years of 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

**N.B. All these dates are COMPULSORY to attend so check your diary and ensure you can be available before moving forwards with your application.**

Project ‘Pre-Submission’ Event 9:30am-1pm 21st May 2021
Written Application and Video Submission Midnight 28th May 2021
Notification of Application Outcome 5:00pm 4th June 2021
Deadline for your acceptance and return of contract Mid-day 8th June 2021
Induction Workshop 1 – Grants, Mentoring & Output Letters 9:30am-1pm 17th June 2021
Induction Workshop 2 – Meet biSU Alumni & Networking 9:30am-1pm 18th June 2021
Induction Workshop 3 – Marketing, Pricing, Branding 9:30am-1pm 15th July 2021
Induction Workshop 4 – Finance & Legal Entity 9:30am-1pm 16th July 2021
Deadline for collection of Output letters and Mentor Choice Forms 5:00pm 16th July 2021
**A full list of 2021-22 dates will be provided at the initial application chat.**

DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM HERE: biSU application form for be inspired project

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