UWE launches new space for start-up businesses

Issue date: 23 February 2009

An entrepreneur in his office space The University of the West of England is launching a new 65 space business incubator called UWE Ventures in Bush House, on Bristol's Harbourside.

The new space will be fully equipped, with access to meeting space and mentoring from business experts, to help individuals and young businesses develop their ideas. It builds on UWE's successful business incubators in the Watershed across the Floating Harbour. Bush House is already well-known as a creative hub, home to both UWE's Illustration students and the Arnolfini gallery.

Journalists and budding entrepreneurs are welcome to attend the Open Day on Thursday 26 February when they can drop in any time between 10 am and 4 pm to see the facilities on offer. Guided tours are taking place at 10.30, 12.00, 1.30 and 3pm.

UWE's Director of Research, Business and Innovation Stephen Hagen said, “We are delighted to offer a new city centre space for young and start-up businesses as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering enterprise in the Bristol region.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to come and hear about enterprise activities across the University, tour the facility, meet our budding entrepreneurs and hear of their success.”
One success story from the new incubator is Carolyn Newton and her business Whalebags. These strong, re-usable, washable shopping bags are made from cotton calico fabric, and unlike other bags for life, are made with no plastic at all.

She said, “The incubator office space in Bristol will really help me going forward. I get my own desk alongside other start-up businesses and business advisors come in every day to help us. It's nice having other entrepreneurs nearby as we can all feed off each other and share ideas and experiences. Plastic bags are having a devastating effect on marine wildlife and this is a cause I am passionate about, donating 5% of profits to marine conservation projects.”

Another new entrepreneur who will be at the Open Day to inspire others is Gemma Boyce, whose business Foliomatch won the marketing prize in UWE's 2007 theBizIdea competition. She has teamed up with web design placement student Kieron Gurner to launch a new website for creative arts and media students, allowing them to showcase their work, and linking them with industries looking for new talent.

Gemma said, “There seemed to be a gap in the market to develop a web based platform for young creatives and a resource that businesses could search when they were looking for recent graduates to join their organisations.”

To attend or for more information on the event e-mail enterprise@uwe.ac.uk


Editor's notes

For more information on UWE's incubators visit the incubator website

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