Back in March 2019, HM Treasury and Alison Rose published the ‘Rose Review’. The goal of the Rose Review was to tap the huge unrealised economic potential of women entrepreneurs by making the UK one of the best countries in the world for women to start and grow a new business.
The New Enterprise Competition’s (NEC) award-winning Growth Support Programme (GSP) is open for applications.
The NEC is a year-long programme that offers you the chance to build your dream business, taking it from an idea scrawled onto a pub napkin, all the way up to a sustainable, successful, and profitable business.
What does it all mean?
After the initial Ideas and subsequent Development Stage, the final Growth Stage begins. It’s the highest point of the competition, where you will be competing for up to £20,000 in funding for your business.
RouteZero was founded by Computer Science graduate Albie-Baker Smith and his co-founder Dan Brown with a mission of stopping catastrophic climate change through their platform which helps individuals and organisations switch out high-emission travel for greener journeys.
“The UK has just experienced its hottest temperatures on record, and winning the competition provides us with the opportunity to attack one of the UK’s highest emission sources: travel. We’d like to say a massive thank you to the New Enterprise Competition and the University of Bristol for catalysing RouteZero’s potential. The investment allows us to accelerate our work with customers and deliver them journeys that are Green, Anywhere, Anyway.”
It has almost been an entire year since Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane, the co-founders of PEEQUAL, won the New Enterprise Competition (NEC) – Growth Stage. We were keen to catch-up with them, to hear all about their success since winning £15,000 in last year’s NEC competition.
Can you summarise what PEEQUAL is?
PEEQUAL is the UK’s first free-standing women’s urinal, making it quick, safe, and sustainable for women to pee at events.
Why did you choose to apply for the NEC last year?
Our summer enterprise programme, The Foundership Scheme is back for a second year, running from 8 June to 6 July.
Maybe you have been tempted to apply but are unsure whether it is suitable for you, or you are not sure if your start-up is ready for this next step? Here are all the things you need to know to work out if the scheme is right for you.
1. It’s funded!
You no longer need to choose between having a summer job or working on your start-up. We will fund £1000 each, for up to two co-founders, to successfully complete the scheme. You can use the money to put towards anything that will support your business idea.
We caught up with Shabaj, who created the Success Program, a sports journaling app, which was awarded funding from the Ideas stage of the Competition last year.
In a nutshell, what is your start-up idea and where did the idea come from?
I’m working on a sports journaling app that allows individuals to track their weightlifting performance and provides customers with a quantitative measure of how their training programme is impacting their performance. Having our customers reflect on what they achieved on their last workout allows them to compete against themselves from one workout to the next.
The aim of the game is progression, but how can you know if you are progressing if you aren’t tracking your results?
I’m not the strongest person in the gym, by far. Often, if I push myself more than I am physically capable of and I get an injury. I got tired of repeating the same mistake and started to record my workouts in a notebook. However, I got fed up with flicking through the pages to find what weights, reps and sets I should do. I also lost more pens in the gym than most students do in three years at university. So I decided to build an app to think and carry less in the gym.
Have you always been interested in entrepreneurship? What inspired you to get into it?
I let my curiosity direct where I put my attention- which has its own set of pros and cons! My journey into entrepreneurship is more self-centred than most. From the projects I worked on, I always had a personal connection with problem I was trying to solve. Since I couldn’t find a product or service that met my needs, I would find out how I can create my own solution. If I have that problem, someone else might too.
With £200 up for grabs which can go towards supporting you and developing your start-up, what’s to loose? In case you need any more convincing as to why you should submit an application, here are our top three reasons why you should apply.
The accelerator comprises of ten workshops which include everything you need to know when starting up, including understanding your customer and pitching your idea. On completing the programme, you’ll also receive an endorsement badge and you’ll have constant opportunities to enhance your network. Apply to take part in the accelerator today as attending these workshops will help you feel ready for you pitch for the competition!
The UK’s first women’s urinal showcased their first prototype at Bristol Comedy Gardens at the beginning of the month and following the news of their win, have been making headlines across the UK, gaining 60 million views of their business since winning the competition:
Co-founder Hazel McShane said: ‘’Winning the competition has given us the opportunity to follow our dream for pee-equality. I want to give a massive shout out to the New Enterprise Competition and Basecamp team who have shown us support and encouragement from day one. The funding and recognition has lit the fire beneath PEEQUAL and we are now so excited to get our PEEQUAL urinals out there to free the pee.”(more…)