PEEQUAL: The 2021 New Enterprise Competition winners- Growth Stage

PEEQUAL co-founders presenting at an event

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? 

We applied for 3 stages of the NEC and had been supported by the smaller grants given. We saw the impact the grants had on our development so we wanted to apply for the largest grant which we knew could be a catalyst for our business.  

 What did applying to the NEC do for your start-up? 

Winning the NEC meant we were able to invest in building a working prototype which we could test at festivals and events. This was huge as we were able to get feedback from users and customers, gain credibility and traction which helped us go onto raising investment for manufacturing. The exposure of the NEC award also made a big PR splash and we had 3-4 weeks of constant PR which drove customers to us from all over the world. 

What have you done since winning the NEC last year? PEEQUAL at a festival

We have built the working prototype, tested at 5 events over the 2021 summer and iterated the design as we went. We raised £250,000 of equity investment, have started manufacturing the product, employed 4 members of staff not including the founders and have customers lined up to rent to in our first year of trading. 

 What does the future look like for PEEQUAL? 

We intend to scale up internationally in 2023 as we have global demand for PEEQUAL. As well as this, we are thinking of adapting the design to be appropriate in more markets such as fixed sites e.g. shopping centres or to be helpful in the humanitarian relief sector e.g. refugee camps. 

If you want to take your start-up business to the next level, you too can win up to £20,000 of funding and pro-bon support by applying for the New Enterprise Competition – Growth Stage.  The competition is open to final year students and recent graduates. Applications are open now and close on Monday 30 May. 

 

What is the Foundership Scheme and why should you apply?

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.

2. Stop the imposter syndrome

The Foundership Scheme is best suitable for early-stage start-ups. You might just be starting to explore your idea, be developing a prototype, or need support finding a route to market. If you feel like you are not yet ready for this stage, stop doubting yourself and apply! The only thing we ask is that you have a plan of what you hope to gain and achieve over the four-weeks.

3. Improve your knowledge and skills

Every Wednesday we will have a knowledge workshop led by industry professionals. These will be a mixture of speaker-led and activity-based content to give you the ability to learn, ask questions and put into practice the taught topics to make them real and beneficial for your business. Topics will include creating a business model canvas, motivation and perseverance, creating a minimum viable product and pitching your business.

Season 6 Knowledge GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY

4. Grow your network

We know that running a business can be a lonely place, that is why we will run weekly connect and learn sessions. These peer-to-peer networking opportunities, will allow you to collaborate with other student entrepreneurs, share challenges and work together to resolve them. Build you support networks for the future, now!

5. Don’t just listen to us, listen to last year’s participants…

“We really enjoyed the vast array of resources and talks as well as being able to share our experiences with other like-minded individuals.”

“The Friday peer group was so helpful and supportive. I was surprised at how helpful it was, but also that I actually had something to contribute, as I was feeling like a real novice at the start of the programme.”

“We applied for Foundership because we thought it would be a good opportunity to meet other student founders, learn and to keep momentum going over summer. It was great for all of those and more!”

So there you have it, five reasons why you should apply for the Foundership Scheme. And if you are still unsure, just remember you’ve got nothing to lose but potentially a lot to gain! Applications close on Friday 20 May.

For more information or for any questions please get in touch with the Basecamp Team, we will be happy to help.

The SME Internship Scheme: what you can offer an SME

If you’re looking for a paid internship, sourcing your own can be a great way to find an opportunity in a sector that you’re really interested in.

The SME Internship Scheme provides funding for UK-based SMEs, including charities, social enterprises and start-ups to support full-time or part-time internships of at least 140 hours. (more…)

Last chance to apply for the Ideas stage of the New Enterprise Competition!

The Ideas stage for the New Enterprise Competition is open for applications for another week. For the opportunity to test out your idea by pitching to us and to win up to £200 in equity free funding, what have you got to lose? 

 

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.

Picture of Shabaj who founded the Success Program
Shabaj, founder of The Success Program

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Get funding for your ideas!

The Ideas stage of the New Enterprise Competition has now opened for 2021!

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.

Boost your start-up knowledge

The Ideas stage of the New Enterprise Competition runs alongside the Start-up Accelerator, which is designed to equip founders with start-up knowledge and the entrepreneurial skillset they need to take them to the next level.

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!

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Enhance your skillset

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The New Enterprise Competition round- up

The New Enterprise Competition (NEC) drew to a close last month at our online celebration event where Peequal were crowned the winners of the Growth stage winning £15,000 in funding.  

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…)

The Foundership scheme

New for Summer 2021! The Foundership scheme is open to students and recent graduates who want to explore their start-up ideas. Formerly the Enternship scheme, the Basecamp Enterprise team have revamped the programme for this year, giving student entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore their options over Summer break. 

The four-week scheme equips founders with £1,000 funding, ringfenced networking and workshop opportunities, and allows you to work from the comfort of your own home. 

Sound like something you may be interested in? Here is what you can get out of the scheme this Summer:

Goal setting-

On submitting an application, we will ask you to set out what you would like to achieve over the four weeks. This could vary between wanting to undertake some research on your target market to building a prototype. Setting out what you intend to do will mean you can hold yourself accountable, it will motivate you to strive to succeed and will help you break down your overarching goals into tangible, achievable chunks. Successful applicants will submit a weekly report to Basecamp outlining what they achieved each week.  (more…)

New Enterprise Competition- Development stage NOW OPEN!

The New Enterprise Competition is run by the Basecamp Enterprise team and awards funding for businesses, social enterprises and charities. It comprises of three stages over the year; the second stage-Development awards start-ups with up to £1,000 to go towards pushing your business to the next level.   

Historically, funding has gone to start-ups who are building a prototype, developing a website and investing in materials and much more.

This year may seem uncertain but certainly comes with lots of possibilities, so why not take that business idea you had over the first lockdown to the next level?!  

Want to find out more? Over the next few weeks we’ll be catching up with last years Development winners.

Precious Plastic Dunkerque

Could you sum up your start-up in a Tweet? 

Precious Plastic Dunkerque is a Social Enterprise being developed to support displaced people in Dunkerque. Using plastic waste collected from informal camps, we will produce new items; to be sold, to support those sleeping rough and to provide community workshops. (more…)

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It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week!

This week, 16 to 20 November marks Global Entrepreneurship Week. The campaign began in 2008 with an emphasis on inspiring young people to make their mark. It has quickly grown into a week which inspires entrepreneurs, students, researchers and more to collaborate and advance economic growth and innovation.

The Basecamp Enterprise team are getting involved by offering a jam-packed week of events where industry experts share top tips, networking opportunities and the launch of Natwest 10k challenge.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Although there are several events happening across the world this week which focus on business and entrepreneurship, the Basecamp Enterprise team run workshops, events and start-up support all year round to keep you feeling motivated and inspired.

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