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Belfast Enterprise Academy

About the programme

Belfast Enterprise Academy (BEA) is an award-winning, one year, programme open to all Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) students working towards degree level or higher, and who are living in the Belfast city council boundary area.

BEA is a programme for students who are serious about running their own business and more than 100 student led start-ups have emerged from the BEA programme over the last eight years.

Why not launch your business idea this autumn?

  • Join a community of student-led start ups

You'll join a cohort of 30 student entrepreneurs with similar ambitions. You'll also join our online community of over 150 BEA alumni.

  • Get behind the scenes in Belfast's best businesses

You will get the opportunity to see real businesses in action and meet the people who run them. BEA sessions happen all over the city. Previous venues have included City Hall, Ulster Bank boardroom, FabLab, Innovation Factory, Titanic Quarter developments and the Northern Ireland Science Park.

  • Get access to support to help start your business

We will provide workshops and one-to-one mentoring to make sure you get the support you need. This will be a mix of business support and specialist mentoring that is tailored to meet your individual requirements This may include meeting a financial adviser, a social media expert or maybe you require assistance in developing a strong brand, or need to spend time with a business owner, in your industry, to gain a better insight into how the world of owning and managing your business actually works.

  • Build a strong business network

Throughout the BEA programme you will have opportunities to access a range of business experts and business support organisations that will provide you with varying advice and support. At the end of the programme you will be able to present your business idea to a panel of industry experts. The panel will provide you with feedback, and next steps information, so that you have the opportunity to make your business idea a reality.

The programme will begin with a two-day residential, staying overnight at an activity centre. There are also six workshops, four business visits, a business lunch, a support clinic and mentoring. BEA participants can also attend optional Catalyst Connect workshops.

  • Qualifications

Students completing the programme can apply for an OCN Level 3 Award in Business Development. Students get a certificate from Belfast Enterprise academy and can also use it to qualify for The Edge Award (Ulster University), Degree Plus (Queen's University Belfast) and Certificate in Processing Creativity (Belfast MET).

How do I apply?

BEA programme schedule 2018

Registrations are closed for the BEA programme.

Please note that dates and events are subject to change. You can download a copy of this programme schedule in our documents section.

Wednesday 10 January 2018 Best practice visits
Wednesday 17 January 2018 Workshop four: Let’s brand it
Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 January 2018 One-to-one mentoring
Wednesday 31 January 2018 Meet the experts lunch
Wednesday 7 February 2018 Workshop five: Let's go digital
Tuesday 20 – Wednesday 21 February 2018 One-to-one mentoring / business library visit 
Wednesday 28 February 2017 Invest NI business planning workshop
Wednesday 7 March 2017 Support clinic
Tuesday 13 – Wednesday 14 March 2018 Business planning / portfolio mentoring support
Wednesday 21 March 2018 One-to-one mentoring and mock presentations
End of March Business Plans and Portfolios due to be completed 
Wednesday 11 April 2018 Presentation to panel of business plans
Wednesday 25 April 2018

Celebration event

Belfast Enterprise Academy

Programme dates
13 Sep 2017 - 15 Jun 2018

Application period
13 Sep 2017 - 16 Oct 2017



For further details please contact or on 028 9027 0482.