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.
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?
Registrations for the Belfast Enterprise Academy 2017 are now open.
Closing date for all applications has been extended until Monday 16 October 2017.
BEA programme schedule 2017/2018
Please note that dates and events are subject to change. You can download a copy of this programme schedule in our documents section.
|Monday 16 October 2017
||Closing date for BEA programme applications
|Wednesday 11 October 2017
||Programme shortlisting and allocation of places
|Wednesday 18 October 2017 (1.30pm - 2.30pm)
|Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October 2017
||Two-day residential training/outdoor activities
|Wednesday 25 October 2017
||Workshop one: Let's look at the market
|Tuesday 7 - Wednesday 8 November 2017
||One-to-one mentoring (individual appointments)
|Wednesday 15 November 2017
||Best practice visits
|Thursday 16 November 2017
||Global Entrepreneurship Week: ESpark, awareness event
|Wednesday 22 November 2017
||Workshop two: Let's count money
|Tuesday 28 – Wednesday 29 November 2017
|Wednesday 6 December 2017
||Workshop three: Let's make it legal
|Wednesday 13 December 2017
||Business planning workshop and group work
|Wednesday 10 January 2018
||Best practice visits
|Wednesday 17 January 2018
||Workshop four: Let’s brand it
|Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 January 2018
|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
|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
Successful applicants must be available to attend the commitment session at Queen's Students' Union on Wednesday 18 October 2017 from 1.30pm - 2.30pm.