Two Aston University graduates on the BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Employability and Enterprise Network) programme have got to the final 50 in ‘The Pitch’, Britain’s biggest small business competition. They are in the ‘One to watch’ category. Ben Smith and Karolina Korol formed their social enterprise BKSK Consulting earlier this year.
BKSK Consulting is a social consultancy firm who work predominantly with young offenders and young people from low income, low attainment backgrounds, working under the ethos of providing business support for young people, by young people.
Ben Smith, Co-founder of BKSK Consulting said: “It is tremendously exciting to be on the shortlist and I am looking forward to taking part in The Pitch Live in Bristol next month. Karolina and I are passionate about reaching out to under 18s who have business dreams, but have not had the opportunity or courage to flourish. We both firmly believe that success should be determined by your passion not your past”.
He added: “Karolina and I are grateful to Aston University for all the support they have given us. Our involvement in the BSEEN programme, and support from UnLtd for BKSK Consulting has helped to develop our technical and professional skills, and given us the confidence boost to start a business.”
Founded in 2008, The Pitch is one of Britain’s longest running small business competitions. It awards business support worth thousands of pounds to the entrepreneur crowned champion at The Pitch Live, in Bristol on the 25 September, and everyone shortlisted could win funding from their new Investment Panel who have at least £275,000 to invest.
Shortlisted applicants have been given a personal profile page which they are able to share online in a bid to secure votes for The Pitch 2013 Social Media Award. The contestant with the most votes will be announced at The Pitch Live on 25 September. To view BKSK’s profile and vote for them follow: http://www.thepitchuk.com/bksk-consulting
BSEEN is a business start-up programme and a collaboration between Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It has an office at the Innovation Birmingham Campus. It offers students and graduates a great package of intensive start-up support including a variety of workshops, networking opportunities, tailored mentoring, a business grant and free work space.