Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Breaking Free Group named as a West Midlands winner of the Great Faces of British Business competition

Breaking Free Group; a digital healthcare business based at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, has been named as a West Midlands winner of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) Great Faces of British Business competition.

The competition, which attracted over 500 entrants, is run in association with BT. The national winner will be decided by a 50/50 combination of judging and a public vote, which is open until 23rd February. The top prize is £30,000 worth of Government support.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “I’m delighted to see the Great Faces of British Business competition celebrating the small businesses up and down the country that form the bedrock of economic growth. Breaking Free Group is a brilliant example of a successful small firm run by enterprising and hardworking people. We are backing them all the way and, with the advice and support on offer, there has never been a better time to start and grow a business in the UK.”

Breaking Free Group has created the world’s first online healthcare intervention programme in prisons, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and NHS England. The product – Breaking Free Online – is an evidence-based addiction treatment enabling people to overcome alcohol and drug dependence. By tapping into the rapidly growing digital health market, the company aims to use its web-based treatment programme to complement existing healthcare services in the public sector, charity sector and beyond.

Clive Bawden, Commercial Director of Breaking Free Group said: “We are extremely pleased to be a finalist in BIS’ national competition for small businesses. Breaking Free Group was set up to deliver innovative and dynamic digital healthcare solutions, and this recognition testifies our principal focus of empowering people to address and overcome substance dependency and addition.

“At present, the Ministry of Justice and NHS England have specified the Breaking Free Online treatment programme for use in 10 UK prisons, but we are confident this number will rise as we continue to work with them to develop the service.”

To find out more about the regional winners, visit www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/competition. The national final consists of the regional winners from the competition’s three categories: best exporter, most innovative business, and best growth story.

The ‘grand prix’ winner, selected by a national judging panel, will be announced in March. The prize includes a bespoke creative advertising campaign worth £30,000, along with an iPad Air and unlimited BT Wi-Fi for 12 months, courtesy of BT Business. In addition, the winner will also receive a package of export support from UK Trade & Investment.

Breaking Free Group is one of 15 young companies receiving support from Innovation Birmingham’s e4f Inspire programme, which delivers a series of workshops, keynote events, entrepreneur dinners, off-site visits, funded internship/apprenticeship placements, and peer group sessions, in order to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial tech companies.

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