Aston University partners with HSBC UK to support black and ethnic minority student entrepreneurs

Aston University partners with HSBC UK to support black and ethnic minority student entrepreneurs

March 14, 20223 min read

  • HSBC UK launched new student incubator programme in March 2022
  • Aston University is one of five universities in the country collaborating with HSBC on the pilot programme
  • The programme will support BAME students to bring their business ideas to life.

Aston University is partnering with HSBC UK on a new pilot student incubator programme to support black and ethnic minority students to start new businesses.

It is one of five universities in the country working in collaboration with HSBC UK to pilot a competitive enterprise programme that will target aspiring entrepreneurs from under-represented and low-income backgrounds to bring their business ideas to reality.

The programme will support students of black and minority ethnic backgrounds from Aston University, University of Bedfordshire, De Montfort University, University of East London and Kingston University to bring their commercial aspirations to life.

The programme is now live, with successful candidates from each university embarking in March on a 12-week bespoke course run by Start Up Discovery School. The programme will culminate with a finals day to be held in HSBC UK’s Birmingham head office in June.

The successful candidates will receive one to one HSBC UK mentoring from commercial banking relationship directors, alongside guidance from the Start Up Discovery School, access to HSBC UK customer webinars and some modest financial support to enable them to bring their commercial ambitions to fruition.

It is hoped that the pilot will provide a model for other banks and financial institutions to emulate in collaboration with universities as a way to nurture talent, encourage innovation, and offer support to aspiring entrepreneurs from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds across the UK.

Kemi Badenoch MP, Minister of State for Equalities, said:

"We’re pleased to see HSBC act on the Commission’s recommendation by launching their Student Incubator Programme to collaborate with a number of universities across the UK.

“The programme is designed to support aspiring entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds to bring their commercial ideas to life and help entrants to attain the business skills they need to aid their long-term success.

“We want programmes like this to encourage more people from ethnic minority backgrounds to flourish and to build the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking, HSBC UK said:

“We are delighted to support new aspiring entrepreneurs and look forward to seeing their creative ideas at the pitch day at our HSBC UK head office in Birmingham.

“We are committed to ensuring that access to finance is fair and open to all entrepreneurs and are delighted to be able to further enable these students to start their businesses and to nurture their entrepreneurial talent.”

Paula Whitehouse, associate dean for enterprise in the College of Business and Social Sciences at Aston University, said:

“Aston Business School is delighted to join HSBC in the development of this major initiative to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of black and ethnic minority students.

“The HSBC Student Incubator Programme will provide all-important national networking and expert support to help our leading student entrepreneurs with their new ventures.

“We were delighted to be invited by HSBC to help shape this exciting initiative which will support Aston University’s mission to promote inclusive growth in our region and give our innovative students a unique opportunity.”

Gosbert Chagula, co-founder of Start Up Discovery School, said:

“The early support that entrepreneurs receive, particularly in the early stages, really does have a disproportionate impact on their long-term success prospects.

“This impact is even more pronounced when concerning ethnic minority students who typically may not benefit from deep social and professional networks or early funding from family and friends.

“This programme is designed to both nurture and grow participants whilst ensuring they are connected to wide ecosystem of support from both across HSBC and beyond.”

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