Working in partnership with Foundervine, the WeNetwork (the university’s entrepreneurship hub) launched the Westminster Entrepreneurship Pioneers Programme in October 2020. A digital programme to help future business leaders develop their enterprise skills and build their professional networks, both during and after their studies.  

A core driving principle behind the Westminster Entrepreneurship Pioneers Programme is the WeNetwork’s longstanding mission to promote greater inclusion and diversity in business and industry. The Programme aims to achieve this by helping to build a diverse, experienced and highly skilled talent pipeline from the University of Westminster. 

The benefits of greater diversity stretch far beyond widening the opportunities of individual students. Business is desperately seeking to greater diversify their workforce and pipelines, and a core part of this is to promote new innovative SMEs led by dynamic young entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds. These new and varied leadership perspectives create a vibrant and creative industry from which all businesses, big and small can learn from, collaborate and co-create with. 

Open to all current students, are selected to take part in a nine-week series including the following: -  

  • expert-led skills’ workshops and masterclasses on creating new business ventures 
  • 1-2-1 mentoring and coaching 
  • Investor Office Hours – 1-2-1 feedback meetings with real investors
  • £250 bursary for taking part 
  • Demo and awards day where participants will pitch and present their ventures to an industry and investor audience. 

At the last year’s demo day, students pitched to a panel of judges for awards from a £5,000 funding pot gifted. The Demo Day was kindly sponsored by IT service management company Claranet Limited, founded by Westminster alumnus Charles Nasser.   

Architecture BA Honours student Andreea-Laura Petrescu won the first prize of £3,000 for her business, R3Dscan, which creates 3D virtual tours of built spaces and buildings targeting real estate agents, shops, museums, galleries and more.  

Raouf Amimer and his business Reverst, which adopts the Tinder-defined swipe to connect busy professionals with unique gifts and products and Francesca Siema and her business, Fave Sounds which is a women-led artist development company, helping female musicians to start their careers in a safe and business-minded environment were among other winners.

There are plans to scale up the delivery of the Programme in the coming year and beyond. 29MR will play a pivotal role in this, with its central focus on entrepreneurship and engagement with business communities, alongside its state-of-the-art facilities. 

Why not get in touch with us? 

There is a growing need for funding to increase the scope and effectiveness of the Programme. In particularly, we hope to increase the £250 bursary and prize amounts, to bring it more in line with today’s cost of living. Aside from funding, there are also plenty of opportunities for expertise-sharing with corporate entities in programmes of this kind. As in the examples of Charles Nasser’s sponsorship, alongside Santander’s sponsorship of the Big Idea Challenge, there are opportunities for individual involvement in event panels and bootcamp sessions, as well as, corporate engagement, via sponsoring for awards and one-to-one guidance of students at any stage in their enterprise journey. To discuss a broad range of opportunities, please contact: [email protected]