Boost your business with student and graduate support

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Boost your business with student and graduate support

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The Business Support Service from:

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Want to gain free support from experienced academics and forward-thinking students? Birmingham City University enables its students to work on hands-on projects for a range of businesses, leading to long-term growth and graduate recruitment. 

Birmingham City University prides itself on the collaborations it forges with local and national companies. Its academics can provide your business with real-world experience of managing international businesses and boast impressive links to a host of renowned organisations. This is passed on to their students, who are encouraged to embark on placements, projects and part-time employment with businesses across the West Midlands. This provides valuable experience for the students, while also delivering crucial support to business owners looking to grow their company. This ensures that once these students graduate, they are ready to make an instant enhancement to any organisation.


Improving the potential of your business

Recently, Birmingham City University students worked with three local SMEs that were in need of growth support. Overseen by Susan Susay, a Senior Lecturer who has established several successful enterprises during her career, the students worked on projects for the following:

Venitin Foods, a sole trader specialising in vegan dishes. Its owner was looking to build their venture’s reputation and increase sales;

Open Lens Media, a social enterprise supporting young people not in education or employment, which was looking to increase its value proposition to stakeholders and service users;

Sash Vitality, an online health supplement company that, after three years of highly successful sales, found business had begun to plateau.

How did Birmingham City University students help these businesses grow?

Students worked with the clients to devise creative concepts that truly addressed their needs, while also utilising the knowledge and experience of Susan and other Business School academics. They also conducted extensive research to understand and overcome the challenges the three SMEs were facing. One issue they discovered was the lack of key marketing fundamentals being utilised, particularly social media marketing.

For example, one of the SMEs relied solely on word-of-mouth to generate business, alongside a sporadically-updated Facebook page. The students updated the business’ Facebook presence, created an Instagram account and provided the business owner with a crash course on how to use social media to achieve growth. Since then, the business has successfully implemented the students’ recommendations and is making better use of social media to support their business.

Sash Vitality, meanwhile, had previously hired a company to help them generate more business, but £30,000 and six months later, sales remained the same. That’s when their CEO got in touch with Birmingham City University. From that, the students assessed that there was a need for a more targeted approach to marketing, as well as an official website and improved graphic design.

Long-term guidance and support for you and your business

Not only can Birmingham City University help solve challenges your business is facing, they can also provide long-term support. Furthermore, the students involved can continue to work for you via a work placement, or part-time or full-time employment. Sash Vitality, for example, were so impressed with the services provided by the students that they have recruited them in full-time positions. This provides multiple benefits to the business – these students are already familiar with the company’s target market and brand, are able to continue providing that key support and can help the business with other, more long-term goals. It also saves the business valuable time and effort when it comes to graduate recruitment.

Businesses can also continue to gain vital advice and support from Birmingham City University, whether it be from our students and graduates or from our academics.


Interested in gaining tailored university support to solve your business challenge? Go to www.bcuadvantage.co.uk/contact and select ‘Other’ under ‘Business Growth Products and Services’. 

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