Bath Sparks: who we are & what we do

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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or freelancer? We want to see you succeed. Since 2015, Bath Sparks has been inspiring and supporting students and graduates with self-employed career aspirations.

Over one in 10 of our students are self-employed six months after they graduate. Bath Sparks offers you support in registering for tax, applying for funding, business mentoring and much more.

We also give you the opportunity to apply for funding grants in a series of challenges we schedule throughout the year. In 2015/16, we awarded over £12,000 in cash and support to students with business and freelance ideas. We have the same amount available for budding freelancers and entrepreneurs to apply for this year too. You can get involved by registering for free on our Wazoku platform – don’t miss out!

Students can find themselves in a range of roles, from directors of companies they’ve founded themselves to freelance artists, consultants and writers. While many students set up after graduating, some will get started alongside their studies. University is the perfect ‘bubble’ to take a few risks and try out your bright ideas. Imagine if one of them takes off and you find yourself doing what you love for a living?

Throughout the year, we run the Graduate Venture Fund – from which winners take a share of a £2,200 pot and three months’ mentoring support – as well as a series of challenges:

  • Create It – a rolling small grants fund for testing your ideas
  • Pitch It – our Dragon’s Den-style business plan event to win up to £1,000 in term one or two
  • Change It – an opportunity to pitch your ideas to make change and win three weeks in Kenya on an experience of a lifetime
  • Build a Better Bath Spa – a competition with a £100 cash prize and £1,000 funding grant for ideas to improve life on campus; and Do It, our end of year awards that reward four students with up to £500 each for already doing business

Statistically people who work for themselves are happier. However they often earn less than those in conventional employment. Self-employment relies on your drive to seize opportunities, give excellent service and stick at it through the tough times.

Email the team now at bathsparks@bathspa.ac.uk.

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