Enterprise support

Access £1,250 with the SPARK Award programme

Monday, 11 November 2019

spark award

The new SPARK Award programme launched this semester at Oxford Brookes University gives students, graduates and staff the chance to gain funding of £1,250 to trial an idea or invest in a new start-up business.

It’s also an incredible, six-week introduction to the world of business, designed to bust through the myths and the jargon, and help individuals develop new skills that expand their potential, through personal mentoring and inspirational sessions.


The SPARK Award programme is sponsored by Santander Universities and runs throughout October and November in Semester 1. Six  inspirational sessions are delivered by specialist mentors from the wider business community, on a variety of subjects designed to help participants understand more about start-ups and their personal journey towards entrepreneurship. It’s also the perfect breeding ground for birthing and trialling new ideas in a low-risk, high support environment.


In order to be eligible for a SPARK Award, individuals should attend all six sessions throughout the programme. This will help participants hone their ideas and develop the skills and knowledge needed to pitch successfully for an award*.


The sessions include: 


Session 1: Lean Start-up Method and Mindset - Your Why, How and What?

Session 2: Understanding Customers - Creating Products and Solutions that Sell. 

Session 3: Money 101: What Will it Really Cost to Start-up?

Session 4: Intellectual property: Protect your Idea and Boost your Business Growth.

Session 5: Branding - Design your Business Model, & Align your Goals for Success. 

Session 6: Pitch Perfect: Learn How to Deliver an Impactful Pitch.


The SPARK Award programme is offered by Brookes Enterprise Support Team and Manager Lydiah Igweh, is passionate about empowering individuals. “This is an amazing opportunity for staff, students and recent graduates to explore their ideas and learn how to make them happen. There is inspiration, support and funding at every step of the way – so why not step up and step out of your comfort zone! You’ll have all the best advice, mentoring and support to help you run a successful project and get your venture off to a great start.”


In addition to attending all six sessions of the SPARK Award programme, interested participants will need to submit an application form to secure a place the pitching event Pitch @ the Pub, Tuesday, 26 November, for the chance to access funding. All of the SPARK Award events are designed to help individuals develop their personal capabilities within a positive and playful environment. 


If you missed the chance to attend the Spark sessions, or apply for funding in Semester 1, you have the opportunity to do both next semester. 


The Spark Programme in Semester 2 will run from January till March 2020, register your interest here and find details of each session on our Eventbrite coming soon! 


*Those who have missed the initial sessions, will only be eligible to take part in the SPARK Award pitch event  if they catch up by booking a 1:1 with the Brookes Enterprise Support team and submit their application form that will explain their business idea.