Birmingham shortlisted for EUROCITIES ‘smart jobs’ award

Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) start-up support programme was shortlisted for a EUROCITIES award at a ceremony which took place in Ghent, Belgium on 27 November 2013. Birmingham was shortlisted in the ‘smart jobs’ category alongside Brighton’s Employability Advice and Careers Hut and Vienna’s ‘SMART’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme.

Birmingham’s e4f initiative, which is run by Innovation Birmingham supports local tech entrepreneurs in developing and growing their start-up businesses. E4f is unique in its flexible approach, the tailored support it provides to entrepreneurs at different stages of their development, the extensive use of committed and experienced business mentors and the energy it generates by building a community which shapes and delivers great value added to its members.

The e4f video entry

In the four years since the programme was established, over 85 innovative tech start-ups have benefitted, with over 150 new employee and director positions created, and more than £2.5 million of investment secured during initial funding rounds. The project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Sir Albert Bore, Leader, Birmingham City Council said: “Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future programme is a unique and important asset to this city, as it gives our local talented tech entrepreneurs a place to grow and develop their business. The success of the start-up companies is a real credit to the project and it is tremendously good news for Birmingham to see this project now being recognised as one of the best on a European scale.”

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “The EUROCITIES awards are very prestigious and I am thrilled the judges shortlisted our Entrepreneurs for the Future programme in the top three. Over the past four years, we have worked to build and maintain the number of innovative tech start-ups that qualify for the six months of structured business incubation support that we provide for free.

“Having a centre such as this to nurture tech start-ups – giving them the best possible chance of commercial success – is a crucial aspect of what a major city should be doing to drive its knowledge economy and economic development. I am delighted the Entrepreneurs for the Future centre is being recognised as a real asset to Birmingham.”

A total of three awards were presented on 27th November at the EUROCITIES event in Ghent. In addition to the ‘Smart Jobs’ award which Birmingham competed for, prizes were also awarded to European city projects in the categories of ‘Smart Governance’ and ‘Smart Living’. There were 26 entries for the awards and the shortlist was drawn up by an independent jury. Following close competition, the City of Brighton was announced as the winner of the ‘smart jobs’ category.

For more information on e4f click here 

11 December 2013