By Claire West

The European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN) has awarded Coventry University Enterprises the title of “Euroleader” for best practice in supporting university spin-offs and business incubation initiatives.

Coventry University Enterprises beat off competition from universities, higher-education institutions, polytechnics, science & technology parks and public research centres across Europe to take the prestigious title at the EBN Congress 2008 in Budapest.

The award was given for Coventry University Enterprises’ comprehensive and unique business incubation programme called Business Enterprise Works (BEW), designed to help people turn their business ideas into reality and provide support throughout those all important early years of trading.

BEW programmes manager Kathryn Stewart — who travelled to the EBN Congress in Budapest to present to the final panel of judges - said: “The BEW programme was launched in November 2006, and to be acknowledged as a beacon of best practice by the European business community after such a short time is an amazing achievement.

“BEW is now a recognisable brand name for a number of projects, all with the common aim of providing support for businesses across not only Coventry & Warwickshire, but on a regional and national level. It is an invaluable opportunity for start up businesses to put themselves above the crowd.”

Currently operating the central incubator within the Enterprise Centre of the Coventry University Enterprises’ Technology Park, BEW occupies over 320 sq meters of flexible high-tech office space that its available for use by budding entrepreneurs on a free or pay-as-you go basis. In addition, with demand from partners across Coventry & Warwickshire for similar space and business support, BEW expanded its physical presence in January 2007 and now hosts a number of satellite locations.

Highlights of the BEW programme include:

• Supported by £1.2 million of funding

• Networking & PR opportunities for clients

• Bridged support from start up to trading

• Accredited training modules

• Rigorous diagnostic application process

• Interactive engagement

• 24/7 access to high tech facilities

• Personal mentoring