Forged @ FOUNDRY is a programme designed to inspire and support the next generation of exciting young entrepreneurs – featuring a series of fireside chats with successful business owners, exploring the highs and lows of their journeys, offering insights and sharing their invaluable learnings.

Alongside these chats, Forged @ FOUNDRY oversees an exciting Business Plan Challenge.

With access to a £9,000 cash fund, potential desk and office space at FOUNDRY, exhibition space and market stalls within The Dolphin Centre and business mentoring available too, this is a huge opportunity offering new businesses a really useful head start on their journey.

Forged @ FOUNDRY is searching for businesses that believe they can make a difference. Businesses that intend to have a positive impact on the world around them. Whether that's saving the planet or saving someone some money, supporting their local community or helping others do better, or simply putting a smile on someone’s face.

We’re not looking for detailed, polished business plans. But we are expecting sensible ideas, clearly thought-through and well-articulated. And ambition. Bucket loads of ambition. Alongside the same amount of enthusiasm.

Who can enter?

If you’re a student, a recent graduate from any UK college or university, or an alumnus from the past three years, with a current address within the BH postcode region, and you have the right permissions to set up a business in the UK, then you’re eligible.

What are the categories?

There are three categories in total, chosen to help the widest variety of entrepreneurs that we can. These are:

  • Pre-Start: You’ve had an idea. You’re exploring its potential and importantly, you’ve not yet registered the business or started trading.
  • Start-Up: You’ve taken the first step. You’re up and running, or at least you’ve registered the business within the last 12 months.
  • Established: You’re revenue-generating, even if only a little bit. You’re less than three years old, and you’ve learnt some lessons along the way.

What are the prizes?

Prizes suggest it’s a competition, whereas this is a challenge and awards will be offered appropriate to the submission. That being said, there’s a cash fund of £9,000 to be distributed and how that will be shared amongst the categories depends upon the quality of the submissions.

Where relevant, there’s also the offer of somewhere for you to base your burgeoning business, in the form of desk space at The FOUNDRY.

Access to the Gather event space and the Market Stalls within the Dolphin Centre is available too, if suitable.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Barclay’s Eagle Lab have mentoring options available as well.

How do I enter?

Just complete the application form. The form is self-explanatory; however, it will require you to think carefully about your answers. But if you’re serious about your idea, then you’ll already know the answers to these questions.

When is the deadline?

You’ve got until 12pm on Friday 10 May. That’s a hard stop too. No extensions. 12pm, 10 May.

What will happen then?

Our team of judges, experienced business people and entrepreneurs will read through all the applications and score them against the criteria. And then we’ll announce the successful applicants and the awards we’re giving out.