A new fund, the GEM (Graduate Entrepreneur Maintenance) Fund has been established to enable graduate entrepreneurs to remain in Exeter. At the University, they will continue to receive training, guidance, funding access and support via the Student Startup Programme, Think:Try:Do (TTD).
To allow the provision of the GEM Fund, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise £36,000.
Exeter has a long history of producing some of the region’s finest entrepreneurs from innovators, makers, social enterprise creators and everything in-between.
However, a common issue that these entrepreneurs all face on graduation is the need to move on from Exeter and the region, typically returning back home in response to pressures such as debt, parental demand and the strain to secure a graduate job.
The GEM fund comes at an exciting time for entrepreneurship in Exeter, with the upcoming launch of a new space to boost entrepreneurship based at the Innovation Centre.
Emily Davies, Student Startup Manager explained: “The GEM Fund will alleviate the immediate pressure to generate income and allow time and space to develop strong, profitable businesses. Graduate startups will have the opportunity to stay in Exeter, to base themselves full-time in the incubation space and stay connected to the support network they have developed.”
Joe Pearce, Head of Business support continued: “The launch of the new centre expands the reach of TTD by creating a safe and supportive space to explore ideas post-graduation. By keeping these talented individuals in Exeter, we are boosting the regional economy and enhancing the innovation ecosystem.”
Victor Muchatuta, Student Entrepreneur said: “To have a space to work in, let alone financial support is crucial when starting out. It could mean the difference between always looking back thinking – I once had a dream but never did explore it. To give that idea a go, whether it is successful or not, does not matter; because the room to grow, learn and develop is priceless.”
Some recent examples of Exeter’s talented graduate entrepreneurs include: Paddleboat, JollieSocks, Kompas, OneThird Stories, MGR Music, Jubel, Explaain, ModMyPi, WebwiseMedia, ChargedUp, Sancho's Dress and Paddlelogger.
To support the crowdfunding campaign: visit the platform.
Follow the hashtag #GEMfund
For more information on the upcoming centre to boost entrepreneurship: read our press release.