DMU announces the DMUworks Enterprise Network

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has increased its support for entrepreneurial students and graduates over the last 12 months.

This week, DMU has announced the DMUworks Enterprise Network – a new network of founders who will work with the University to inspire and motivate students, developing their entrepreneurial skills, starting brand new businesses and growing existing ones.

A new founder is being announced each day via DMU socials. So far they’ve announced Jason Nestbitt (Founder of LoyalFree), Louise Holland (Founder of Holland Alexander) and Jessica Okoro (founder of Be Science).  This is the beginning of a new Network and a commitment from DMUworks to connect with the local business community for mutual benefit to both the city and future talent coming out of DMU.

European Space Agency selects Leicester for Business Incubation Centre

Space Park Leicester has been selected as a new centre to offer the successful business incubation programme for start-ups in the UK, run by the European Space Agency (ESA):

Learning from an evening with Chris Heivly

Last Wednesday, the Leicester Startups World Tour hosted Chris Heivly.

Chris is the “entrepreneur in residence” at Techstars, and cofounder of MapQuest – later sold to AOL for $1.2billion.

Here are some of the highlights from the hour he spent with founders in Leicester:

  • If you can acquire customers both faster and cheaper than your competitors, you’re there.
  • Find 50 customers. Not 10,000. Just 50 who will really care.
  • Entrepreneurship is a team sport. Be the kind of founder that: Talks to people. Asks for help. Processes that advice. And gives full commitment.
  • Moving to a new town or industry? Reach out to three interesting people and ask them for coffee. Then ask “who else can I do this with?”. He had 275 coffees in 5 months when he last moved.
  • If there was an exact playbook, we’d all be successful. It looks and feels different for everyone. Don’t judge your own path against someone else’s.
  • His main regret, always? “I wish I’d spent more time on sales & networking, than building product.”
  • Talking to people will give you all the business intelligence and customer insight you will ever need. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just get out from behind your desk and talk to real people.

The World Tour continues in two weeks, with ‘Bosun Tijani, from Nigeria.
‘Bosun is an investor, polymath, founder of Nigeria’s foremost tech hub, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in Africa. Ticket link here!

Discretionary Covid-19 business grants available for Leicester startups in shared workspaces

BUSINESSES and charities are being invited to apply for a share of a new pot of Government money aimed at helping those whose trade has been badly hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

Leicester City Council has received £3.5million from the Government’s Discretionary Business Grants scheme, to make non-repayable grants available to some businesses and charities who are struggling to survive the current conditions due to loss of income and fixed property costs.

The funding is designed to help some businesses and charities which were not eligible for help from the previous Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund Grant and Small Business Grant which were made available back in April.

The first round of applications for the new Discretionary Business Grants closes on June 22.

The first round funding is available to the following:

  • Businesses in shared spaces at the Belgrave Business Centre, Leicester Business Centre and the DMU Innovation Centre.
  • Market traders at Leicester and Beaumont Leys markets
  • Bed and breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates.
  • Charities not eligible for a small business grant due to them receiving charitable rates relief.

Other businesses eligible for help will include hospitality businesses which cater for events, commercial venues used for private hire events, places of public worship providing separate, community facilities and childcare nurseries.

Eligible businesses and charities must not qualify for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant; have suffered at least a 40 percent fall in income due to COVID-19; have relatively high, ongoing, fixed property costs such as mortgage or rent, and have been trading on March 11, 2020.

Most grants will be for £7,000 to £10,000, depending on the type of business. Market traders can receive up to £2,000.

Businesses and charities wanting to check their eligibility and apply for a grant can do so here

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Despite some of the coronavirus restrictions now beginning to lift, there are a great many businesses and charities across Leicester who still face financial uncertainty and a loss of business.

“We helped around 5,500 businesses over the last two months with Small Business Grants and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants totalling more than £63million, but some businesses did not meet the Government’s criteria to be eligible.

“This latest Discretionary Grant scheme gives us the chance to help some of those businesses with a grant to help them pay for fixed property costs in these extremely difficult trading times.

“We understand that this grant is vitally important to people, and will do everything we can to deal with applications and pay out money as quickly and simply as possible.”

The council expects to announce a second round of funding around the middle of June so that more businesses can be supported.

Details of all coronavirus-related help for businesses is available at Leicester City Council’s website at:

Source: Leicester City Council

Invitation to Webinar: Intellectual Property for Early Stage Businesses: 10th June 2020

Leicester-based MSDUK who support innovative and high-growth ethnic minority owned businesses are offering a free intellectual property workshop webinar in partnership with Longmores Solicitors. Attendees will be able to learn about the different types of IP and understand what is applicable to their businesses.

– The main forms of IP protection and appreciate how these apply to their business

– How to create a successful IP strategy

– What investors look for in relation to IP

– Patent strategies

– The costs involved in IP protection and funding innovation

Click here to join this virtual session on Wednesday June 10th (16:00 – 18:30 BST)

Leicester Startups World Tour kicks off with a bang!

The Leicester Startups World Tour kicked off in the last week of May.

Founders from across Leicester enjoyed one hour with the friendly and charismatic Caya, founder of Slidebean.

We got to hear his story, from navigating product/market fit, to scaling out to a team of 20+, via a tech accelerator and VC backing. Thank you Caya!

Next up on the World Tour, is Wednesday 10th June, 6pm. An evening with the brilliant Chris Heivly – entrepreneur in residence at Techstars.

Grab your free ticket here


New marketplace from high street app LoyalFree provides a lifeline for independent businesses 

LoyalFree, founded by Jason Nesbitt and Sophie Hainsworth of Leicester, was originally created to help high-street businesses increase sales, reward customers and provide local tours and trails. Now working in 18 UK towns and cities the business is quickly adapting to support the high street through recovery. Alongside new trails detailing businesses which are open or delivering, LoyalFree has launched a new online marketplace to support independent businesses.

Partnering with Leicester Business Improvement District (BID Leicester) LoyalFree wanted to increase the support offered to businesses during this critical time.

The LoyalFree marketplace allows independent businesses to sell products online, without any charge or commission except a small payment processing fee – if they are part of BID Leicester. This provides offline businesses a lifeline during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Businesses can utilise the platform to increase critical cash flow without incurring the expense of creating their own e-commerce site or paying commission through existing ones.

If you want to know more about how the app can support your town or city please visit

Do you have technology or business needs that DMU students could provide free, remote help with during the pandemic? 

Do you have technology or business needs that DMU students could provide free, remote help with during the pandemic? 

  • Someone to help you use social media or meetings tools?
  • Website development?
  • Hands-on help running your business remotely?
  • Brand and messaging enhancement?
  • Other needs?

DMU is keen to know whether their students could provide urgent remote assistance to local SMEs. Their aim is to support the Leicester and Leicestershire community during the pandemic.

Please help us assess demand by providing a few lines of information about your needs and replying to AMARDEEP PANASER – 

The deadline for business requests is April 9th.

Note: DMU are trying to rapidly set up a scheme making use of their students’ tech-ready skills. They seeking to understand business demand first, and will mobilise students quickly, once they hear back from businesses. DMU will try to meet your needs but will be clear if they don’t think they can be fulfilled.

This proposed scheme is for remote support only – by phone, email or online tools.

Locumbell is now recruiting drivers for all pharmacies across the UK to help with the serious problem of delivering prescriptions

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it has been a very difficult time for pharmacists to ensure staffing needs are met. Locumbell is now supporting pharmacies across the UK to help with the delivery of prescriptions to patients. is now supporting all 350 Tesco pharmacies in the UK

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it has been a very difficult time for pharmacists to ensure staffing needs are met. Locumbell is now supporting Tesco pharmacies to ensure staff needs are met.
Locumbell technology allows a business to communicate with hundreds of locums within seconds. The business logs in and with a few clicks can define a shift. The shift is then presented to hundreds of locums. Locumbell already support Boots, Cohen’s, Lloyds and Superdrug.