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Two Birmingham-based entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists at this year’s National StartUp Awards, thanks to the support and guidance of Birmingham City University’s STEAMhouse Incubator.

National recognition  

Munachiso Ogu-Jude has been shortlisted in the Professional Services StartUp category for his business Mojitax. Founded in 2021, Mojitax is a digital tax training platform that offers courses for tax experts, students, accounts and lawyers.

Simon Caulton, owner and CEO of sustainable footwear brand Ones Trainers, is a finalist in the awards’ Rising Star category, for fledgling startups and entrepreneurs that are already making a positive difference.

The National StartUp Awards is a collaboration between the founders of The Great British Entrepreneur Awards – an established national programme receiving over 5,000 applications annually – and the Wales Start-Up Awards, the only regional awards currently celebrating new businesses in the UK.

“I am overwhelmed to be a finalist at a nationally recognised awards, especially when you consider Mojitax is barely seven months old,” says Jude.

“The entrepreneurship journey has a lot of challenges, so to be recognised in such a way offers huge encouragement.”

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 16 June at The Crane in Birmingham. Tickets are available now.

Hands-on business support and expert guidance

Both Jude and Simon are clients of STEAMhouse Incubator, which provides members with immediate access to a wide range of support opportunities, including dedicated workstations, collaborative workspaces, meeting rooms, business development support, mentoring and more.

“The Incubator team has been there on hand and given me motivation and kept me focused,” Simon said in an interview with STEAMhouse. “As a start-up business, the facilities the Incubator has would be financially out of your reach anywhere else.

“When I used the office, it gave me a sense of professionalism when hosting meetings and a ‘home’ for the business.”

This is echoed by Jude, who joined STEAMhouse Incubator after being part of BCU’s Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme, which offers students and recent graduates the chance to turn their business idea into a reality.

“I was in need of a calm workstation for my startup,” Jude explains. “The Incubator helped me in a number of ways. It gave me a professional business address for my startup and the chance to utilise the conference room for online sessions and webinars.

“This is something which I would not have had without the help of the Incubator.”

Furthermore, Jude has been able to network with other entrepreneurs, attend events and receive one-on-one support from the Incubator team.

An amazing source of information and advice  

Simon – who was previously a finalist at the 2022 Signature Awards under the Entrepreneur of the Year category – has been thrilled at the various opportunities being part of the Incubator has afforded him.

“The Incubator is an amazing source of information and advice,” he beams.

“They have provided links to various loan and investment opportunities, have set up meetings with great business advisors and helped me develop my brand’s vision.”

If you would like to learn more, want to apply to join the STEAMhouse Incubator please click here.