COVID-19 business support fund is replenished

Published: 15 December 2020 at 12:00

The Lord Ashcroft Building on Anglia Ruskin's Chelmsford campus

Businesses and community organisations can access package of support

Businesses, community groups and public sector organisations can take advantage of a newly replenished business support fund to help them survive and grow following the impact of the global pandemic.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has topped up funding to its business recovery support initiative, launched earlier this year, to provide support to more organisations.

Organisations can apply for innovation vouchers, worth anything up to £5,000, which they must match-fund. Companies can use these vouchers to access academic expertise or innovation support. 

An internship scheme is also offered, with ARU graduates taking up eight-week placements to work on business projects.

The initiative encourages partnership working between ARU and businesses of all sizes as well as charities, social enterprises and local authorities. More than 20 projects are currently underway.

One firm who has used the fund to grow its business is International Workplace Ltd, an established tech company in Cambridge that develops innovative learning solutions. The company welcomed two ARU graduates, Joseph Bunkle and Adeola Boye, to work on projects to improve existing services.

Following his eight-week internship, Adeola has now been taken on permanently as a Front End Developer. Adeola said:

“This role allows me to flex some of the knowledge I learned at ARU as well as learn many new skills thanks to the extremely helpful and supportive team at International Workplace. 

“I’m currently working alongside them on a project that uses a JavaScript framework called Angular, and getting to know this framework has been a very important addition to my skill set.”

International Workplace CEO David Sharp commented:

“The ARU internship scheme has provided a valuable opportunity for the company and for our interns. 

“We needed to accelerate the pace of our technical development in response to the pandemic, to meet growing demand for our learning technology solutions. The internship scheme has helped us introduce new skills to the business and diversify our talent pool. For our interns, it’s given them the chance to cut their teeth on live commercial projects where they can make an immediate impact on the business.”

Professor Yvonne Barnett, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at ARU, said:

“Several organisations have benefitted from this initiative and on that basis, and also from ongoing demand, we are delighted to announce that the support fund has now been replenished. 

“This will enable ARU staff and students to work with even more businesses and groups to help them overcome the challenges that COVID-19 has posed, emerging stronger as a result.”

To find out more, contact [email protected]