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SETsquared Bristol, a technology incubator led by the University of Bristol, is renewing its Breakthrough Bursary for the fourth year, continuing its commitment to technological inclusivity.

The bursary is aimed at minority ethnic UK technology entrepreneurs and provides access to one-to-one business support at significantly reduced rates. This includes coaching and mentoring, consultation clinics, events, skills and training workshops and support to attract investment.

Winners also benefit from SETsquared’s supportive community and three months of free desktop access in a shared office at the Engine Shed.

The initiative is kindly funded by SETsquared Bristol alumni and the University of Bristol.

Fourteen companies have been recipients of the scholarship to date, including South West start-ups FluoretiQ, Gritty Talent and LatchAid, which have together raised £2.7m in investment.

Inclued, an inclusivity tracking tool, was one of five scholarship winners in 2021. Inclued founder and CEO Joanne Boyce (pictured) said: “My experience of the Breakthrough Bursary has been nothing but positive.

“As an entrepreneur you often feel like you’re on your own, but SETsquared Bristol provides support to the founding community at every stage.

“Access to the Entrepreneur Residence was fundamental to the development of our investment strategy.”

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Since SETsquared Bristol launched the Breakthrough Bursary in 2019, the proportion of companies in the incubator with ethnic minority founders has increased from 14% to 24%. This compares favorably with the UK average, where less than 9% of senior technical managers are from an ethnic minority.

“Inclusive and sustainable growth is more important than ever in our current climate,” said Marty Reed, director of SETsquared Bristol.

“Our ambition is to work towards a level playing field for underrepresented groups in the technology sector by improving access to support, investment and networks. We look forward to welcoming new awardees with exciting ideas to our community.”

Another of last year’s bursary recipients, Ali Kazmi – founder of the UK’s first dedicated, ethical investment platform Ethical Equity – said: “Being part of SETsquared Bristol through the Breakthrough Bursary has been instrumental in our success. In particular, to have access to market/founder information and to the extensive SETsquared network.”

Any UK minority entrepreneur can apply for a Breakthrough Scholarship if they are creating a technology start-up or growing an existing company.

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