Last year we had some brilliant ideas from the West Midlands, and this year is no different!

The Ingenuity Programme began in 2016 and has since expanded working across the Midlands, Malaysia and China. Today, the Ingenuity Programme works with 30 university partners across the UK and focuses solely on creating businesses with impact.

We’ve supported some fantastic purpose-driven individuals and start-ups over the last five years and you can find out more about our alumni here

We are committed to creating diverse networks across the UK, bringing expertise from industry and academia together with lived experience from local communities, in order to find solutions that deliver real change.

Meet this year’s finalists

The Regional Finalists are now in the mentoring stage of the Programme, gaining valuable insights from our team of experienced mentors as they look to fine-tune their business plans.

Psychology student Rowchell Green (University of Warwick) was shocked to read a recent survey that one in five children go without an item of school clothing because their parents are unable to meet the cost. Her idea, The Uniform Project, aims to empower the financially vulnerable, instil confidence in those affected by their financial situation and help students focus on their academia. By upcycling uniforms, the project will sustainably equip students with clothing, and reduce the environmental impacts of wastage.

Rowchell Green
Frankie Lewns

Informed by her experiences working in the NHS, Harriet Bubalo wants to tackle poor mental health amongst young adults. Alongside Eden Colebatch, she wants to create a healthy LGBTQA+ inclusive community space for young adults called The Cheeky Cow Club. Partnering with multiple charities to become a central hub to learn about helpful mental health services, the café space would also aim to run tailored arts groups that create a sense of belonging, improve social skills and self-esteem.

Also aiming to improve mental health in the West Midlands are Frankie Lewns, Paris Lalousis and Beth Lewns. Their team, Bloomwise, hopes to tackle poor mental health at work, by helping companies to develop a Mental Health Plan, improving workplace wellbeing for employees.

Warwick-based therapists Julie Elliott and Joni Pope are aiming to set up an online platform called The Wellbeing Barn, helping to meet the mental health needs of the public by offering easily accessible person-centred psychotherapy.

Imogen Clemett, an Environmental Science student at the University of Birmingham, is aiming to tackle our collective dependence on unsustainable products and change peoples’ perspectives on what they consume, while also encouraging business to cater for the growing number of sustainable consumers. Her SustainaPoints idea is an incentive-based reward system, in which users collect points as positive reinforcement for making more sustainable purchases. Accumulated points can then be converted to vouchers or donated to charity.

Inspired by her experiences as an international student in Birmingham, Jody Wu wants to help foster inter-cultural relationships in diverse communities through the power of food. Her idea, Instant Chef, aims to provide a platform for international chefs to teach others to cook their traditional dishes, sharing cultural traditions and building cross-cultural relationships in the process.

Tim Edwards is looking to empower communities and connect those in need with those who can help through his Safer Industries idea. He wants to change the way crime and medical emergencies are reported and responded to with a range of physical products that pairs with an app to assist and augment emergency services.

Tim Edwards

Birmingham City University student DJ Nasir is aiming to prevent youth violence and crime through an after school digital skills hub, providing a space for young people to develop their technological skills, increasing their employability and reducing anti-social behaviour in the process. 

Finally, Ali Jaberiansari wants to develop partnerships with charity retailers throughout the country, helping to digitise their commerce and increase charity revenues in the process.

If you’re inspired by our participants’ stories, and want to support their businesses, get in touch at

To learn more about Ingenuity click here:

Photo credit: Headway