Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur

Life in the UK
Life after university
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Do you have an amazing idea to change the world we live in? Have you thought of a product that will benefit others and potentially start a profitable business? If you've answered a resounding "Yes!" to both questions then that's great! We encourage you to pursue your dreams and ideas and make the world a better place to live in.

But, you might wonder how to start a business, and what do you have to do to get enough funds to start one. Starting your own business means investing a decent sum of money and also putting in many hours to transform your idea into a reality. Have no fear- there are plenty of funding opportunities and support provided for people with great ideas and little in their pockets.

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It can be especially hard for international students who would like to start a business in the UK but have little funds or resources. You will also need to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa in order to start a business here. There can be more opportunities for a local student to receive funding from different companies that an international student is not eligible to apply for.

The good news…

Most universities have support teams for students (local and international) who want to start up a business but lack the skills, contacts and funds to actually do so. For international students, universities also offer advice and support with obtaining a Tier 1 visa so that you will be able to start and run your own business here in the UK.

It's also worth thinking about private companies that also offer advice and financial support for those looking to make their mark in the competitive arena of entrepreneurs.

Some resources that are worth looking into if you are seriously considering starting your own business include:

• Accelerateme

This is a 12 week programme designed to accelerate and grow the best student startups and talent. It fits around academic studies and the programme is delivered through workshops, mentoring, office space and funding to help students develop and grow successful businesses.

If you are a successful applicant, you'll be eligible to receive some of the following benefits

- Startup Funding (up to £ 1,500)

- Office Space with 5 other Startups

- Access to Legal and Accounting Advice

- One-to-One Mentor Meetings

• IntEnt Programme at Newcastle University

This programme gives you the information, advice and one-to-one support needed so that you can begin the process of applying for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa so you can legally start your business in the UK. You will also have access to expert support from the University's Visa Team.


From this programme, you'll find out what it takes to launch a new business idea and develop skills and practical strategies to help you achieve success including building up a credible business case that you can pitch to the University to secure endorsement. You'll become part of Rise Up's enterprising and entrepreneurial community, which provides peer-to-peer support, networking opportunities and valuable contacts. 


Note: To be eligible for the IntEnt programme you should be an international student from outside of the EU who is graduating or you should have graduated within the last 3 years and be based in the UK.


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• Student Enterprise at University of Surrey

This programme offers practical business support to enterprising students from all disciplines that aspire to run their own business or social enterprise, or want to develop employability skills.

Through this program, there will be several opportunities for you to access funding including the Business Enterprise Student Support Scheme (BESSS) and Student Enterprise Kick Starter Fund.

Santander Universities also runs a series of competitions throughout the year to win cash prizes to support the early stages of developing your business, support and advice.

• Business Basecamp at University of Bristol

This is the student enterprise and start-up support service. The services provided by the service include:

- Advice and mentoring services

- Master-classes to inspire you

- Free tutorials with business professionals

- Alumni-funded summer grants for students to work on their business ideas.

In addition to this, you can also look at inc., Bristol's entrepreneur society and Enactus, the social enterprise society.

The New Enterprise Competition offers around £30,000 of funding to students and graduates if you have a great idea for a new business, product or service.

• B-Start-Up Programme

The B Start-Up programme offers alumni and students the opportunity to start and run a business, after graduation or during university. Whether the intention is to work for an organisation or to be self-employed in the longer term, our B Start-Up programme supports the development of transferable, all round enterprising skills and confidence to stand out and be successful in any career

The programme support includes:

- Training to build your entrepreneurial skills and business knowledge to turn your idea into a viable venture or social enterprise

- Business Start-Up 1-2-1 support

- The opportunity to be a part of a growing network of like-minded entrepreneurs

Hopefully we have provided you with a good start on your way to building the foundations of your own business. There are more resources out there online that you'll come across as you go about researching ways to get funding and getting to know the right people. Dream big and think great!

Please don't hesistate to write us should you have any questions and don't forget, enroll to a course via our website and you will receive a bursary worth £300 because helping students' realise their ambitions is what we do.

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