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Opportunities for enterprise

Universities are places for people with big ideas and we support students in manifesting these big ideas into reality. Paddy explores how.
Beekeepers looking at bee hives
© Alex Holland at the University of York

Do you have an idea about starting a business? Are you thinking about going freelance or starting a business but would like some support to make your first steps? Or would you just like to build some useful skills that could help you in your longer term career?

Remember we said earlier that university is a place of opportunities? What better people to support your ideas than those who work in a university careers service!

Enterprise support at the University of York is not just about starting a business, it is about developing some of the skills required to be successful, not only in business but also in community and charity based careers as well. Enterprise support is based in the Careers and Placements Service. Here at the University of York we have lots of support available, from advice for beginners to a year long programme dedicated to helping make your business plans a reality.

Entrepreneurial students have access to:

  • Start-up advice and support
  • Extra-curricular workshops on entrepreneurial skills
  • Access to funding
  • Experienced business coaching
  • Professional networking events
  • Office space

Developing enterprise

Even if you don’t necessarily want to start a business straight away there is support for students in the form of the student-led York Entrepreneurs Society to meet others, network, trade ideas and have some fun. If you want to tackle a social issue as part of a commercially minded team then you could also join York’s successful Enactus Society.

Starting Your entrepreneurialjJourney

The Explore Enterprise program is a five-week programme that will teach you the basics of starting a business through weekly interactive workshops with like-minded people. Students get to put everything they’ve learnt into practice through participation in a pitching competition at the end.

Testing Your business ideas

With an idea and a brief business plan, the Proof of Concept Fund can be used to help test your business idea with detailed feedback & suggestions to improve your business as well as a small financial grant to start work.

The Summer Accelerator programme provides a living allowance for the summer vacation period, access to workspace, professional business coaching and support from the University. This allows you to push a business idea as far and as fast as you can in a safe environment.

Launching Your business idea

The Expand Enterprise Online Course covers important aspects of early business development and can be supplemented by the Phase One Incubator Programme where learning is shared with pre-startups and young businesses from the wider city.

Finally Student Entrepreneurs in their final year of undergraduate study at York can apply for the Year in Enterprise programme. This gives academic credit for students building their own businesses. This is a nine month module which provides access to a professional business coach, free workspace and networking opportunities.

Over to you

If you could start up your own business, what would you do?

We’d love to hear your ideas!

© University of York
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