Enterprise & entrepreneurship
We place a strong emphasis on entrepreneurialism, creating opportunities for our students to develop their own business ideas and receive tailored support. From student societies to workshops and awards, budding entrepreneurs can benefit from the knowledge and experience of their lecturers and the strong industry links the University has carefully cultivated over the years.
"Winner of the Enterprise and Employability category at the Green Gown Awards (2016)"
Our award-winning Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme (EEP) provides an inspiring and supportive environment in which our students can share, develop and launch their ideas. Guided by lawyers, insurers, marketing professionals and accountants, students from all courses and years have the chance to realise their aspirations in a professional and rewarding environment.
As well as acting as a springboard for the business leaders of tomorrow, our celebrated programme has attracted the support of business leaders and PR sponsors across the UK, enabling us to organise networking events, enterprise workshops, mentoring services, work placements and inspirational talks.
- Think it
Do you have the seed of a concept for creating your own business? Even if you don't, but want to develop a business concept, we can help you to crystallise your ideas through our 'Think it' support programme.
The ‘Think it’ challenge allows students to submit a two-minute filmed business pitch.
- Try it
Once you have outlined and researched your business idea you are empowered to 'Try it' and test your concept to prove that it works.
The First Steps Fund provides students, staff and recent alumni with proof of concept funding of up to £250 to help them test their business idea, as well as a business mentor. Our business mentors provide at least 10 hours support to help you develop your business model including your value proposition as well as supporting your write a business plan.
- Launch it
After you have demonstrated that your idea 'has legs' and are ready to take that final step your business mentor will support you in helping to write and develop your business plan in time for you to 'Launch it'.
You will have access to a team of experts including lawyers, accountants, and marketing professionals who are ready to guide and champion you throughout your entrepreneurial journey. The programme's external mentors provide at least 10 hours of support to you and are paired according to their skills, sector and experience.
Each year our entrepreneurial students are invited to enter our Grand Idea Competition and pitch their concept and business plan to our panel of expert judges who have included people such as Levi Roots (Reggae Reggae sauce) and Julian Dunkerton (co-founder SuperDry). Students pitch in the hope of winning at least £2,500 to invest in their business, as well as around £3,000 worth of in-kind business support prizes.
- Grow it
Once your business is up and running, we understand that the support you need will be different, so it is at this point that you have the opportunity to receive a tailor-made level of support that we offer you and your business so that you can 'Grow it'.
Students and alumni can also make use of the Growth Hub, a space which gives them the opportunity to work with real start-up enterprises and utilise an extensive network of business contacts. Use of the building is free to students, and there is a 50% discount on membership for graduates.
Those students wishing to start an agritech business can benefit from free membership to Farm491, an innovative business incubator that provides high-spec facilitis created to foster entrepreneurship, ideas generation and collaboration, as well as 491 hectares of Cotswold farmland for research and testing.
Whether that is one-to-one mentoring, expert advice or access to workshops and inspirational guest lecturer, we aim to keep you up-to-date with funding opportunities and potential trading prospects as they arise.
"1 in 10 graduates starts their own business or works for themselves" (DEH 2015/16)
- Shortlisted Guardian University Awards 2018 "Enterprise and Employability"
- Shortlisted Rural Business Award 2018
- Shortlisted Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship 2017
- Runner up, The Guardian University Awards 2016 in the Entrepreneurship category
- Finalist NACUE Student Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 (National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs)
- Winner Cirencester Business Awards 2016 - Business Innovation of the Year
- Winner NUS Green Impact Scheme 2016 - in both the Innovation and Community Engagement categories
- Finalist Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship at the Lloyds Bank National Awards 2016
- Winner Green Gown Awards - Entrepreneurship and Employability category
Media featured in:
- BBC Radio Four Farming Today
- BBC Countryfile
- BBC Radio Gloucestershire
- National and local press