We offer help, advice and support to students and graduates who are
either starting their own business or are growing and expanding their business.
You can book appointments with our Careers Consultants and get confidential
For information and useful links and resources, have a look at our Enterprise Information
Coming up with
The first step with
any business is a good idea. This can then be tested and changed and adapted to
become a profitable business.
We love the The Fast Idea Generator as it allows you to take a particular idea or existing thing, and very quickly use different mechanisms to develop, flip, change and
Why? What? How? Knowing the answers to these three
questions is vital when understanding and explaining what it is your company or
project does. This is why Simon Sinek developed the Golden Circle Method for helping you
answer them. Sinek’s TED talk on finding your Why is also
The Innovation Flowchart. The Innovation
Flowchart gives a detailed overview of the various stages in an innovation
process, listing the activities, requirements and goals of each stage. These
include an overview of the different people, skills, activities and finances
that a project or an organisation might need in order to succeed. The
structured overview that this tool provides helps you review where you are
in the process and organise the next steps in your work.
For some more inspiration,
have a look at this advice from companybug.com
Firstly, you will need to get started
by putting your ideas down. You can mindmap and be as adventurous as you like
with your start-up ideas. Then you are going to have to answer some questions
to get you started:
§ What is your budget? Do you want to
start small? If you have a certain budget, it is worth researching what your
best options are? Alternatively, research what are the options available to you
to get funding.
§ What is your skill set? Have you got
experience in a certain industry, or have you picked up a hobby that you think
you can transform into a booming business? It is worth considering if you want
to have a full time or a part-time business whilst also working elsewhere? This
could help you with your finances.
§ What are you passionate about?
Starting your business journey can be a challenge and you need drive, and if
that drive comes from passion then it’s likely to be a success.
§ What does your community need? Do
your market research, what do people want? For example, does your town centre
need a dessert cafe that other nearby town centres have but yours does not?
Writing a business
This is absolutely
fundamental to starting a business, as the process of writing a business plan
forces you to consider all the main areas to make sure it has a good chance of success.
With a good business plan, you can also apply for funding from various
The Princes Trust
has some really great resources on writing a business plan. There are also some
other useful links on our enterprise resources document.
Finding funding can
be complicated and there are various types of funding available. Crowdfunding, business
competitions, bank loans, Angel Investors, Business accelerator funding, Venture
Capital and more! Making the right choice can make a huge difference. Some will
provide support to you and some will take a share of your business. Some will
provide more funding than others. Make sure you get some advice before making a
decision about what is right for you and your business.
There is some good
information on funding on the princes
trust website and also on the Hiscox website.
You can have the
best business idea in the world, but if your customers/clients do not know
about it, you will not make any money. Having the right marketing strategy is
key. You first need to do an analysis of who your potential customers are, what
it is they want and what you can offer that is different/unique. Then you need
to have a strategy that can reach them and persuade them to use your business. This
article has an excellent overview of researching your market. And Kickoff labs
have a brilliant guide to setting
up a marketing strategy.
Start-up St Mary's
Start-up St Mary's
is a 9 week programme run at St Marys. It normally starts at the end of January.
The programme is
for any students or alumni within two years of graduating wanting to learn more
about business start-ups or how to get a business idea of the ground.
thought about becoming self-employed, or would simply like to develop an entrepreneurial
The programme will
be sponsored by Santander Universities and there is the opportunity of pitching
for funding of up to £4,000 for your business idea.
Further details on the programme can be found here.
A calendar of events for the 2021 programme can be found here.
The 2021 programme has now closed. Look out for details of our 2022 programme in October. We look forward to receiving your application.
If you have any additional questions about the programme please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 240 4055.