UCLan gives cash injection to budding student entrepreneurs

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Propeller Hub has provided financial support of up to £1,000 to student and graduate projects

Latest Propeller Enterprise Awards provide funding for 13 new start-ups

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is continuing its sector-leading approach to student entrepreneurship by providing funding to support new start-ups.

Through its mentoring and business support arm Propeller Hub, formerly Northern Lights, UCLan has provided financial support to 13 students and graduates over the last three months by offering up to £1,000 to new businesses through the Propeller Enterprise Award.

The cash injection, decided by a judging panel after applicants were invited to present their business ideas, is helping a variety of businesses; including fashion brands, arts companies, an international B2B consultancy, food vendors, support groups and more.    

The funding will be used in many ways including purchasing equipment, contributing to marketing materials and event promotion, covering insurance and paying for web development and hosting.

The Hub offers several services to students and graduates at the University including training courses, one to one mentoring, workspaces and networking opportunities.

 

Over the last three years alone, Propeller has played a part in creating an estimated 542 businesses that have generated more than 1,000 jobs with an estimated annual turnover per business of £40,000.

Steve Simm from Propeller said: “We’ve worked hard over a number of years to create a culture of entrepreneurship within the University community that continues beyond graduation. Our aim is to help shape successful graduates whose enterprising skills benefit the region economically, environmentally and socially. Over the last three years alone, Propeller has played a part in creating an estimated 542 businesses that have generated more than 1,000 jobs with an estimated annual turnover per business of £40,000.”

One of the winning businesses was AJ Dance Company. Founder Anna James said: “We are overjoyed to announce that we have been awarded one of the Propeller Enterprise Awards. This award will provide part of the funding to create and develop the project 'small is beautiful', a collaborative movement and music performance piece. We will be asking for members of the Preston and North West communities to register their interest in performing under the dance and movement part of the project.”

The University has been helping students and graduates become entrepreneurs for the last 11 years. According to the latest HEBCIS survey, UCLan is the leading UK university for incubating start-up businesses which remain active after three years of trading.

In the last 12 months alone, 33 new businesses have been created with help from the Propeller team. During this year, the team provided 875 hours of mentoring, 30 workshops and 1,500 people took part in classroom sessions.

Propeller has already announced the next round of Propeller Enterprise Award applications open until the 1st March, which is open to students and people who graduated in 2018. Visit the Propeller Hub website for more information.

Lyndsey Boardman | 16 January 2019