UU's new programme to help students start own businesses

  • Ulster University’s new UU Start programme will help students launch their own businesses by offering support with product and service innovation, validation and acceleration.

    Undergraduate and postgraduate student entrepreneurs will have free access to the comprehensive support programme, which is managed in partnership with the Ulster University Students’ Union.

    The UU Start programme will address common start-up challenges by helping students develop their business ideas.

    Help will include advice on commercial potential and available financial support, alongside unprecedented access to industry experts and Ulster alumni entrepreneurs.

    Over £150,000 this year has been invested in Ulster University student and graduate entrepreneurs.

    A company which has benefitted from such business support includes Haru Ltd, a platform which enables charity shops to accurately price, upload and sell items online with no hassle led by Ulster Accountancy graduate Jacques Hill.

    Ulster Design graduate Andrew McCracken also co-founded his online marketplace, GoFyt with help from the university’s business support. His platform allows users to book and pay for appointments with local health and fitness providers. 

    Tim Brundle, Director of Research and Impact at Ulster University said: “The UU Start programme builds upon the notable success of Innovation Ulster Limited which has helped bring a range of student entrepreneurial ideas to market.

    “Entrepreneurs are the driving forces behind every growing economy and at Ulster University we encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and drive by providing support to help students break down barriers allowing them to realise their dreams of setting up their own businesses.”

    Jacques Hill, Co-Founder of Haru commented: “The constant support and advice given to us by Ulster University has been instrumental in allowing us to take an idea and build it towards a tangible business.

    “Although we have taken positive steps towards our mission, we have a long journey ahead of us and we are excited to be making this journey with the support of Ulster University.”

    Research from Santander Universities revealed that over a quarter of students currently run or plan to run a business whilst they are at university.

    Students can apply to the UU Start programme by visiting the website and arranging a meeting with Chris Shannon, Student Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Manager.

    Photo: L-R Tim Brundle, Director of Research and Impact at Ulster University, Naomi Browne, Student Enterprise Co-ordinator and Chris Shannon, Student Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Manager at Ulster University launch the UU Start programme.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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