One student admiring self-employed placements student's startup

Take advantage of our student startup support

Build enterprise skills and get support to build a business while you study

If you're looking to develop entrepreneurial skills, get startup advice or build a business, we can help you while you're at uni and for up to 5 years after you graduate.

As one of our students and graduates, you'll join an enterprising community – Portsmouth was named the UK's most entrepreneurial city 2020 (Instant Offices). You'll get access to student startup advice and student enterprise programmes to develop your enterprise skills. And you can benefit from our business enterprise support, including getting advice from established businesses and experienced entrepreneurs.

You could launch a startup during your studies, and we'll continue to support you after you graduate.

Profile image of Vincent Pericard at Pompey Fratton Park

Some universities might just educate you and send you off into the world, but Portsmouth did so much more for me. Its Innovation Space helped me properly launch the idea, even becoming my first client, rolling the app out to over 700 students before referring me to Cardiff University to roll out there as well.

Vincent Pericard, BA (Hons) Business and Enterprise Development

Student start up support

Our Student StartUp team can give you support including:

  • Regular bookable appointments for 1-to-1 startup advice
  • Regular 1-to-1 mentoring sessions
  • Start-up programmes and workshops
  • Access to established entrepreneurs through the 'Inspire Me' series and more
  • Free incubation and business hot desks
  • Online toolkits and resources
  • Access to competitions, seed funding opportunities and networking events

Self-employed placement year

On many of our courses you can take a placement year to get experience working in a company and develop your employability skills. You can also choose to spend your placement year setting up your business.

Our Student StartUp team runs enterprise clinics offering weekly bookable appointments where you can discuss your business idea and get startup advice. If you can't make a clinic, you can contact the team to arrange an alternative time. Appointments can take place in person or by video chat.

Your Faculty's placement office can also give you advice, support and information on doing a self-employed placement year.

Student enterprise programmes

Below are a few of our programmes offering business startup advice for our students and graduates. Each programme gives you enterprise skills, small business support, networking opportunities and more.

Business consultancy projects

If you do a course that's led by the Portsmouth Business School, you'll get the chance to take part in our business consultancy projects in your final year. Each year, over 380 students studying in the Business School are involved with business consultancy projects for local business and charities.

In these projects, you'll look into specific business challenges or opportunities and produce a report that offers practical solutions to the company. You'll be part of a small team, supported by an academic mentor, and take part in activities such as accounting audits, developing marketing strategies, conducting operation system reviews or HR systems reviews.


The Enterprise Programme will provide you with the skills, confidence and competencies to help you become a more enterprising individual that knows how to make things happen.

Whether your goal is to be more resourceful, self-motivated, innovative or disciplined, why not join the Enterprise programme.

It is a completely free programme open to all students, alumni and staff across all faculties.

The aim is to provide you with the knowledge and guidance needed to enhance your career, achieve your goals and if you choose to, have the capabilities to eventually become your own boss.

There is an option to attend in person or virtually. Our face to face sessions will run on Wednesday afternoons and our online sessions will run on Tuesday afternoons.

For more information visit the TEP website.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

Our Entrepreneurs in Residence can help you develop your business idea while you study with us and after you graduate.

They're experienced business professionals who understand the challenges of starting a new business and have partnered with the University to help you build your network, and plan and market your startup. The programme is delivered through group workshops and 1-to-1 drop-in clinics. You can also attend the speaking events our entrepreneurs take part in throughout the academic year.

The entrepreneurs can advise you on areas including:

  • Developing entrepreneurial skills
  • Exploring business ideas
  • Providing business startup advice
  • Developing business plans
  • Advising on types of funding
  • Business strategy
  • Advising on the commercialisation of your research
  • Supporting academic research
  • Accessing business networks

Get to know our Entrepreneurs in Residence and keep an eye out for their events when you join us.

Innovation Connect

Innovation Connect offers business support, guidance and shared office space across the city. It can also introduce you to new and exciting local companies and startups and provide access to business networks, such as the Female Entrepreneurs Network.

Discover more about Innovation Connect and how it can provide the office space and support you need to build your business.

Female Entrepreneurs Network

The Female Entrepreneurs Network supports current and aspiring female business owners and we welcome all women with an interest in enterprise and entrepreneurship.  We have an active Facebook group where you can seek support and connect with other local female-led businesses. Our monthly networking events are a chance to practice your networking skills in a supportive environment. We also offer guest talks and mini-training sessions as part of our events. 

Join our Facebook Group:

Follow us on Twitter: @PortsmouthFEN


Accelerating Women's Enterprise

Accelerating Women's Enterprise (AWE) is a project that combines research with training and mentoring for female entrepreneurs. You can join it if you have a business idea or have already set up your business.

The project aims to address the gender gap in entrepreneurship by helping women overcome the barriers they face when starting and growing businesses, such as age or social background, caring responsibilities, and a lack of relatable role models.

To find out more about the project and our current courses, visit our Accelerating Women's Enterprise page.

Career Ready programme

Each year, the Faculty of Business and Law run a Career Ready programme where you can develop skills, confidence and awareness of career opportunities. You'll get to attend workshops, networking events and talks by guest speakers so you can learn about entrepreneurship from alumni, entrepreneurs, employers and professional institutions.

Business Management and Entrepreneurship degree course

Our BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship degree course gives you commercial insight and techniques to become a successful entrepreneur. You'll work with local companies on real projects, get an understanding of management, accounting, data analysis and markets, and take your ideas from inception to implementation.

This course has EPAS accreditation, a scheme operated by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) that promotes excellence in management development. In your first year, you can also get the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Introductory Certificate in Marketing, which is highly sought after by employers for both marketing and non-marketing roles.

Entrepreneurs Society

If you’re interested in networking with like-minded students, listening to business owners’ experiences, or even starting a venture of your own - come along to the UOP Entrepreneurs Society 

If you’re a student looking to get started with the Society, email us at



Turning interest into action

Enactus Portsmouth is a non-profit student-led organisation, within the University of Portsmouth and part of the wider community of Enactus UK. We aim to make a difference within the local community and wider society, by setting up social enterprises which tackle issues in and around Portsmouth.

  • We identify issues which need tackling and carry out assessments to find solutions to these issues.
  • We build strong relationships with our communities and partnerships to ensure we tackle issues to the best of our abilities.
  • We work closely with the University of Portsmouth, providing an opportunity to all and making sure student views are heard

Please register here if you are interested: http://