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Promoting enterprise has always been part of our DNA, from when we first opened our doors in 1843 as the Nottingham Government School of Design to support the development of skills, innovation and growth within Nottingham.

Last year, 6,900 NTU students engaged with enterprise-focused activities across the University, demonstrating their passion and enthusiasm for entrepreneurial opportunities.

In addition, 84 students launched their own businesses supported by business advisers, mentoring programmes and business development opportunities.

This could not have been achieved without individual and corporate philanthropic financial support to our enterprise funding.

Our priorities

Demand for our Enterprise support and outreach continues to grow year on year.

We have ambitious plans for the future and want to offer broader provision of enterprise support and engage with more students, graduates and local SMEs than ever before.

1) Support and grow outstanding student, recent graduate, staff and academic enterprise through consultancy, information, advice and guidance.

Our newly established Enterprise Fund supports student and graduate (within two years of graduation) start-ups through grants, convertible loans and possible future equity funding. It provides a route to early funding for student and graduate start-ups and gives them that all-important first cash investments to test their business ideas and develop their plans.

2) Increase University-wide engagement with enterprise activities, raising awareness of entrepreneurial activities amongst hard-to-reach student groups, thereby supporting NTU’s commitment to social mobility.

Our plans include a series of workshops or roadshows to increase our enterprise outreach to and engagement with students across our campuses, particularly from hard to reach groups. The development of a specialised programs designed to support the growth of new businesses would enable us to increase our interaction and support of students who have great ideas, to develop into start up businesses. Our ambitions in this area also include another business advisor to help more students to navigate their enterprise planning and support them throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

3) Provide cutting edge facilities that support the ambitious growth of enterprise activities within the East Midlands and increase the number of new, full-time, paid jobs in partner SMEs.  

The Dryden Enterprise Centre will form the focal point for the University’s future enterprise activities creating a dynamic environment where student and graduate entrepreneurs, small businesses and larger companies can interact and collaborate with academics, leaders in business and each other. We will deliver a full programme of events, workshops and innovation showcases and develop the Centre as a hub for enterprise innovation, technology and business growth across the East Midlands.

Investing in our future

Support from friends, alumni, foundations and corporate partners is vital to our work in this area.

It can enable us to accelerate our progress and help more students and graduates realise their enterprise ambitions. Success through enterprise will have a long-term positive impact, not only on our students and graduates but on the wider local, regional and national economy.

As part of our plans, we are establishing a community of supporters to champion enterprise at NTU; sharing their time, skills and financial support.

We invite you to join our community of innovators.

There has never been a better time to invest in local businesses in Nottingham, as we reimagine enterprise for our students, staff, graduates and local start-ups.

For more information contact

Fundraising promise

Nottingham Trent University are members of the Fundraising Regulator, and as such abide by the Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the Fundraising Promise. Find out what this means.

Contact us

Our alumni and supporters’ enable amazing things to happen at Nottingham Trent University. Contact the Development and Alumni Relations Team on or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8777.

Follow our alumni social media channels