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Start up support

It all starts with an idea. But that's not what makes a startup work. You'll need to execute well, and to get the right support when you need it. We can help with that.

"Starting your own business can be daunting. NTU Enterprise took away any fears I had and helped me with the advice and support I needed to implement my business ideas. I met with my mentor regularly and she kept me on track with my plans. I also benefited hugely from access to NTU Enterprise facilities and resources. In fact, NTU Enterprise remains a strong foundation on which my business was built."

Julia Mitchell, Toast PR

The journey from idea to business can be rewarding, challenging, thrilling and maddening all at once. That's why you need people to reach out to on your way.

At NTU Enterprise, we offer a range of business support services designed to assist at every stage, from researching ideas and markets to securing funding and new markets.

Here's just a little taste of what we provide:

  • Access to excellent facilities and office space in our new Dryden Enterprise Centre
  • Advice and mentoring support for up to three years
  • Business guidance, and planning services
  • A packed calendar of events and socials
  • Networking opportunities, and news of potential opportunities
  • Access to funded programmes of support for entrepreneurs and SMEs

For more information, please contact us at or apply using our online form.

So what do you need to succeed?

  • I want to evaluate my business idea

    Whether your business idea is a commercial venture or a social enterprise, through our intensive HeadStart programme, we help you identify opportunities and shape your business concept into something that will last.

    You'll work alongside other businesses in a supportive environment, and receive one-to-one tailored mentoring support. You'll also tap into tutorial sessions covering topics such as:

    • Market research
    • Building your brand
    • Business financials
    • Marketing
    • Raising finance
    • Tax and accountancy
    • Presentation skills

    By the end of HeadStart, you'll have a clear and credible business plan, mapping out your first three years. You may then  progress to our mentored three-year SmarTrak programme.

  • I want to start freelancing

    The Hive offers a full-day workshop for those interested in freelancing called "Working For Yourself" teaching the basic but essential skills and know-how that anyone considering self-employment needs.

    • The day will help you to develop your freelancing skills and ambitions.
    • Ensure that you know what to do to trade legally.
    • Get crucial tips to self-employment success.
    • Meet other prospective traders; developing your network.

  • I want to launch and build my business

    Once you've got a solid business plan, our SmarTrak programme will help you get your venture off the ground.

    SmarTrak is a three-year pathway that picks up where HeadStart finishes. We'll help you to:

    • Develop your business idea
    • Improve your business structure
    • Secure customers
    • Establish yourself in your marketplace

    You'll have access to seminars, one-to-one mentoring sessions, exhibitions and events. You'll also be kept up to date with news of funding and award opportunities and potential publicity. And you'll be able to take advantage of The Hive's facilities as well as university knowledge and resources.

  • I'm a creative or digital business seeking advice

    We can help you work out how to get your business started, or to develop it in innovative ways.

    Through The Big House, creative and digital businesses can access support, consultancy, coaching events and grant opportunities, and learn through events, mentoring and networking.

    Businesses at all stages of development can access the advice and expertise of partner organisations including The Creative Quarter company, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School and The Hive, the University of Derby, Derby QUAD, New Art Exchange, Derby Theatre, NBV Enterprise Solutions, and Nottingham City Council's Growth Hub.

    The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

    Fill out our enquiry form, email us at, or telephone +44 (0)115 8484354.

  • I’m interested in retail

    A taste of trading for creatives.

    If you’re a designer, artist or maker looking to explore how to sell your products, we offer sessions which:

    • Help you understand how retailers select and sell work
    • Explore how best to market your creations.

  • I want help to develop a social enterprise

    We work with organisations such as Nottingham City and County Councils to support growing social enterprises.

    We can help you to:

    • Develop a clear social and/or environmental mission
    • Create a sustainable plan that isn't solely reliable on grants
    • Be more accountable and transparent
    • Re-invest profits where they can offer the most impact.

If you would like to find out more about how we could help you further your business ambitions, get in touch with NTU Enterprise using our online form.

Still need help?

NTU Enterprise
+44 (0)115 848 4354