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HeadStart - Business Support Programme for Start Ups

Ready to get your business off the ground? Join our three-month programme led by experts for individuals in the early stages of establishing their business.

Business suppport programme

What is HeadStart?

HeadStart is a flagship programme designed for individuals who are looking to launch a business. The programme is run by NTU Enterprise at our purpose-built Dryden Enterprise Centre on NTU’s city campus.

Who's it for?

HeadStart is for you if:

  • You’ve done the research and now you’re ready to refine and launch your business
  • You're looking for a supportive space to establish your start up with like-minded peers
  • You’re prepared to engage fully in our three-month programme and take action
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and enthusiasm during HeadStart. I found it to be a well organised and run scheme. The balance of necessary information without being overwhelming was spot on and I am sure it will be most beneficial in the progression of my business!

Tim Cook

Our three-month programme comprises:

  • 4 days of intensive workshops
  • Mentoring sessions with Enterprise Advisers and Volunteer Mentors
  • Peer-group sessions
  • Action Learning for you to complete during the programme
  • 5 days of flexi-access to Dryden Enterprise Centre

The programme is facilitated by NTU Enterprise Advisers (all of whom run or have run their own businesses) and specialist experts. It has a value exceeding £2000 but we are able to offer the programme without cost to you!

Places are limited and are allocated through our application process. We are looking for committed individuals who are passionate about taking the next steps in their business. If that's you request an application pack by emailing

Applications are now open for April 2022! The deadline to request an application pack is Thursday 31 March 1 pm and the deadline for application submissions is Monday 4 April 2022, 5 pm. Please submit your application as early as possible. In the event that your application is successful and the cohort is full, you may be offered a place on a later HeadStart.

Simply email to request an application pack today.

Key dates that you will need to be available for:

HeadStart April 2022

Tues 26 April

Workshop Day 1 (full day)

  • Idea Validation
  • Start thinking about Sustainability
  • The Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition and Your Business
  • Being a Great Mentee

Wed 27 April

Workshop Day 2 (full day)

  • Market research & Understanding your Customers
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Action Planning

Tues 17 May

Peer group session A  +  Volunteer mentors session (inc lunch at DEC) 09.30am – 12.30pm

Wed 25 May

Workshop Day 3 (full day)

  • Branding
  • Marketing 101: Traditional Marketing & Digital Marketing

Tues 14 June

Peer group session B 09.30-10.30

Wed 22 June

Workshop Day 4 (full day)

  • Communicating Your Business to the World
  • Perfecting Your Pitch
  • Celebration!

Tues 12 July

Peer group session C  +  Volunteer mentors session (inc lunch at DEC) 09.30am – 12.30pm

*Participation in the HeadStart programme is usually in-person at the Dryden Enterprise Centre. If you are a graduate and live out of the area, we may be able to offer you a place via virtual attendance. Please indicate this when you email to request an application pack. We cannot guarantee this option for any particular HeadStart cohort.

Any questions, please ask. Thank you!

Please note this is a hybrid programme and will be running virtually as well as in person. We advise that you attend the programme in person to make the most of the Dryden Enterprise Centre and the facilities available as part of the programme. However, we understand this is not possible for everyone, therefore virtual attendance is an option.

Email  to request an application pack.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418