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Student Enterprise

We offer a range of support for St Mary's students and graduates interested in starting or growing a business, working for themselves as a freelancer or by becoming self-employed, or who just want to develop a more enpreneurial and enterprising mindset.

Start-up St Mary's

Start-up St Mary's is a 9 week programme of workshops and activities starting at the end of January 2022. 

The programme is for any students or alumni within two years of graduating wanting to learn more about business start-ups or how to get a business idea of the ground.

Perhaps you've thought about becoming self-employed, or would simply like to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set?

The workshops will take you through different aspects of teh entrepreneurial process, from generating ideas and understanding your market, to finances, networking, marketing, building resilience and pitching for funding.  

The programme will be sponsored by Santander Universities and there is the opportunity of pitching for part of a prize fund worth £7,000 to develop your business ideas.

To apply to take part, you need to be a current student of St Mary’s, or have graduated from the university in either of the previous 2 academic years (2019/20 and 2020/21)

To find out more about the programme, including how, where and when to apply, please visit our Careers and Employability Moodle pages or contact us on

#StartUpStMarys #investinyourfuture


Building a Start-Up Business - a Level 6 Workplace Learning Module

This Centre for Workplace Learning module runs in Semster 1 each year and is designed specifically for St Mary's students who have a viable business idea that they would like to realise its potential in the marketplace. Students will have access to specially selected business mentors and successful start-up business entrepreneurs. They will have the opportunity to draw upon their experience and advice which will ultimately help them create a business plan and present their idea to a panel of experts. 

This is a selective module and students need to complete an application form and have an interview. Selection is now closed for 2021/22. 

One-to-one guidance

St Mary's students and gradautes can book a careers appointment for one-to-one, confidential guidance about starting a business, becoming self-employed or working as a freelancer. You may also wish to discuss startegies for developing a more enterprising or entrepreneurial approach in the workplace, even though you plan to work for an employer. 

To book a careers appointment, please email, call 0208 240 4055, or book online through our CareerConnect system

Enterprise Information

The following is a list of organisations and websites that provide key information on accessing funding for self-employment, different formats of setting up your own business, how to register when going self-employed or setting up your own business.

  • TARGET Entrepeneurship Advice - an entrepreneurship guide from the TARGETjobs website for those who’re keen to be their own boss. 
  • Advice for on Self-Employment - information on self-employment aimed at students and gradautes, from the Prospects website.
  • The National Council for Entrepreneurship in Education - aims to raise the profile of self-employment and the option of starting your own business as a career choice for graduates. The NCGE runs the "Flying Start" programme to help students and graduates put their business ideas into practice – see for details.
  • Business Link - government online resource to help you start up, funding (, and how to improve and grow your business. 
  • Government's  Innovation Funding pages - guidance for business and academic organizations on Innovate UK's funding competitions to test ideas and develop innovative products and service.
  • The Prince's Trust - free business advice and low-interest loans to help unemployed young people (aged up to 30) set up their own business.
  • Shell Livewire - help for 16-30 year olds aiming to start their own business.
  • Company Bug - support and advice aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Bytestart - advice site for the self-employed and limited company owners. 
  • Portobello Business Centre - free, industry-informed advice and courses for budding entrepreneurs and SMEs.
  • Lloyds TSB Business Guide - over 80 business guides free for anyone considering self employment or starting their own business.
  • British Chambers of Commerce - supports a network of businesses throughout the UK to help them thrive. You can also find and join your local Chambers of Commerce
  • NESTA - the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts runs a number of award programmes, which support innovators from inventors and engineers to filmmakers and musicians.
  • Progressive Sports- an organisation that operates its services in schools and communities around Staffordshire in the Midlands. The step was taken to Franchise the business back in 2009, so that the Progressive Sports experience could be experienced across the whole of the UK!.
  • A guide to self-employment in the UK - useful advice from the Simply Business website on how to get started setting yourself up as a self-employed person 
  • Start-Up Richmond - business support for organisations in Richmond Upon Thames location ​
  • HMRC YouTube - a clip that outlines how to register if you become self-employed or set up your own business. ​

St Mary's students can access more information and resources on our Careers and Employability Moodle pages. St Mary's gradautes should contact for access.