As a York graduate, you’re able to schedule an Enterprise consultation appointment with our Student Enterprise Manager, Sam Smith at

This appointment aims to offer you guidance, support, and someone to bounce your ideas off.

If you graduated within the past two years, you're eligible to apply for the following:

  • Proof of Concept: Start the early conceptualisation of your business with a £500 cash fund, dedicated to creating a Minimal Viable Product (MVP), aimed at testing your concept's feasibility. An external assessor will provide valuable insights. empowering you to explore the early stages of your business. Apply here.
  • Summer Accelerator: This programme offers a comprehensive package including £2,000 for living expenses and business funding, five hours of personalised business coaching, and access to a workspace. Once you've thoroughly explored your innovative idea, we encourage you to dedicate eight focused weeks to your business. Apply here.

We also have relationships with several organisations in York, including with Phase One, who support innovators in turning ideas into sustainable businesses. Phase One membership is open to students and graduates and provides workspace, advice, workshops and one-to-one mentoring.

If you are an international graduate, please check your visa allows you to start up a business.

Starting a business can filled with exciting opportunities as well as unique challenges. Here are some useful links if you’re thinking of starting a business:

  • GOV.UK Starting a business: provides comprehensive guidance and resources for individuals looking to start a business in the UK. It covers everything from registering your business, to taxes, and permits.
  • Start Up Donut: offers practical advice and information for aspiring entrepreneurs. It covers various aspects of starting and running a business, including business planning, finance, marketing, and legal considerations.
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB): provides resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy for small businesses and self-employed individuals.
  • Company House: as the official registrar of companies in the UK, Company House offers guidance on registering and managing a company.
  • The Prince's Trust: offers support and funding for young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 who want to start their own business.

Approximately two million people in the UK do freelance work, within a diverse range of professions, such as consultants, translators, graphic designers, marketers and musicians.

Going freelance can give you the flexibility to choose your projects, set your own schedule, and work from almost anywhere. However, there can be challenges, such as managing finances, finding clients, missing the support of a team, and maintaining a steady workflow. 

Here are some useful websites to visit if you’re looking to start your journey as a freelancer:

  • IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed): represents freelancers and self-employed people, offering support and advice.
  • Freelance Corner: provides practical advice, resources, and community support for freelancers. It covers various aspects of freelancing, from finding work to managing contracts and taxes.
  • Crunch: an online accounting and financial software platform tailored for freelancers and small businesses. It helps with invoicing, expenses, and tax management.
  • Upwork: a global freelancing platform that allows freelancers to connect with clients worldwide and work on various projects.
  • LinkedIn: While not specific to freelancing, LinkedIn is an essential networking tool for freelancers to connect with potential clients and showcase their skills and experiences.
  • PeoplePerHour: connects freelancers with clients for a wide range of projects and services.

A portfolio career involves having multiple jobs or sources of income, allowing you to pursue diverse interests and skills. Building a portfolio career requires careful planning, time management, and the ability to adapt to different roles and responsibilities.

Here are some useful websites with tips and insights, if you’re interested in building a portfolio career:

  • The Portfolio Collective: offers advice, resources, and a community for individuals seeking to create and manage a portfolio career. It provides insights on building a diverse portfolio, finding clients, and managing multiple income streams.
  • The Guardian: has articles and features on portfolio careers, offering insights and inspiration for those considering this career path.
  • PeoplePerHour: as a platform for freelance work, PeoplePerHour can be a useful resource for individuals building a portfolio career by taking on diverse projects.
  • IPSE: (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed): provides support and resources for freelancers and independent professionals, including those pursuing a portfolio career.
  • LinkedIn: a valuable tool for professionals with portfolio careers to showcase diverse skills and experiences, as well as connect with potential clients and employers.