University Enterprise Zone

Business support and funding for trailblazers

Group of business people discussing ideas at a computer

Reaching out to help businesses to grow

As a University Enterprise Zone, we are designated by the Government as a centre for nurturing and supporting new digital and creative businesses. Our focus is on increasing business success and job creation by providing budding entrepreneurs with advice and practical support through webinars and 1-on-1 support from our UEZ team. This is paired with access to funding through our innovative equity investment platform, Angels@Essex. Whether you are an entrepreneur, an investor, or a student with a vision, we invite you to get involved.

Our four key areas of UEZ activity

Space to Grow: business support and webinar programme for start-ups

An innovative support programme, Space to Grow helps budding businesses get investment-ready.

Space to Grow provides businesses with access to webinars and specialist one-to-one support. Our team helps commercialise ideas and supports fundraising to grow your business. Learn more on the Space to Grow page, find out about the latest events, sign up to the Space to Grow newsletter, or get in touch directly at uez@essex.ac.uk.

Explore Space to Grow

Angels@Essex: investment platform 

An equity investment platform to help innovative businesses develop and grow. 

Angels@Essex is a regulated, invitation-only equity investment platform that links angel investors to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, fostering the growth of new and exciting disruptive technologies.

If you would like to receive an invitation to join, email uez@essex.ac.uk with your contact details to receive further information on how to invest or apply for funding. Or visit the Angels@Essex page and sign up to the Angels@Essex newsletter.

Discover Angels@Essex

Studio X: Digital creative studio and student start-up space

Studio X is the University’s digital creative studio and home to the student business start-up programme.

Access the equipment and expertise you need to develop your idea and create your reality in virtual environments. Get in touch with startups@essex.ac.uk to get started.

Work everywhere wifi 

The University of Essex is implementing wifi access everywhere for all visitors, providing an instant and stable connection across our entire campus. 

Wherever you are, you will have an easy-access connection without having to log into separate networks. This is all part of the University Enterprise Zone project, and our vision to invite businesses to become part of our community.

A vision for innovation in the UK

As part of our UEZ status, Research England and the UK Government committed £800,000 towards the £1.3 million Accelerating Innovation at the Knowledge Gateway project. Based at our Colchester campus, this project is dedicated to developing and commercialising ideas for the benefit of the UK economy. University Enterprise Zones were first established in four pilot areas in 2015. Essex was one of 20 new zones to be created in 2019.

 

“This provides national recognition of the Knowledge Gateway's strategic importance and further momentum to our aspirations to make it the location of choice in the eastern region for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and the creative sector. We've been working towards this status over the last five years, with over £50 million of investment."
Professor Anthony Forster Vice-Chancellor, University of Essex

Meet our UEZ team

 Elizabeth Guyar-Brown

Project Manager

,

Liz has overall responsibility for the development and co-ordination of the four work packages: Space to Grow, Angels@Essex, Studio X, and wifi everywhere. Working closely with the work package leads, supports the smooth running of the governance and delivery structures. Liz is an experienced Project Manager, having previously worked at BBC Learning, where she was responsible for large scale campaigns and events. Since joining the University of Essex in 2009 she has worked on a range of strategic projects, most recently Liz lead the Careers Services Team.

 John Stenhouse

Business Support Manager

,

John is a Lifelong Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs with many years’ experience of providing business support. He gained this experience in a professional capacity, as well as acting as a serial entrepreneur and investor himself.

 Josh Clarke

Business Support Coordinator

,

Josh has experience starting up his own business and successfully pitching for private investment, as well as working on a range of collaborative projects. He has a strong understanding of the importance of building positive relationships with external stakeholders. His strong understanding of what appeals to investors allows him to bring particular value to this project.

 Caelin Toms

Administrative Officer

,

Caelin provides support for growing businesses and projects. She supports investors and start-up businesses looking for funding through the Angels@Essex investment platform, assists in the implementation of the Space to Grow programme to help businesses get investment-ready, and supports Studio X activities.

business-for-non-business-students-1000x1000
Our upcoming business events

Discover the very latest business events hosted by the University of Essex. From networking events to conferences, you can stay up to date with our calendar here.

Discover our upcoming events