Starting your own business

How the Startups team can help you

The Essex Startups team supports students and graduates who are interested in starting their own business and want to discuss, develop, test and launch their ideas. No matter where you are in your start-up journey, we are here to help you with advice, workshops and tips. With a range of highly skilled mentors, you can be sure that we can offer trusted and sincere advice on your next steps.

We are here to help you if:

  • you've got an idea for a business
  • you're starting your business
  • your business is up and running

Throughout the academic year we also host a variety of workshops, bootcamps, funding competitions and activities, all tailored to help you get business ready. You can find these by searching for 'Essex Startups' on CareerHub or by keeping track of our events on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Meet with us

1:1 Advice sessions

We are on hand to offer free one to one business advice to students, staff and graduates of the University. These sessions can offer guidance and practical information to help you develop your ideas and structure your start-up.

In these sessions, you can talk about your business ideas and find out how the University can help you to move your business forward. Just email to arrange a Zoom call or meeting in Studio X in the Innovation Centre. 

Please note, 1:1 advice sessions are by appointment only.

Grow with us

Make Me An Entrepreneur series     

We are hosting three six-week programmes, each focusing on enhancing the opportunities for underrepresented groups within entrepreneurial community.

By participating in these programmes, you will gain the essential knowledge to successfully start a business and have the opportunity to pitch for up to £3,000 of funding to develop your business idea. 

Each week you will hear from a guest speaker, who will share their own start-up journey experiences and provide expert industry insights into the opportunities and challenges they have encountered. 

The three programmes on offer are:

  • Empower: Female Founders
  • Digerati: Science and Technology Founders
  • BE ME: Black and Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs

Business bootcamps

Summer bootcamp

Join our intensive, two-day Bootcamp to move your business forward with the help of a host of entrepreneurs, business experts and Essex Startups mentors. Focussed on developing your business plan in order to get you ready for The Big Pitch and a chance to win funding for your business!

Mini bootcamps

Our 4 hour, bite-size bootcamps are bursting with advice and guidance and are focused on helping you approach various aspects of your start-up. These sessions are open to all our Essex students and Graduates, and we encourage you to attend as many as you can! Check out what‘s coming up:

  • Market research - Learn great techniques to analyse and understand your market to see where you and your business fit in.
  • Sales and Pricing - Make sure you get your figures right to take the best first step into the world of small business. Getting those initial numbers in place could make the difference to your startup journey.
  • Marketing Strategy - Every good idea needs a good story to sell it. You may know your product or service inside out, but how do you get everyone on board? Learn about useful techniques to spread the good word of your startup
  • Social Media Strategy - Social media is pretty big news these days, make sure you know how to use it to help your business and connect you to your customers.
  • Finance and Accounting - An essential part of any start-up, keeping great records and forecasting for the future can help take your fledgling company to the next level.

All bootcamps are bookable through CareerHub - simply search for 'Essex Startups'


Our fun filled and action-packed weekenders are a great way to focus on your business. Whether you are still formulating ideas or are ready to thrash out your marketing strategy, we cover a host of different topics to help you make the best of your start-up up while working with other students and graduates who share your interest in becoming future business owners. Book your place through CareerHub.

Workshops and webinars

We have a jam-packed monthly schedule of 60-90 minute workshops and webinars to help you with your start-up. From marketing strategies, to legal structures, to bookkeeping; we have tons of helpful sessions to help you prepare for your start-up journey. Find out more on CareerHub.

Funding opportunities

Essex Startups offer various ways to develop your business ideas and your entrepreneurial skills, including competitions to win cash prizes.

From the Big Pitch to Dragons Den, and our £100 Challenges, we host funding opportunities throughout the year to help aid your startup. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for investment announcements.  

Start-up visa

The University of Essex is an authorised Start-up endorsing body. Our scheme is only open to eligible Essex students and recent Essex graduates (up to 3 years after graduation). Find out more about how to apply.

Studio X

Studio X is a vibrant hub of start-up activity and home to the Essex Startups team, the University’s dedicated service to help students and graduates turn big ideas into big businesses. We offer a supportive and nurturing space for student and graduate start-ups to call their own. With access to hot-desk space, 1:1 business support, and fun and interesting workshops and events to boost your entrepreneurial skills, our thriving start-up community can be found at the Innovation Centre, on the Knowledge Gateway.

We are greatly interested in businesses with a purpose and those with a sustainable focus, we are hoping to offer a programme in the next academic year 22/23 that focuses on creating sustainable businesses for the future.

We have already seen some of Essex Startups cohort work on sustainable businesses that have grown and developed with the team to successfully receive funding and launch their businesses. Abel Akale founder of ONEOFFNATURE created an online marketplace for sustainable fashion- upcycling old garments and using dead stock to create new items. Temeni Ayo-Kasumu is working on creating feminine hygiene products made from discarded banana leaf.

These are just some of the great ideas that have come through Essex Startups. If you have a business idea you would like help with to develop then get in contact with the team via and we will be on hand to help you with every step of your entrepreneurial journey.

Get in touch
Essex Startups team