Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Support for business

Students with EIR folders

The Ingenuity Lab offers support, services and mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and specialist consultants.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

Collaborating with the Small Business Charter the Haydn Green Institute has recruited a number of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) to support engagement between the University and local SMEs, entrepreneurs and students. The EIRs engage in activities including mentoring Ingenuity Lab businesses and SMEs, delivering business training seminars and aiding academics in their research.

With over 50 EIRs registered with us, we are able to call on their wealth of experience to support our Lab's start-up businesses covering important topics such as:

  • Finance
  • Tech
  • Law
  • Marketing & brand
  • Management

If you are from a Nottingham-based SME or are part of a University of Nottingham student or alumni business, and require business advice, please get in touch with us to request a meeting with an EIR. 


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Business advice

We have a range of business advisors who can offer you impartial advice and help signpost you in the right direction.  As well as the Lab's in-house business advisors we also are able to offer access to a range of external specialist experts - free of charge. We run seminars and offer one to one surgeries on topics such as:

  • Legal and contracts
  • IP and patents
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Accounts and formation
  • Investment advice
  • Branding
  • Product Design

Start up Visas

The Lab works in partnership with the University of Nottingham’s Visa and Immigration Office to offer a set number of visas each year. They run from April to April and are specifically for graduates to stay in the UK to develop a business.

The Start-up visas are for two years and can start at any time during the year. Overseas students are able to apply up to 12 months after graduating. The process is as follows:

  • Applicant submits a business plan to the Ingenuity Lab for consideration.
  • Applications are then shortlisted and selected applicants will be invited to pitch their business idea to a judging panel convened by the Ingenuity Lab.
  • Business ideas must meet the Home Office's criteria of viable, innovative, and scalable.
  • Those who have made a sucessful business pitch will be recommended for a Start-up visa. You will then need to satisfy further statutory conditions with the Visa and Immigration Office before your visa will be granted. Please visit the UK Government website to confirm your eligibility.

For further information, contact the Visa and Immigration team, or download the Ingenuity Lab Guidelines.

Restrictions for students holding student visas

Students studying in the UK on student visas should remember that self-employment and business activities are not permitted under the student route (formerly known as Tier 4) immigration rules. However, the UKVI guidance for Start-up and Innovator endorsing bodies states that students are allowed to carry out preliminary activities such as writing business plans or negotiating contracts and they may incur pre-trading costs with a view to deciding whether to start a business under a future immigration route such as Start-up or Innovator.  If you have questions, you can refer to the information on the UKCISA website, or you can contact the University’s Visa and Immigration team.


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Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602
Email: business-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk