Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Self employment


If you want to set up your own business you'll need an original idea, hard work, determination and expert advice.

Support from within the University

Ingenuity Lab

The University of Nottingham's Ingenuity Lab, part of the The Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HGI), helps undergraduates and postgraduates learn about enterprise and build their entrepreneurial skills.

Visit the Ingenuity Lab website


If you have a business idea that you want to take forward, you may be interested in entering Ingenuity18, the University's entrepreneurship competition with a prize fund of over £100,000. Apply by 26 January 2018.

Find out more about Ingenuity18

Nottingham Advantage Award

If you have an idea that you would like to turn into a business, you may be interested in taking the Student Venture Challenge, an accredited module.

Visit the Nottingham Advantage Award


Social enterprises

Social enterprises are businesses set up to tackle a social and/or environmental need. The profits are then used to further the social and environmental goals of the business. Social enterprises operate across a wide range of industries and sectors.

For more information and support look at the Social Enterprise Coalition website and read their guide Social Enterprise Explained, with practical information for beginners however big or small their idea.


The Ingenuity Lab and HungryPanda

Kelu Liu, director of HungryPanda and Sir David Greenaway

Kelu Liu with Sir David Greenaway.

Kelu Liu first came up with the idea of HungryPanda, a new takeaway food concept, in 2016. SInce the launch, they have established an office at The Ingenuity Centre and expanded into five UK cities.

HungryPanda also won the prestigious Ingenuity17 Vice-Chancellor's Entrepreneurial Potential Prize worth £10,000. 

"The Ingenuity Lab has been really supportive in helping me build the skills I need to run, and be part of, an international business. My key message to anyone wanting to join The Ingenuity Lab is 'success cannot be copied'. The Ingenuity Lab provides you with the support and advice to grow your career skills and develop your business, but it is down to you to use those opportunities and create your own, unique success story."

Kelu Liu, BSc Jt Hons Computer Science and Management (2016)


Organisations offering advice and support

The British Franchise Association (BFA)
Learn about franchising and attend seminars covering how to buy one

Contractor UK
Graduate guide to contracting work

Business support for female entrepreneurs

Freelancing Matters
Magazine of PCG, the professional body of freelancing
Government information on starting your own business, with practical advice

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Investment for young businesses to encourage development

Nottingham Business Venture
Training scholarships and financial support

Supporting women to start and develop their own business

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
Information on setting up businesses for blind or partially sighted people

Government-funded service to support entrepreneurs and small start-ups

Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE)
Aimed at rural female entrepreneurs

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679