Skip to main content

Startup in Business

Whether you want to turn a bright idea into a great new business or use your talents to work freelance, we provide the support you need to achieve your ambitions.
About Us
A student browsing various brochures and pamphlets in the Careers and Enterprise Centre

Careers & Enterprise provides an exceptional package of support to help you: create and explore new ideas, develop your entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, access funding and market opportunities, and become part of the entrepreneurial community on campus. This support includes:

Startup Coaching Sessions

Our Startup Coaching Sessions provide an opportunity to discuss your future ambitions and progress made to date with us. We'll help you to identify the next steps for taking your ideas forward and implement actions to achieve your goals. Our coaches are here to support you on your journey to starting up your business and beyond.


We provide a range of highly interactive workshop programmes to help you learn about different aspects of starting a business. Whether you want to develop new ideas, bring an innovative new product or service to market, learn about the essentials of marketing, pitching, legal issues and finance, or want to know how to set up as a freelancer, we have the right programme for you.

Funding Opportunities

At each stage of developing a new idea, Careers & Enterprise provides opportunities for you to access equity-free grant funding to take your idea to the next level. If you want to explore external sources of funding, we can also help you prepare your business case to give you the greatest chance of success.


Take part in Durham University's biggest startup competition, Blueprint Startup Challenge. You could win up to £5000 to accelerate the growth of your business. We can also help you with entries to national and international startup competitions.

Networking Events

Join our entrepreneurial community on campus. We run a variety of networking events throughout the academic year including entrepreneur talk-ins, informal pitching events and panel discussions. They provide a great opportunity to meet like-minded students in a social environment.

Startup Visa

Eligible non-EEA international students have the opportunity to set up their own business in the UK after finishing their studies.

If you are an international student interested in starting a business in the UK after you graduate, Careers & Enterprise can provide support to help you achieve your goals.

We will provide you with information, advice and guidance to help you work towards gaining the endorsement that you need to apply for a Startup Visa. Obtaining this visa will allow you to legally start your business in the UK for an initial period of 2 years.

Contact Paul Stafford as soon as possible to discuss your idea and receive the support you need to give yourself the best chance of securing endorsement. 

With the launch of the Graduate Route Visa in summer 2021 there are no current set deadlines for Startup Visa endorsement applications.

The Graduate Route Visa enables students graduating in summer 2021 onwards to remain in the UK after completing study in order to work or look for work for up to 2 years (3 years for PhD students). For more information see Immigration Support.

Durham Venture School

After graduation, you could join a six-month programme that brings together the brightest minds to launch high-potential startups.

This is a unique opportunity to work alongside other exceptional Durham University graduates to explore significant problems facing industry and society. We will surround you with the tools, funding, support and connections to help you generate new ideas and launch ventures with the potential to achieve significant impact. We hope to inspire participants with visits to international entrepreneurship hubs and through mentoring from members of our global alumni community.