Starting a Business

MEU institutions have amongst the highest levels of graduate start-ups in the UK. In 2018/19, the universities of De Montfort, Derby, Lincoln and Nottingham Trent established 78% of the 354 East Midlands University student start-ups, with Lincoln and NTU ranking 8th and 10th nationally in term of numbers (HESA).

The student populations of all MEU institutions account for significant proportions of the working age population of their wider local and sub-regional economies, meaning that marginal increases in start-up activity amongst students and graduates can have very significant impacts on the employment, skill base and productivity of these areas.  Over the past 3 years, MEU HEIs have created over 1100 graduate start-ups.

To find out more about the facilities and start-up programmes MEU HEIs have, please click on the links below:

BSEEN is a 12 month start up incubator for Birmingham City University students who are ready to turn their business or social enterprise idea into reality.

CUSE combines sector expertise and academic excellence to deliver entrepreneurial training, social enterprise development and pioneering social innovation.

The Innovation Centre at De Montfort University is a space for those looking to start a business and for established start-ups.  Members are offered free events, business surgeries and networking sessions.

Be The Boss” is a programme of enterprise support aimed at students and recent graduates of the University of Derby who want to become self-employed.


Based at Nottingham Trent University’s City Campus, The Hive’s purpose-built centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise is the ideal environment for nurturing new Nottinghamshire based businesses. 

Situated on the University of Lincoln Brayford Pool Campus, Sparkhouse offers a complete support package for start-ups.

SPEED works to support businesses within Shropshire and the Black Country with bespoke support packages tailored to their needs.