Did you know UCLan graduates still have access to many of the university facilities and services, such as the library, gym, careers advice and business support? Propeller is part of that package, supporting business incubation and start-up activity. If you decide to start your own business after graduation, we’re here to help you with a range of practical workshops, 1-to-1 mentorship, rentable business workspace, competitions and funding support, online modules and networking events.
UCLan is ranked as the leading UK university for incubated start-up businesses still active after three years of trading. Pretty impressive, right? In the last five years the University has helped over 1,000 students or graduates start a business or became self-employed, the second highest figure in the UK. Propeller has been running for over 10 years (with a rebrand from Northern Lights in 2017) and is a key part of UCLan’s entrepreneurial focus. We help students, graduates and staff members realise their business potential, all the way from idea generation to ongoing business growth.
Business Working Space
If you are just starting out, renting an office can be a daunting expense, which is why many start-ups begin in coworking spaces. The Propeller Hub is one such space available to students and graduates, no matter how long ago they left UCLan. Use of the space includes access to IT, telephony and printing; business support and mentoring; access to specialist facilities; use of a UCLan trading address; meeting space and boardroom booking. With hot-desking from £20.83 a month and desk space rental from £80.83 a month, we offer affordable working space during those critical starting months.
Our Propeller networking events are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and are a great way to engage with local businesses, individuals, staff and students. We look for engaging, relevant topics and invite external speakers to give a presentation, with extra time before and after for discussion. The Centre for SME Development also hosts events for local small and medium-sized enterprises, including business breakfasts.
Graduates are more than welcome to attend our workshops, delivered at the Preston campus. Our Propeller Enterprise Programme is designed to cover all the basic elements of setting up a business, with additional bite-sized briefings complementing this offering with additional skills workshops.
Flightpath – Freelance Support
Flightpath is a new online resource we have been developing to support people who want to work self-employed. For some, this is as a supplementary income and for others it can be their full-time occupation. With changes to the way businesses operate, self-employment and freelancing are becoming increasingly common, but not everyone feels prepared enough to undertake such work. That’s where Flightpath comes in. The first module looks at how to use your own skills and attributes to get the most out of freelancing. Future modules will be release on the 1st of March, covering ideas & innovation, value propositions and business communication.
Our team of mentors can offer you 1-to-1 support focused specifically on your personal business needs. They can guide you through idea development, creating a business plan, setting up as self-employed, creating and implementing a marketing plan, procuring funding, managing finances and growing your business.
Awards & Competitions
We are more than happy to help you develop any applications to enterprise awards or competitions, as well as our own Propeller Enterprise Award, which is open to recent graduates (graduated in the last 12 months). The latest round of the Propeller Enterprise Award gives business ideas and new start-ups up to £1,000. It is running until 1st of March 2019 and applicants can meet with a mentor to develop their ideas.
For more information on any of the above, check out the Propeller website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone the Propeller team on 01772 895950. You can also come to the office on the 4th floor of the Media Factory (401) between 9.00am – 5.00pm on weekdays.