Propeller is UCLan’s support service for  freelancing, business start-ups and entrepreneurial thinking.  We are open to ever student, staff member and graduate.

We can help you apply entrepreneurial thinking to your current course, assisting you to gain experience and understand how business works. We do this with a programme of skills workshops, mentoring, funding awards, networking events, work space and online tools.


Our 3 mentors Steve, Craig and Liz all have experience running their own businesses, with different areas of speciality.

Whether you are looking for an in-depth breakdown of what you need to do and how to go about it, or simply need moral support as you take the big steps, our mentors are there for you.

We also have a bank of external mentors who currently work in industry. Our external mentors are funded by the ERDF U Start project for eligible clients.


Throughout the academic year we offer a host of workshops.

Our main offering is the Propeller Enterprise Programme, a series of 6 workshops designed to help you turn a business idea into a reality. These are then complemented by our Bite-sized Briefings – shorter workshops that focus on specific issues that arise for new start-ups.


Our networking events are a great opportunity to build working relationships, see who you can help and who can help you. Guest speakers present on a topic, providing plenty of opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals and businesses interested in the same topics.

2nd Tuesday of each month

  • 4:00-4:30 Registration
  • 4:30-5:15 Presentations
  • 5:15-7:00 Buffet Networking

To find out what’s happening this month, check the What’s On page.


Freelancing is a great way to earn money whilst studying as you can focus as much or as little as you want on it.

Our virtual learning environment Flightpath is designed to help you work out what it is you have to offer and how to turn that into a successful freelance offering. Why not sign up?


Twice per year we run the Propeller Enterprise Award. We offer up to £1,000 to business ideas and early start-ups. You do not compete against other people, funding is allocated on the value of your idea.

In addition, we also support applications to external competitions and funding bodies, such as the Educate North Awards. For the last two years we have supported the winner of the University Entrepreneurs’ Grant, who both went on to win £1,000 and ongoing support through their pitches.


The Propeller Hub is our work space based in the Media Factory.

Working from home can be a big distraction, but you might not be earning enough to rent office space just yet. Social working space is the ideal in between. Our modern workspace houses a growing community of businesses backed up with mentoring, business support and access to UCLan’s facilities & services.


If you’re looking to prepare your students for the working world, entrepreneurial skills are a must. Understanding how business works can give your students an advantage when entering a company, allow them to be flexible with where they work and adapt to new challenges. There’s also the added advantage that if any of your students do go on to open their own consultancies, work freelance or start businesses they have the skills needed to get off to a flying start.

If you are interested in seeing how we can adapt our content to fit your course, get in touch with our mentors.

Success Stories


How can you help me if I’ve already started working for myself?2017-06-14T15:06:04+01:00

As a team we have a lot of “know how” and “know who” to help you take things to the next level. We can help in all areas of business and at all stages of development. This means you will be able to start up and scale up quicker and more sustainably by engaging with us.

I have not heard about you before, what does Propeller do?2017-06-14T15:05:40+01:00

Propeller provides interactive and fun opportunities to help you become more enterprising and entrepreneurial. We enable you to develop the skills, capabilities and mindset to make your ideas happen.  We also offer you the experiences to succeed in self-employment, social & community enterprise or get ahead in your chosen career. Additionally, we complement the studies within your degree programme, especially where project work and business planning are relevant, whatever level you’re studying at.

I don’t know much about business and I’m not studying a business course. How can I be enterprising?2017-06-14T15:05:18+01:00

Enterprise is not just about business. It embraces making a change through a project, student society or social and community enterprise as well. Employers are increasingly looking for commercial awareness in graduates both in the public and private sectors and intrapreneurs- agents of change within large organisations. We can help you develop transferable skills and core employability skills valued by employers. This can help you secure the job you want and get promoted because you will be better equipped to take on greater responsibility for things like managing staff and budgets.

What if I don’t want to start or run a business, how can you help me?2017-06-14T15:04:52+01:00

Engaging with us will likely help you get better grades particularly if you will be assessed on an area relating to pitching ideas and business planning. We can help you to win competitions and awards which will help you get recognised. We can help you open up new opportunities for research, innovation and collaboration and even commercialise your ideas. The world of work has changed so that the idea of a job for life has disappeared. You need to be equipped to work for yourself in the future. This means, even if you don’t feel these skills are relevant to you now, they may well be in a few year’s time.

What if I haven’t got a business idea yet, can I visit you?2017-06-14T15:04:26+01:00

Being enterprising very often comes from having a good or new idea but not always so. Sometimes the motivating factor can be a passion to change things. If you are struggling with ideas, we can help with idea generation and innovation through our workshops. We believe everyone can be creative and we try to provide the environment for you to be exactly that. You will get the chance to interact with other students and businesses to help you generate ideas. Our workshops, competitions and networking events offer excellent ways for you to engage you in new enterprising, real life situations.

How can I engage with you and balance my other commitments such as my course and part time work?2017-06-14T15:03:41+01:00

We believe your education at UCLan is much more than obtaining a Degree although that is a tremendously important part of it. We offer a flexible and responsive service which is available all year round so we can work around your needs. For example, our workshops take place on a rolling basis so you can dip in and out when you like. Your location does not have to be a limiting factor either as we can provide support over the phone or via Skype. We are also developing an online platform so you can access resources anytime, anywhere. You can come to us at any stage after you graduate. Finally, we offer an unlimited offer of support so there is no cut off point and you can receive as much help as you require.

Do you have space to accommodate enterprise projects?2017-07-20T15:56:07+01:00

We have a creative enterprise zone on the 4th Floor of the Media Factory dedicated to students working on enterprise projects as part of their course. It is a flexible meeting space with networked PCs and creative thinking aids which is available 12 hours a day. In exceptional cases, we have supported students to gain access to specialist rooms and teaching spaces where their project merits this.

We have a Professional Practice/Skills module. Can you deliver sessions as part of this?2017-07-20T15:54:02+01:00

A significant part of our work is fulfilling requests from academics to deliver sessions as part of professional practice or skills modules. This ranges from one off sessions on becoming self employed to a series of sessions looking at cultivating entrepreneurial mindset and skills more broadly. We work alongside academics to ensure we tailor the content to the needs of the students and align what we deliver to the Module Information Pack (MIP).

We can offer flexible delivery as well: from running Dragon’s Den type activities to support for grant schemes within your Faculty.

Where colleagues prefer to embed enterprise within a programme rather than treat it as a “bolt on” module, we are willing to support with curriculum design and assessment to aid the process.

Do you have teaching and learning resources to help us deliver enterprise?2017-07-27T16:38:58+01:00

We possess specialist resources relating to business planning and social enterprise which we are licensed to use.  Additionally, we have a bank of teaching and learning materials to share with colleagues which can be adapted to most courses.  They encompass a wide range of knowledge, skills and capabilities relating to enterprise and entrepreneurship: self-assessment, personal effectiveness and branding, creative problem solving and idea generation through to assessing viability and feasibility of ideas and business planning.  Moreover, we are members of Enterprise Educators UK which is a national network of best practice in the field, so you can access latest materials being used by HEIs.  Finally, we have access to case studies and Alumni who are running successful businesses in a range of fields who are often willing to speak to groups of students.

We are going through Periodic Course Review (PCR), can you assist us introduce more enterprise in our modules?2017-06-14T14:47:24+01:00

We are able to support staff with curriculum design and assessment relating to the development of enterprise and entrepreneurship modules delivered in the curriculum. Based on our knowledge and experience as a team we can often suggest innovative approaches and we would engage with colleagues within CELT as part of this process.

How can you help my students with a project linked to their course?2017-06-14T14:46:56+01:00

We have numerous examples of students working on a business plan/proposal as part of a module where we have supported the student with mentoring and managed workspace and liaised closely with their tutor. We can connect students to the business community either through Alumni whom we have started in business or through our wider networks. We can signpost students to specialist services and facilities at UCLan, whether they be advice clinics or equipment to help get projects off the ground. In exceptional cases, we refer students for expert advice from academic staff who have experience in a particular business area but who teach on a different course to the student’s programme of study.

Can any student access your service?2017-06-14T14:46:21+01:00

We can support students from any course, at any level of study. Students can either attend our extra curricular programme or receive specific support relating to their course of study where it relates to enterprise or entrepreneurship. Our extra curricular programme comprises of mentoring, workshops, networking, action learning, competitions, grants and managed workspace. We usually have students come to us for support relating to business planning and projects working with business or the community.

Can I use the Propeller space?2017-06-15T14:25:07+01:00

Use of the space is free for students for the duration of their studies; and free for 6 months for graduates. Contact us today if you would like further info on

Why should I choose Propeller?2017-06-15T14:24:46+01:00

We act as a single point of access to a range of business support, specialist facilities and networks at UCLan. Contact us today if you would like further info on

Is any grant funding available?2017-06-15T14:24:36+01:00

We have an annual award called the Student Entrepreneurship Award for students and recent graduates. Our Business Mentors have experience in helping businesses identify appropriate sources of funding. Contact us today if you would like to find out about funding

How do I register?2017-07-20T15:40:47+01:00

Get in touch using email, telephone or turn up at reception. We will take some contact details and make an appointment for you to see one of the Business Mentors where you will go through the registration process. Contact us today if you would like to register

Who is eligible to use the service?2017-06-15T14:23:21+01:00

The support programme is open to any business which has been trading for under 2 years. We particularly invite UCLan students, graduates and staff to get in touch with us. Contact us today if you would like further info on