Thinking of starting your own business or pursuing a freelance career? The Venture Programme consists of a series of events, support and guidance to help you do just that. It can help you develop the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections to be your own boss.

Venture events will challenge your thinking, expose you to the business world and give you the opportunity to make something happen for yourself. Venture is here to inspire you and to support you to be enterprising. Take a look at some start-up stories from students and graduates who have been through the programme and successfully launched a business.

You may not have a business idea just yet and be looking to explore the different aspects of starting up- or you may already be running a business and wish to hone and develop some key skills – it doesn’t matter what stage of your business you’re at, you can still get involved.

What type of support can I access?

We offer a range of support, including one-to-one surgeries and online workshops in the following areas:

  • Setting up
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Finance and Funding
  • Enterprise Skills
  • Business Planning
  • Legal Matters
  • Online Marketing

All sessions are delivered by entrepreneurs, industry experts and business consultants and coaches. Find out more here.

What business have started from the Venture Programme?

Whatever your business idea, you can use the Venture Programme. In the past 10 years, we’ve had businesses use the programme in a range of areas and sectors including:

  • Photography
  • Animal care
  • Food manufacture
  • Wheelchair design
  • Photography
  • Illustration
  • PR
  • Custom clothing

You can check out a selection of the businesses we’ve helped to support through the Venture Programme here.

How many sessions do I have to attend?

It’s completely up to you how many sessions you attend. Some students choose to attend all sessions because they feel need help with all of the topics listed above, but some only choose to attend certain sessions depending on how far along they are with their business.

You can drop in at any stage of the Venture Programme and create a bespoke package of the support you need.

How do I get involved?

  • For events and sessions, you can book on CareerHub here.
  • If you want to have a chat about the programme or your business idea, you can book an appointment here.
  • If you have missed one of our sessions, you can view all of our recorded sessions here.

What else do I need to know?

  • Venture is open to students and graduates of the University of Chester
  • Venture is for any student, studying any course – it’s not just for Business students
  • You can gain recognition for taking part in Venture events through The Chester Difference Award’s Enterprise Pathway
  • Your attendance at Venture sessions will be noted on your Higher Education Achievement Record

What’s The Venture Pitch?

At the end of the year, we hold a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch event. So, if you’ve attended 12 hours’ worth of Venture, have a valid business idea and want to pitch it, you can apply to do so. Ten selected businesses then have a chance to pitch to a panel of judges for their share of £5,000 of start-up funding and over £7,000 worth of business prizes including a website, business grants, iPads, office space, and business coaching to help you launch your business. Over the past ten years, we have awarded over £60,000 to student start-ups and freelancers.

Click here to check out highlights of this year’s event, including a full list of all the winners.

Posted in Support and Opportunities