As part of the IPSE Freelancer Awards, the University Partners Awards identifies an institute that has gone above and beyond over the past year to support, educate and engage students considering self-employment, as well as the wider community. IPSE has been working with educational institutions across the UK who demonstrate dedication to supporting students pursuing freelance careers and entrepreneurial activities.
Birkbeck University runs the Enterprise Pathways Programme, which encompasses a range of events, activities and initiatives to support students interested in enterprise and entrepreneurship, including workshops, mentoring and online resources. It also runs an extra-curricular course called ‘Pioneer’ which covers a range of skills and knowledge areas around entrepreneurship, delivered by founders and experts in their field.
London South Bank University (LSBU)
LSBU provides an extensive range of enterprise and entrepreneurship support, including oneto- one guidance, mentoring and access to office space. The university also runs activities such as free workshops and events, competitions and boot camps. LSBU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute drives its students and graduates to be innovative, take calculated risks and boost their creativity to develop businesses, start-ups and freelance careers.
University of Sussex
Apart from a broad range of modules in entrepreneurship and innovation, University of Sussex has a wholly owned subsidiary called Sussex Innovation Centre, which offers experienced support and seed funding to help deliver a strategy, build business confidence and develop skills. They also run an annual competition called Start-up Sussex, offering support worth up to £10,000 to current students or recent graduates.
Goldsmiths demonstrates strong support for students pursuing or considering their own business venture through their dedicated enterprise support, the Goldsmiths Innovation Awards, as well as degrees through their Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship. They recently spent six months developing and consulting on a university-wide employability strategy, and support for students starting their own business and becoming self-employed was a key aspect of their approach.
Nottingham Trent University - School of Art and Design (NTU)
NTU has a purpose-built centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise called ‘The Hive’, which helps students and graduates turn business ideas into a reality through a support network, mentoring and training programmes. At a school-wide level, NTU’s School of Art and Design employability team runs a series of events across terms two and three, which focus on freelancing and self-employment.
Middlesex University runs an Enterprise Development Hub, which is a university-wide initiative designed to support budding entrepreneurs and those wanting to become self-employed. It runs a series of workshops, seminars and mentoring sessions. These equip those wishing to start their own venture or earn a living as a freelancer, consultant, contractor or sole trader with the knowledge, tools and confidence to take the next step.
University of Arts London, London College of Fashion (LSF)
LCF’s student enterprise team supports those who are interested in setting up their own business or starting out as a freelancer. They deliver sessions to students on aspects of enterprise, including finance and intellectual property. LCF also has a section on their website called LCF Careers Live where they advertise freelance or contract work exclusively to their students and graduates.
Kings College London
King's College London has a student-led institute called The Entrepreneurship Institute, which exists to support entrepreneurial thinking, skills and experiences among King’s students, staff and alumni. It supports students to not only have careersas entrepreneurs or start up new businesses and social enterprises, but also to be innovative in their chosen career. It does this through workshops, access to resources and facilities, funding, visa sponsorship and the King’s Enterprise Award.