Enterprise & Mentoring

We give students the opportunities to develop their ideas, knowledge and entrepreneurial skills by running programmes, events and competitions.
We give students the opportunities to develop their ideas, knowledge and entrepreneurial skills by running programmes, events and competitions.

Pre-Accelorator Programme

in Partnership with Youth Beyond Borders

Students can apply to the pre-accelorator programme. Students involved in the programme will benefit from 10 weeks of workshops in which you will develop your business accument and incubate your ideas. You will benefit from 1-2-1 mentoring from industry professionals and at the end of the process you will be able to pitch your idea to a panel of experts and be in with a chance of recieivng a bursary of up to £2000. 

Applications are now closed for the 2023-24 academic year.

Additional Opportunities

  • Paid Microinternships
  • Funding and Competitions
  • Events, activities and master classes throughout the year

Venture Crawl 13th March


The Hussain Foundation

Exciting news for SOAS students! Nest, a mentoring network run by the Hussain Foundation, is set to take flight in the Hussain Chaudhry room within the new Students' Union space. Designed to empower and nurture young talents, Nest offers CV reviews and mentorship meetings. As part of the SOAS Students Union, you now have a valuable resource to help you soar into the world with confidence, knowing that your Nest community will always be there to support your journey. Get ready to spread your wings and embrace the opportunities that Nest has to offer!

Sign up to mentoring here.


Entrepenuers Society

The society serves to encourage, educate and inspire this community as well as showing a potential new path of entrepreneurship to those that have yet to consider it.

Get involved here.


Information hub

Differnt routes to self-employment 

  • Business owner -As a self-employed business owner you set up and run your own company, either as a sole trader (alone) or in partnership with others. You and any colleagues must generate sufficient income on which to live, while building up demand for your services. 
  • Franchising - As a franchisee, you buy into an established business such as a restaurant chain. The company provides raw materials, training, support and a recognised brand name, all of which you pay for. Beyond this you are largely autonomous and responsible for generating your own profits at a local level. 
  • Freelancing (or contracting) -As a freelancer, you work for another company on a temporary contract basis covering a particular project or commission. Once that has finished you have to look for another assignment. Typically, freelancers need a specific skill (such as IT or writing) which they can offer to companies.

Online and face-to-face advice and information

  • Working for yourself - handout from The Careers Group
  • Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed - includes the very good 'Being freelance' podcast. Offers reduced-price student membership and many resources (some free to non-members).
  • Association for Project Management - students can register for free and network with experienced professionals to get a head start on your career
  • Business Support Helpline run by Gov.org. The number is: 0800 998 1098  
  • Chambers of Commerce – sources of information, networking and help. See "contact your local Chamber" at bottom of page for local information
  • City Business Library - major collection of business information including market research, UK and international directories (print and electronic) and databases with company information 
  • Enactus - brings together students, academics and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need
  • Enterprise Educators UK – have been networking, supporting and developing enterprise education for over ten years
  • Entrepreneur Handbook - an information website for UK entrepreneurs providing expert advice and guides on every aspect of starting and growing a business 
  • Graduate Prospects – includes a guide to setting up your own business and further sources of information 
  • Mentorsme.co.uk - a UK-wide searchable database of mentors for businesses and entrepreneurs
  • NACUE – supports and represents student-led enterprise societies and young entrepreneurs to drive the growth of entrepreneurship in Universities and Colleges across the UK
  • National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) – raising the profile of entrepreneurship and the option of starting your own business as a career choice amongst students and graduates 
  • National Enterprise Network - membership body for Local Enterprise Agencies, and other like-minded organisations, in England
  • Portobello Business Centre – free, industry-informed advice and courses for start-ups and business development
  • The Prince's Trust – support (mentoring and financial) for unemployed/ underemployed 18 to 30 year olds wanting to start a business
  • School for Social Entrepreneurs – supporting social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to transform their talent into real social outcomes, in the form of sustainable solutions to poverty and disadvantage in communities
  • Shell Live Wire – help for 16 - 30 year olds to start and develop their own business, includes a free 'Start a Business Toolkit'
  • Small Business - news articles, guides, tips and Q&A forum
  • Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) - Social enterprise news and upcoming events
  • Springwise - Daily updates of enterprising ideas around the world
  • Trevor Baylis Brands - set up by the inventor of the clockwork radio to help inventors develop their ideas. Download a free 'Discovery Pack'
  • UnLtd – helps guide and develop social entrepreneurs – people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better
  • Setting up your own business - 20min video from Student Career Compass


  • Companies House - Major source of information on existing companies, setting up new ones and regulatory issues
  • Find a Solicitor (Law Society) – solicitors offering free half hour consultations on employment law, contracts, leases, business structure or finance and step-by-step guides
  • Working for Yourself - Gov.uk information
  • Find a chartered accountant through the ICAEW or ACCA


  • Businesses and self-employed – Information about starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you're self employed or a sole trader
  • Learn with Start Up Loans? - the Westminster government-backed “Start Up Loans” scheme is offering free business learning courses in partnership with the Open University. The courses will be delivered via the OU’s OpenLearn platform, and aim to support entrepreneurs in understanding the fundamentals of running a business
  • Nwes - not-for-profit enterprise agency, which aims to provide business support to boost self-employment and encourage enterprise
  • Startups - includes a range of start-up guides 
  • The Financial Times' Entrepreneurship section - often has a column which has case studies and news of interest to small businesses and start ups





  • Funding Circle – an online marketplace to help businesses find low cost loans quickly and investors get better returns
  • NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) - has as a number of schemes to help social enterprises, SMEs and business start-ups
  • Skoll Foundation – benefits communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs
  • UK Business Angels Association - the UK's largest source of investment for start ups and early-stage businesses seeking to grow
  • UnLtd - funding advice given

?Creative industries

  • Cockpit Arts – supports craft practitioners at the start of their careers
  • The Design Council – their work places design at the heart of creating value by stimulating innovation in business and public services, improving our built environment and tackling complex social issues
  • The Dots - like LinkedIn for creative professionals. Hiive allows you to build and showcase your creative online CV in one place
  • ScreenSkills - works with UK screen-based creative industries to develop skills and talent. Good resources for starting up as a freelancer (covering topics such as taxation, building a brand and pricing your work etc) available as videos in the 'Freelance Toolkit' section of the Creative Skillset YouTube channel

Advice for students/graduates with disabilities

  • RNIB - Self employment support for blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs
  • Scope - Information about starting a business, including information about grants available to disabled entrepenuers


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