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Ulster University undergraduate and postgraduate students will have free access to a comprehensive support programme to help them launch their own business. Over a quarter of students currently run or plan to run a business whilst they are at university* and Ulster University’s new UU Start programme offers support with product and service innovation, validation and acceleration.

The project is managed in partnership with the Ulster University Students’ Union and will offer support to student entrepreneurs throughout their business journey. The UU Start programme will address common start up challenges by helping students develop their business idea, the support for students will include advice on commercial potential and available financial support, alongside unprecedented access to industry experts and Ulster alumni entrepreneurs.

Over the last year over £150,000 has been invested in Ulster University student and graduate entrepreneurs who have set up companies which are creating employment and are developing their products for the global market. The companies which have benefited from the strategic business support include Haru Ltd a platform which enables charity shops to accurately price, upload and sell items online with no hassle led by Ulster Accountancy graduate Jacques Hill and GoFyt, an online marketplace which allows you to book and pay for appointment with local health and fitness providers co-founded by Ulster graduates Andrew McCracken and Jason Harvey.

Tim Brundle, Director of Research and Impact at Ulster University said:

The UU Start programs builds upon the notable success of Innovation Ulster Limited which has helped bring a range of student entrepreneurial ideas to market. Entrepreneurs are the driving forces behind every growing economy and at Ulster University we encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and drive by providing support to help students break down barriers allowing them to realise their dreams of setting up their own businesses.

Jacques Hill Co-Founder of Haru commented:

“The constant support and advice given to us by Ulster University has been instrumental in allowing us to take an idea and build it towards a tangible business. Although we have taken positive steps towards our mission, we have a long journey ahead of us and we are excited to be making this journey with the support of Ulster University.”

The support for students through the UU Start Programme would not be possible without the kind support from Santander Universities.