Support for start-ups and entrepreneurs

The University of Stirling’s Enterprise Programme enables students, staff, and recent alumni to explore entrepreneurship and drive innovation.

Translating learning, teaching, and research outcomes into impact are priorities for the institution and are supported by the Programme’s comprehensive offering. Individuals can access a range of training, events, services, and funding opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills, create and grow new business ventures, and commercialise research.

The Enterprise Programme offers three distinct activity streams to support the development, launch, and growth of viable business ventures in all forms.

The Develop Activity Stream

Open to all students, staff, and eligible alumni, the Develop Activity Stream seeks to inspire and support idea generation, business model development and entrepreneurial skills-building.  The ‘Develop’ offering provides outreach sessions, weekly semester-time skills workshops, discussion panels, business engagement opportunities, and an annual business idea competition, ‘The Entrepreneurial Quest’.  Emerging founders also benefit from year-round access to individual business advice. 

View our full schedule of Develop programming and book via TARGETConnect

One-to-one business advice

The Enterprise Programme provides a full advisory service covering all aspects of idea development, business creation and growth. Staff, students, and qualifying alumni with an idea, new business venture or desire to explore research commercialisation, can contact our team to make an appointment. To book, simply email us at

Entrepreneurial Quest 2023

The Entrepreneurial Quest is the University's annual student ideas competition. Taking part in the “Quest” is easy! Simply film and submit a three-minute video pitch clearly explaining the essential components of your business idea. You’ll gain constructive feedback from an expert judging panel and compete for funding and a year of residence in the University incubator, The Hive!

Note: Please ensure that you register to attend the mandatory online Competition Information Session on Thursday 23rd February prior to registering for The Quest.

The Launch Activity Stream

Open via application to eligible students, staff, and alumni, the Launch Activity Stream supports emerging founders to test and develop viable business models in preparation for launch.  This offering includes pre-accelerator schemes, UKVI Startup visa endorsement, and academic entrepreneur training days.

SEED (Student Enterprise Enhanced Development)

SEED (Student Enterprise Enhanced Development) is a pre-accelerator bootcamp offering intense entrepreneurial training and support to a small cohort of eligible aspiring founders over a six-week period. Are you passionate about developing your business idea? Have you been attending our open Develop Stream workshops, met with the team's Business Advisor, and believe you have a viable business model? Then SEED could be just what you need to accelerate the development of your venture!
Running in late spring 2023, SEED consists of weekly one-to-one business mentorship, bespoke training sessions, peer-to-peer learning, and access to professional advice and grant funding.

Online applications for the 2023 SEED cohort will open on 30 March 2023, and close on 20 April 2023. The programme will run from 10 May - 17 June 2023 with activities taking place both in-person on campus and online via MS Teams. Successful applicants should be available for approximately three hours each week over the programme's duration. Please note that the programme is open to applications from individuals and teams with any type of business venture which will be based within Scotland (this includes social, community, and creative enterprises in addition to for-profit business models).

For full details about the SEED 2023 programme and eligibility criteria, please email for an informal conversation.

Start-up visa

The Start-up visa scheme is designed to support early-stage and high-potential entrepreneurs to start a business in the UK for the first time. The University of Stirling is an endorsing body and will accept applications for this scheme from University of Stirling graduates.

Students aiming to move onto this visa following completion of their studies must evidence a minimum engagement threshold of three unique instances of participation with our Enterprise Programme (e.g., attendance at workshops, meetings with the Business Advisor, participation in a pre-accelerator scheme, etc) during the six months prior to an application being developed.

Endorsement Panels are normally held in September and December each year.

To find out more information about the endorsement process, or to register your interest, please email

Visa-specific enquiries should be sent to

The Grow Activity Stream

Open via application to eligible students, staff and alumni, the Grow Activity Stream supports emerging founders to launch and grow young business ventures of all kinds. The offering consists of start-up incubation and growth-oriented support.   

The Hive

The Hive is currently welcoming applications for rolling three-month residencies from founders of social, community, and creative enterprises in addition to for-profit business models.


Based at the University of Stirling Innovation Park (SUIP), The Hive is the institution’s student and alumni business incubator, supporting the launch and growth of innovative and viable start-ups. As an innovation hub, ‘incubees’ benefit from the following:

  • Dedicated desk and storage within The Hive’s co-working space
  • Access to free wifi, office equipment, and 3D printer
  • Exclusive funding opportunities
  • Professional advisory services
  • Access to legal support
  • Access to 1-2-1 business advice
  • Investor-readiness sessions
  • A bespoke training programme
  • Monthly ecosystem events

Championing the University’s ethos, The Hive encourages entrepreneurs to make a difference in their communities and wider society.

To find out more or apply please contact us at

Social Shifters

Social Shifters - Supporting students who want to change the world for the better.

Have a great idea that solves a social or environmental problem, but don’t know where to start? Want to create change, but don’t have an outlet?

Whatever change you want to make, it doesn’t happen without help.

That help starts here.

Our time for change - a collage of polluting factory chimneys beside someone brainstorming on a whiteboard.

University of Stirling has teamed up with Social Shifters - empowering you to explore, start, and grow your ideas. Whether you want to solve a local or global problem, these free resources will enable you to explore, test, and grow your ideas so you can make a difference.

Social Shifters aims to support and grow change activity in universities across the UK, because all change starts with one thing — an idea.

Whether you want to solve local or global problems, Social Shifters enables you to explore, start, and grow ideas that can change the world.

Our time for change is now. Be part of the social shift.

Other support and competitions

Scotland has a rich entrepreneurial support ecosystem, and we work in collaboration with organisations to benefit founders at all stages. Though far from exhaustive, some of the key support providers we work with include: 

Support start-up ventures at the University of Stirling

Are you interested in opportunities to support our academic entrepreneurs and their innovation and enterprise activities? Contact to arrange a conversation and find out about options for getting involved.

Connect with the Enterprise team

John Roberston

Enterprise Programme Officer (SIEC)

Alyson Belli

Enterprise Programme Officer

Louise Evison

Business Advisor

Dr Sasha Saunders

Enterprise Programme Manager

Eszter Hegedus

Enterprise Programme Administrator

Mathieu Monclar

Outreach Intern

Lucy Bowman

SIEC Young Pathfinders Intern

Aghogho Ekpeki

Events Intern