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Enterprise support for students and graduates

Two people talking opposite each other at a table

We have a comprehensive enterprise support programme for students and recent graduates.

Whether you're looking for general information about innovation, freelancing, start-ups and entrepreneurship, opportunities to develop your skills or business idea, or answers to specific questions, we're here to help.

If you're a current student, you can find out more and sign up for these opportunities via My ARU (login required).

If you graduated from ARU in the last three years and no longer have an ARU login, you can find out more about and sign up for our programmes below.

Alumni who graduated more than three years ago are invited to sign up for Inside AREA magazine or join The Entrepreneurs' Community.

Create a New Enterprise gives students and recent graduates from across the University the opportunity to explore various aspects of entrepreneurship.

Discover a passion for starting your own business, working for a social cause, gaining insights into sustainability in business, or launching a freelance career.

If you’re in the early stages of considering a career in entrepreneurship, this is the best place to start.

Create a New Enterprise consists of three programmes:

Enterprise Programme: Designed for those wanting to explore the field of start-ups and entrepreneurship, this programme's key aim is to help you generate a business idea and take it from concept to reality.

Our seminar series will give you the knowledge and awareness that you need to generate a business idea: from building a professional relationship and learning networking skills, understanding marketing and social media, to looking at sustainability from an entrepreneurial perspective.

We'll cover a variety of topics through interactive seminars, and you'll have the chance to consolidate your knowledge in additional reflection sessions.

Freelancers Programme: If you have a side hustle, or are planning to work freelance, this dynamic programme will empower you with the tools, strategies, and confidence you need to build a successful freelance career.

Our seminar series covers practical tips on how to get started as a freelancer, market your work, create a strong brand identity, enhance communications and pitching skills, manage client relationships, and much more.

The Freelancers Programme is also supported by our brand new Underpinned platform – a business management tool for all freelancers at ARU.

Social Enterprise Programme: Primarily developed for students and graduates who want to make a real difference, and support the community, this programme provides you with essential skills and knowledge that will enable you to turn your passion for social causes into action.

Experts in the field will help you generate an idea, maximise your chances of successful implementation, and become a social innovator.

Our speakers

Delivered by our Entrepreneurs in Residence and experts in the field, our cross-programme seminars will give you invaluable hands-on tips and advice on team-building, presenting, pitching, marketing, and video production, as well as essential technical knowledge to help you develop your business idea.


'It's not what you know, it’s who you know.' Networking can provide you with a wealth of opportunities.

You'll have the chance to network with your peers during each seminar. We also host a grand networking event at the end of the Create a New Enterprise programme, where you can network with other students, speakers, academics, and business owners, share and showcase your idea, and make important connections for the future.

We advertise upcoming sessions on our Handshake portal (sign-up/login required).

Start a New Enterprise is a programme offered by the Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy (AREA) in collaboration with ARUCPD. Designed for aspiring student and graduate entrepreneurs, this initiative aims to help you refine your business ideas and develop a comprehensive business model.

The programme covers crucial aspects such as understanding value propositions, assessing risks, mastering marketing and sales strategies, validating concepts, and establishing a solid foundation in financial and legal requirements.

This programme is facilitated by experts from Innovate UK EDGE in the East of England, ensuring a high-quality learning experience.

Key programme benefits

  • Validate and refine your business idea.
  • Gain insights into creating a unique value proposition.
  • Develop a robust Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas for your business.
  • Learn to leverage Miro, one of the most popular tools for product development, mind mapping, and more.
  • Acquire foundational knowledge of financial planning for your business.
  • Cover essential legal considerations for starting your business.
  • Understand the basics of marketing, sales, and public relations.
  • Connect and network with like-minded peers from various disciplines and campuses, potentially leading to valuable partnerships and collaborations.

Start a New Enterprise offers a unique opportunity for you to elevate your entrepreneurial ventures through comprehensive education and networking opportunities, guided by professionals in the field.

This online community is a platform for ARU students, recent graduates, alumni, and staff aspiring to be entrepreneurs, freelancers, innovators or changemakers.

If you’re passionate about enterprise, interested in building your professional network, or meeting like-minded people, this is the place for you.

The Entrepreneurs' Community offers:

  • Insights into enterprise and entrepreneurship and access to a resource hub.
  • Internal and external events, giveaways, and support and funding opportunities.
  • The opportunity to be part of a like-minded peer support network.
  • Exclusive access to our unique webpage particularly developed for entrepreneurs and future founders.
  • First access to our Inside AREA magazine, featuring the latest exciting developments, opportunities, and inspiring stories within the ARU entrepreneurial environment.

Sign up for The Entrepreneurs' Community.

The AREA CoLab is a dynamic co-working space exclusively designed for ARU students and recent graduates, on our Cambridge campus.

It features two dynamic bespoke rooms (HEL 164a and HEL 165) and aims to foster innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurial spirit among our budding entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed individuals.

View of part of the AREA CoLab in Cambridge, with chairs and tables, sofas, a cabinet, and doors to a co-working space and a corridor

Take advantage of our facilities and resources, work on your projects, network with fellow innovators, and receive valuable support and guidance from mentors and industry experts.

Book a space via Handshake (Appointments – Enterprise Support – CoLab booking).

For more information, email [email protected]

Enterprise Support Sessions are a dedicated 1:1 appointment to signpost students and graduates to the relevant entrepreneurial offers, support, and opportunities, and should be your first point of contact to get in touch with the AREA team.

Enterprise Support Sessions can also be your gateway to receiving 1:1 mentoring with an Entrepreneur in Residence.

Book an appointment via our Handshake portal (sign-up/login required).

Start-up evenings are a great opportunity to get inspired by real-life entrepreneurs and their stories in a collaborative and supportive environment.

Each event encompasses a range of topics. You'll hear from a guest speaker, then take part in activities and a networking session, aiding your start-up journey and helping you gain professional connections.

Our expert speakers have experience in innovative tech, business, arts, healthcare projects, and more.

Find out about and register for upcoming start-up evenings via our Handshake portal (sign-up/login required).

The ARU Start-up Podcast is here to encourage and help you to enter self-employment and become a founder.

Tune in to hear a wide range of entrepreneurs – from STEM start-ups and freelancing to social enterprise and traditional business – share their challenges and successes in enterprise.

You can catch up on previous episodes with the ARU Start-up Podcast YouTube playlist and subscribe to ARU's YouTube channel to receive notifications of new episodes.

Subscribe to Inside AREA magazine for regular updates on our opportunities, programmes, and offers.

We also feature thought-provoking articles and inspiring stories of successful student and alumni entrepreneurs, who started their businesses during and following their time at ARU.

Sign up for Inside AREA.

Browse links from prominent start-up thinkers and blogs, to practical online tools and guidance on how to write your business plan and gain funding.


Business plan software

Business plan guidance

Intellectual property rights


UK-based associations and organisations

What's missing?

If you would like to suggest a link or category for inclusion on this page please email [email protected]