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Graduate Entrepreneur Programme

The University of Bradford Start-up and Innovator Entrepreneur programmes provide a route for home or international applicants to live in Bradford and establish or further develop a successful start-up. We accept applications from University of Bradford alumni as well as graduates from other institutions worldwide.

About the programme

The programme runs for two years and is open to anyone who has a business enterprise idea and who wishes to be based in Bradford. Entrepreneurs from overseas receive support either to apply for an Innovator Founder visa, or to make the most of their Post-study Work Visa to run a successful business. If the enterprise progresses well, an entrepreneur can then pursue further steps towards permanent residence and remaining in Bradford.

The programme provides comprehensive support, including a registered address, use of space and meeting rooms in the entrepreneurship centre, training and mentoring, networking events and access to fundraising opportunities. Our goal is to support our city, local economy and the University through retaining and attracting top entrepreneurial talent.

Programme Requirements

Our Graduate Entrepreneur programme nominally runs for two years. Open to home and international applicants (with support for Home Office visa endorsement for overseas applicants that meet eligibility requirements)

  • Entrepreneurs enrolled on the programme must be willing to be based, along with their business in the Bradford area.
  • Fees are £8,000 per year per entrepreneur, with a discount of £1,000 per year if paid upfront. Alternatively, the University of Bradford is willing to enter into an equity arrangement in lieu of fees.
  • After the two years Graduate Entrepreneurs can remain enrolled on the programme for a further year, without paying fees, on the condition that they are themselves in engaged in mentoring or teaching entrepreneurs, or activities supporting the local community.

How the programmes operate

Entrepreneurs on both programmes will receive the following support:

  • Access to Entrepreneurs lounge and meeting room facilities in the Bright Building
  • Support from a University of Bradford enterprise coach and access to experienced mentors, as needed
  • 1-2 training sessions per month
  • Regular networking events
  • Fast-track access to fund-raising resources
  • Access to library resources and databases with a license for commercial use
  • Support for overseas applicants to apply to settle in the UK along with any dependant(s)
A student and a member of staff sat together in an Open Innovation workshop.

How to apply

We accept applications from home and international applicants year-round, whether you are an entrepreneur, graduate or due to graduate soon from any university worldwide. International applicants must meet the Home Office's eligibility criteria.

To apply for a place on one of our programmes, please submit a business plan to

Your business plan must clearly demonstrate that your proposed business is:

  • New (not trading elsewhere)
  • Distinctive
  • Viable (financially sustainable)
  • Scalable (with the potential to increase revenues and to create new jobs over time)

UK Home Office Eligibility: please use this link to check your eligibility and requirements needed to apply for the UK Home Office Innovator Founder Visa.

Our collaborations

Online English Courses

The Open Innovation Team are proud to announce a collaboration with Wakefield based international education services provider, m2r Education. Applicants will benefit from discounted online English language courses to help them to apply for and receive a Start-Up or Innovator visa, to allow them to set up an innovative business in Bradford.

For online English courses, visit the m2r Education website.

The logo for m2r Education.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) for Students and Graduates

The Open Innovation Team are also proud to announce a collaboration with TEFL UK, who will offer their services to University of Bradford students as an employment and training resource for international opportunities in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). For further information on TEFL courses and employment opportunities, please visit the TEFL UK website.

The logo for TEFL UK.


Meet our entrepreneurs