Santander powering student start-ups at Abertay University’s enterprise centre
Students and budding entrepreneurs in Dundee got a serious boost to their prospects on Wednesday when Abertay University opened the doors of its brand new enterprise centre, built with support from Santander Universities.
The centre officially opens next month, and aims to support current students and graduates in their efforts to setup a business of their own.
Bell Street Ventures, as the centre is called, is based in Abertay University’s Old College Building in Dundee and is kitted out with all the mod-cons needed to inspire and grow.
The space has been fully refurbished to make way for modern office spaces, breakout areas and meeting rooms, and, of course, superfast broadband.
The university is encouraging any students thinking about starting their own business to do it now, while they have resources at their disposal, rather than wait until after graduation when it could cost them time and money they simply can’t afford.
“The experience of starting in business will give them more options upon graduation while also giving them the option of earning some money while still being a student,” Head of Business Engagement Lorna Edward told The Courier.
“We also know that a lot of our students choose to stay locally after they graduate and Bell Street Ventures can either help them directly or find the best place for them to go next.”
Training workshops and support sessions are on offer to help get students off the starting block. The centre also has a newly appointed student enterprise officer, Simon Fraser, who is on hand to assist students in growing their idea and finding the right channels to make it reality.
Assistance on funding and grant applications is also offered.
“We will tailor the workshops in line with the applications to awards bodies… [and] also help to ensure the students run their businesses legitimately – registered with HMRC and paying tax,” Fraser said.
“It’s a case of setting them on the right path.”
The new centre was made possible thanks to the financial support of the late local tycoon William M. Sword, who attributed his business success to his first venture selling snacks to students in the heart of what is now the Abertay campus back in 1949.
Santander Universities supported the new centre through their enterprise support scheme that works to promote entrepreneurs and SMEs through various initiatives, including the national Entrepreneurship Awards, their SME internship programme, and funding to help student start-ups.