Business incubation group talking at University of Portsmouth

Support for small businesses and startups

Discover our business incubation programmes, events and coworking spaces for startups

Are you looking for help to grow your business or would you like to mentor someone to develop their own?

If you're a small to medium local business, a new startup, or a University student or member of staff, you can access our business incubation services. Our services include business incubation programmes where you can build entrepreneurial skills, business events, talks and networking opportunities, and coworking and office space for startups. 

Business incubation programmes

If you're an entrepreneur hoping to grow a new business, our business incubation programmes can offer you:

  • Chances to meet experienced entrepreneurs
  • Access to coaching and mentoring
  • Invitations to business workshops
  • Networking opportunities in your industry
  • Financial and accounting advice

Accelerating Women's Enterprise programme

If you're an aspiring female entrepreneur in need of business support and guidance, you can benefit from this research and mentoring programme. Accelerating Woman's Enterprise is looking at the reasons why more men than women become entrepreneurs, and developing a mentoring programme to help address the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

If you're a woman looking to start your small business, or in need of support for your existing startup, find out how to apply to this programme.

Discover Accelerating Women's Enterprise

Entrepreneurs in Residence programme

If you're looking for advice from experienced entrepreneurs, you should join our Entrepreneurs in Residence programme. Our 14 Entrepreneurs in Residence can advise you on your new startup and business plan, guide you in identifying and accessing business networks, and help you develop entrepreneurial skills.

Meet our Entrepreneurs in Residence

SIGHT (Supporting innovation and growth in healthcare technologies)

SIGHT is a business support programme developed by the University of Portsmouth to provide help and guidance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the healthcare technology sector.

The £1.7m programme is part-funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and aims to enhance the competitiveness of businesses in the healthcare sector in the south east region by working collaboratively with patient groups, clinicians, academics, and our delivery partners – Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the Clinical Research Network Wessex – to provide quicker access to groundbreaking healthcare technologies. 

SIGHT will support businesses to engage through the Portsmouth Technologies Trials Unit (PTTU) – a joint initiative between Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Portsmouth which provides specialist expertise in healthcare technologies.

Read more about SIGHT

Business events and networking

We run 2 big networking events each year for small businesses in the Solent area. The events are free to attend and are a great place to network with other small businesses and local startups. Guest speakers talk about the latest business trends and research that could affect your new business.

You can attend our series of #BusinessTalks. Previous talks have covered topics such as the digital economy and dynamic pricing.

If you rent coworking or office space at one of our Innovation Connect locations, you can access events and workshops run for members of Innovation Connect. Previous events have explored funding for growth, customer-client relationships and raising your profile through PR, social and digital channels.

Coworking and office space

Our Innovation Connect hubs provide coworking and office space across the city to suit the needs of your growing businesses. The 3 locations are Halpern House, Cell Block Studios and Portsmouth Technopole. If you rent coworking or office space at one of the locations, you can also use meeting spaces in our Future Technology Centre

Sponsorship of local business awards

We sponsor local business awards to encourage business growth and raise the profile of local businesses in Portsmouth and the surrounding area. Through our involvement with these awards, we've watched many entrepreneurs grow from the very beginning of their business journey. Many now work with us to inspire others as Entrepreneurs in Residence or Business Enterprise Ambassadors.

Small Business Charter accreditation

Our Business School has held the Small Business Charter accreditation since 2015. We're one of only 33 bodies in the UK to hold the accreditation. This accreditation is a mark of excellence for:

  • Supporting small businesses
  • Student entrepreneurship
  • Engagement in the local community

Find out more

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