Supporting students and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) through enterprise

Kingston University has an impressive record of supporting students and local businesses through a range of services, networking events, seminars and workshops. For example, over 100 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships has been set up in the last 20 years. Find out more about what we have achieved.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about how we can support you.

Supporting our students

Kingston University offers a range of support for students to help them develop their enterprising skills.

Graduate start-ups

Graduate start-ups

Graduate start-ups

The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey reported in 2018 that, for the eighth year running, Kingston was one of the top two universities in the country for the number of graduates starting their own companies. QS TopMBA.com also rates it number one in world for MBA graduate start-ups.

Employability and personal skill training

Employability and personal skill training

Employability and personal skill training

The Business Readiness programme is a module offered to all Kingston Business School students, that focuses specifically on employability and personal skill training, preparing students for placements and their careers after graduation. Previously, the programme has even reached the reaches finals of CIPD People Management awards.

Competition, workshops and events

Competition, workshops and events

Competition, workshops and events

Enterprise Education develops vital skills that will help students grow personally and professionally and promote themselves and/or their business idea. These skills and an entrepreneurial mind set are crucial for any future career option and including exciting opportunities such as the Bright ideas competition, workshops and events, mentoring, funding and our Hackcentre.

Enterprise-focussed courses

Enterprise-focussed courses

Enterprise-focussed courses

Kingston Business School offers a range of enterprise-focussed courses: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management BSc (Hons), Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship MSc, International Business Management with Entrepreneurship MSc and Managing in the Creative Economy MA. These courses offer many opportunities for collaboration with SMEs: the Development and Growth of SMEs module engages local small businesses as case studies, and students on the Entrepreneurship Experience module solve business challenges presented by SMEs.

Entrepreneur Visas

Entrepreneur Visas

Entrepreneur Visas

Each year KU supports a number of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas. This visa is aimed at ambitious students and recent graduates looking to pursue a business idea and set up their first business in the UK. We support applicants through the process and ensure the relevant criteria are satisfied at both the endorsement and visa application stages. We also have a Global Citizenship Programme.

Engage with the local community

Engage with the local community

Engage with the local community

The Kingston Hub – made up of the Social Innovation Programme and Service Learning Programme – provides opportunities for students to tackle social challenges and engage with the local community. Whether you'd like to mentor school pupils or tackle elderly isolation, you'll give back and gain valuable experiences for yourself.

Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise

The Business School has strong links with Young Enterprise, an organisation who works directly with young people, teachers, parents, businesses and influencers to help build a successful and sustainable future for all young people and society at large. Our students have an exciting track record of winning YT competitions.

Careers and Employability Service

Careers and Employability Service

Careers and Employability Service

Our dedicated Careers and Employability Service offers an array of support to all our students, from jobs fairs, internships and working abroad, to interview skills and CV writing. All Kingston Business students are encouraged and supported to undertake work placements, both at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Even if you have graduated from Kingston, you can still access our services and get involved. We also have a strong focus on building strong relationships with major and local employers. Find out what we can do for your organisation.

Kingston Business Society

Kingston Business Society

Kingston Business Society

The student-led Kingston Business Society hosts guest speaker sessions, networking events, and competitions throughout the academic year, as well as provides support and assistance for those interested in entrepreneurship and business. They work closely with Business School staff, have links with local entrepreneurs and engage their own sponsors.

Supporting small to medium enterprises (SMEs)

Businesses have access to support and expertise through Kingston University, including:

Small Business Research Centre

Kingston Business School is home to the Small Business Research Centre – one of the UK's top centres for study and support of SMEs since the 1980s, which engages in a wealth of research projects (current and completed).

Most research involves direct engagement with SMEs, their owners and staff to build a picture of the real world of SME activity.

Upgrade Masterclasses

Kingston University Alumni and Kingston Business School host Upgrade Masterclasses, a collaborative series of events for entrepreneurs.

The masterclasses explore a variety of different areas, with the intention of developing skills and 'upgrading' everyone who attends.

As well as self-improvement, the masterclasses provide a fantastic opportunity for students, alumni and industry professionals to network and share ideas.

Chartered Association of Business Schools' Leading to Grow Programme

We are part of a consortium of business schools supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by delivering the Chartered Association of Business Schools' Leading to Grow Programme.

The programme helps small business owners to explore digital and new technologies suited to their business goals, and to develop the management capabilities they need to implement the technologies.

Networking and research-sharing conferences

Kingston hosts a number of networking and research-sharing conferences for entrepreneurs and SME networks, for example Entrepreneurial Finance for Green Innovative SMEs, and the international Entrepreneurship Policy in Context – Critical Perspectives, hosted by the Small Business Research Centre.

A regular series of free seminars is also hosted by the SBRC, and are open to all.

How students and SMEs benefit each other

Kingston University organise a range of activities to facilitate knowledge exchange between student, staff and SMEs, including:

Networking

The University has strong relationships with many local organisations – including Kingston Chamber of Commerce and Kingston Young Entrepreneur Club – which champion the interests of town centre businesses and encourage young local entrepreneurs to network and grow. These organisations often offer student/graduate mentoring, provide challenges for Hack events, evaluate student pitches and proposals and attend networking events.

Seminars

The premium Strategy into Practice seminar series – which has been running at Kingston for over a decade – is an opportunity to gain insights of strategy within business and not-for-profit corporations.

Top executive guest speakers (past speakers have included Metro Bank mogul Vernon Hill and Lebara Group founder Yoganathan Ratheesan) give first-hand accounts on strategic challenges in their industry and how they steer their organisation to compete successfully, dealing with complex issues such as international growth, innovation and corporate social responsibilities.

Attendees have the opportunity to ask questions and network after each session with the speaker, other local business leaders and students, alumni and from Kingston Business School.

Workshops

The annual Women Entrepreneurship Week event, held in conjunction with Montclair State University, was introduced in 2018. Female SMEs are invited onto campus to participate in a workshop where students address their problems and propose solutions, mini Hackathon-style.

A Q&A with a panel of small business owners helps students with start-up aspirations by relating their own experiences in overcoming issues.

The SMEs are offered workshops for their learning, delivered by Kingston Business School, and there is networking for all attendees. A great initiative that benefits all parties.

Did you know...

Kingston University has

The University is also an active participant in Creative Spark, the British Council's Higher Education Enterprise Programme initiative, which supports international partnerships.

We are unique in the UK as the only University to be involved in two Creative Spark projects, both being based in the Ukraine.

Need more information?

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the enterprising support we offer Kingston University students and local SMEs. You can also explore our services for business web pages for more details.