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Northumbria graduates top entrepreneurial league

8th May 2018



Northumbria University, Newcastle, has been named the UK’s top ranked university for graduate business start-ups based on turnover, for a second year running.

According to the latest report by the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS), turnover from Northumbria graduate businesses for 2016/17 reached £80.3 million – over £30 million more than the second placed institution. The combined turnover for Northumbria graduate businesses also grew by more than £10 million on the previous year.

With a clear focus on supporting graduate enterprise, the figures been welcomed by Northumbria. Services such as the University’s Student and Graduate Enterprise provide skills training and free start-up support, while help to launch new ventures, including financial assistance to recruit graduate interns, is available through the European-funded Northumbria Enterprise Business Support.

Lucy Winskell OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Employability and Partnerships) at Northumbria, said: “These sector-leading results are evidence of the wealth of entrepreneurial talent here at Northumbria, with our graduates creating thriving new enterprises and employment opportunities. Through our graduate start-up services and initiatives like NEBs, we will continue to support them as they build their businesses regionally, nationally and globally.”

Graham Baty, Enterprise Manager at Northumbria, added: “Heading the rankings for a second year running reflects a focus on sustainability. Our emphasis is on helping to secure long-term success, and not on the number of new start-ups. We can provide a range of services and support, including mentoring from industry experts to get start-ups to the point of trading, but more importantly, we continue to support businesses in the early years of trading, typically up to three years.”

Northumbria graduate Hasan Hamid set up GYB (Grow Your Business) as a social media marketing agency in 2017. His enterprise, which is based in the Natwest Accelerator hub on Newcastle's Quayside, helps businesses grow by gaining new customers and clients through social media. Clients come from a multitude of sectors including Restaurants, Hotels, e-commerce and the professional sectors. Hasan said: “The Northumbria Enterprise team has a been a tremendous help. Not only has Graham acted as a mentor, but through his extensive network and connections he has been able to provide crucial support for our start-up in areas such as marketing and PR, legal, finance and business growth planning.” 

Since 2009, Northumbria has supported the development of more than 200 graduate businesses, which currently employ over 1,000 and now have a combined annual turnover in excess of £80 million.

NEBS also offers a Graduate Internship strand. Again funded by the ERDF, this strand is focused specifically on small and medium sized enterprises in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to help businesses find their next generation of talent.  It can contribute £3,825 towards the salary costs too (minimium salary £17,000 pa pro rata).


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