I am keen to pursue self-employment, freelancing or running my own business after my studies

Self-employment, freelancing and running your own business

Mycareer Digital Resources has a range of useful resources when considering self-employment. If you are keen to pursue self-employment after your studies these short films and articles are particularly useful:


Develop your self-awareness by undertaking assessments: 

In order to succeed it is vital that you understand the way you work, your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies and preferences.

Relevant programmes and events:

The Cube: business start-up, self-employment and freelancing, weekly drop-in, workshops, monthly support sessions and more

If you are keen to pursue self-employment and/or you have a business idea, The Cube offers weekly opportunities for students and graduates to access information on a variety of free self-employment and business start-up support all in one place. This includes: 

  • bespoke expert-run workshops and events
  • 1:1 business and self-employment support appointments
  • 1:1 business expert appointments on HR, legal, finance, intellectual property and more
  • weekly drop-in sessions
  • support to access Santander funding
  • Professional Entrepreneurial Mentoring Programme
  • business challenges and competitions
  • networking opportunities.

To find out which services may be most appropriate to you, simply email thecube@plymouth.ac.uk

The Cube also delivers an ongoing programme of business start-up and development workshops on a variety of topics which can be very useful. These include:

These include:
  • brand workshop
  • consultative selling
  • IP for students and start ups
  • media workshop
  • sales strategy
  • Santander – scam avoidance school
  • Run A Monster Business Not A Business Monster.

View graduate video case studies

<p>Formation Zone</p>

Santander Ideation Awards

In collaboration with Santander, The Cube offers a rolling programme of Ideation Awards throughout the academic year to support early-stage entrepreneurs. These awards are around £150 and are available to students and recent graduates whose businesses are at the ‘ideas stage’.

Examples of what awards can be used for include: 

  • registering a trademark/copyright
  • registering a limited company
  • setting up an initial website
  • attending an event/workshop
  • paying for solicitor/accountant costs
  • 1:1 consultancy fees
  • marketing materials
  • pre-start incubation support
  • general start-up business expenditures.

<p>Santander Ideation Awards</p>

Virtual Internship Scheme 2020–21

The new Virtual Internship Scheme will see graduating students working on short term creative projects to benefit local businesses and improve their employability. Creatives working on projects will be paid at a standard rate of £13/hour, up to a maximum of 38 hours per project (£500), which will be funded by the iMayflower Innovative Placement Scheme. It’s a great opportunity to enhance your business acumen, build your network of potential clients and get real hands on experience of working on as a freelancer. 

To express an interest, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Sarah Holcombe, iMayflower Knowledge Exchange Specialist


Virtual Internship Scheme 


Masters R&D Studentship 2020–21

This new initiative will pair highly skilled masters level students from across our Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business with local businesses in order to undertake a defined R&D challenge that will contribute to the development of a new product, process, service or experiential offering for the business and deliver an unprecedented learning experience for our students. It’s a great opportunity to work collaboratively with a local business and gain hands on experience of innovating and implementing new ideas; building your commercial awareness and business acumen.

To express an interest, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Sarah Holcombe, iMayflower Knowledge Exchange Specialist sarah.holcombe@plymouth.ac.uk.

<p>Digital Fabrication Lab</p>

Techstars Startup weekends 

<p>Techstars startup weekends</p>

Available to students, graduates and members of the general public, the Techstars Startup Weekends are the place to meet like-minded, entrepreneurial individuals and be immersed in a weekend of creativity and collaboration. The most recent event involved around 50 participants, which included industry coaches, judges and the attendees themselves. It resulted in seven teams working full-time over the course of the weekend to build a start-up from scratch. With just 54 hours, Friday saw participants pitching ideas, before voting on which ones to take forward and forming teams to work together over the weekend. 

Two full days followed, with teams living and breathing their startup ideas as they worked together, ate together and received fantastic support from expert coaches. The weekend culminated in teams presenting their businesses to a panel of judges on Sunday, before the awards were given and everyone celebrated with a final meal and drink together.

These events are designed to help support and encourage budding entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or anyone with exciting ideas for new products, processes, services or experiences. For those that do not have an idea to pitch, startup weekends are still a great opportunity to learn more about what goes into building a startup and making your ideas a reality.

Register your interest.


iMayflower crowdfunding support

Crowdfunder UK are helping digital creative companies grow through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and extra funding.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding gives people a digital platform to validate creative ideas, raise awareness of new projects, and build lasting relationships with supporters. And it’s an innovative way to fund your start-up and grow your business!

Find out more about how Crowdfunder can help as part of iMayflower

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s) for graduates

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership is a partnership between a business seeking expertise, an academic institution (such as University of Plymouth) and a recently qualified graduate/postgraduate, who is known as a KTP Associate.

The Associate is supervised to work on a specific project, which facilitates innovation, wealth creation and helps to embed new capability within that business.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are one of the UK’s largest graduate employment programmes. Upon successful appointment, the KTP Associate is employed by University of Plymouth (between 12–36 months) but works within the business to deliver an agreed project plan. Along with providing you with a fantastic platform to launch your commercial career, you can apply the skills you gained to successfully work as a freelancer or set up your own business.

<p>KTP Associate</p>
<p>Careers Service</p>
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