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Entrepreneurship support for alumni and local businesses

Our graduates disproportionately enter entrepreneurial careers. Successful start-up ventures among our alumni community include Airbyte, Ososkey, KYMIRA and Hyden.

Similarly, we have maintained close ties with our network of SMEs in the Thames Valley region. These businesses benefit from potential collaboration with us, gaining access to opportunities including:

- Giving you the chance to apply for angel investment funding through Henley Business Angels

- Offering current and recently graduated Henley Business School students mentoring to help them develop their start-up business

- Providing placement or internship opportunities to Henley Business School undergraduate or postgraduate students, where they can provide services or insights that can help your business to identify solutions to key challenges you face

- Endorsing Start-up visa applications for any recent University of Reading or Henley Business School alumnus, allowing residence within the UK even after graduating to develop a business

Case Study - Hetianbo Chen

In 2019 Hetianbo Chen graduated from Henley Business School with an MSc Investment Management degree. He wanted to stay in the UK after graduating, so he applied for start-up visa endorsement through HCfE. His business, called UNIK, was established with his co-founder Yuqi Wang and provides tuition to international students studying foundation, undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in the UK. UNIK also offers students personalised support through online teaching utilising platforms such as Zoom and Wechat, which helps students develop a higher understanding of their syllabus and assessments.

Hetianbo was granted an interview for the start-up visa endorsement and he impressed the interview panel with both his business plan and enthusiasm. HCfE endorsed his start-up visa application, allowing Hetianbo to continue growing his business in the UK, and UNIK has gone from strength to strength. The company has taught over 600 international students within the past two years and the students have been able to improve their grade in examinations and assessments by an average of 19 marks.

Since 2020 UNIK has explored more service opportunities, such as tutorials supporting PhD applications, job application support and help with student start-up businesses. From a start of just two co-founders, UNIK has now extended to a team of over 60 tutors in the higher education sector and five managerial staff, each responsible for a different department.

To find out more about how we help our alumni and local businesses, click the links down the menu.

Henley Business Angels

The Henley Business Angels (HBA), led by Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship (HCfE), is a network of experienced business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and investors.

The Henley Entrepreneur Mentor Programme

Henley Business School supports entrepreneurs with a network of both alumni and experienced external entrepreneurs under the long-running Entrepreneur Mentor Programme, led by Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship (HCfE).

Start-up Visa Endorsement

If you are a recent University of Reading or Henley Business School graduate from outside the UK, but wish to remain in the country, you have the chance to do so by applying for the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship (HCfE) Start-up Visa Endorsement scheme.

Contact us

For more information please contact Alex Baker.

Email: a.j.baker@henley.ac.uk
Telephone: 0118 3788691