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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:

- Applying for angel investment funding through Henley Business Angels, led by the Henley Business School Dean's Office

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

- Facilitating connections between business and academia through the University of Reading's Knowledge Transfer Centre

- Providing placement or internship opportunities, co-ordinated by the Henley Business School Careers team, to Henley Business School undergraduate or postgraduate students that can provide services or insights that can help your business to identify solutions to key challenges you face

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 since 2020 and the students have been able to improve their grade in examinations and assessments by an average of 19%.

Since 2020 UNIK has explored more service opportunities, such as tutorials supporting PhD applications, job application guidance 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.