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Henley Business School launches Henley Enterprise Lab to foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Today Henley proudly announces the launch of the Henley Enterprise Lab (HELAB), a new platform for University of Reading students and recent alumni to develop their business ideas and secure funding.

The HELAB will provide members with sponsored extracurricular initiatives, competitions and funding opportunities, collaboration with regional, national and international entrepreneurial organisations and access to work opportunities.

HELAB gives opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to develop their ideas, refine their business models, collaborate with industry partners and access the resources necessary to transform their business concepts into viable enterprises. By leveraging the expertise of Henley's faculty and our extensive network of industry connections, HELAB will empower its students and alumni to contribute to economic growth and societal impact.

Key opportunities and initiatives include:

  • Henley Greenshoots Seed Finance Award Scheme – applicants can win up to £1,500 in cash prizes if their business shows a potential to grow and become sustainable
  • Business Idea and Start-Up Clinic – one-to-one advice from a business expert
  • IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition – seeks to find the student with the best idea for a business
  • Summer Start-Up Boot Camp – an annual hands-on, week-long workshop to give participants the confidence and skills to start a business
  • Henley Entrepreneur Mentor Programme – supports ambitious entrepreneurs with a network of alumni that have become successful business leaders
  • YES - a global competition for post-graduate students and post-doctoral researchers raising awareness about how business ideas can be commercialised

In addition, HELAB will host talks on enterprise development that promote engagement with local SMEs, leverage Henley’s engagements with businesses across the UK, enable entrepreneurs seeking to raise finance from Henley Business Angels and support the commercialisation of research and spinouts from the University of Reading.

Commenting on the launch, Jurek Sikorski, Director of HELAB said:

A recent survey by Morning Consult and Samsung found 50% of 16-25 year olds are looking to set up their own business at some point and at Henley Business School, we believe in empowering individuals to embrace innovation and create positive change. The launch of HELAB is truly a pivotal moment for us representing a strategic move towards a future that will increasingly embrace innovation and entrepreneurship. I’m proud to be a part of this future that will contribute to the achievement of responsible and sustainable business practice, supporting the next generation of business leaders’.

HELAB is open to students, alumni, faculty, and external stakeholders interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information about its initiatives, visit

Jurek Sikorski

Director of the Henley Enterprise Lab
Published 19 February 2024
Henley news Entrepreneurship

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