The University of Gloucestershire has a long history as a provider of education which dates back to the nineteenth century, and is a thriving and diverse community of over 10,000 students, based on four campuses. The University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and a host of professional courses, from business economics to illustration and performing arts to teacher training and short courses. It is made up of four faculties: the Business School; Applied Sciences, Media, Art and Technology; and the Institute for Education and Professional Services.
A key focus of the University is to encourage and engender an enterprising culture within its community. The ‘Venture’ Programme is an annual event, consisting of taught seminars and interactive workshops, designed to help develop entrepreneurial thinking and create new business ventures amongst the university’s students, staff and alumni. This culminates in a business planning competition in which cash prizes are awarded to the most innovative new business ideas. The support of local experts, mentors and business professionals supports conversion of ideas into real sustainable start-up businesses.
The University also runs a European-funded, Gloucestershire county-wide programme that provides an integrated business incubation service to assist start-ups to improve their performance, to create new jobs, to offer options for graduates and support collaborative research and development projects across the county. This programme provides specialist start-up and business growth advice and support, including networking events and incubation space within a dedicated Enterprise Hub.