This article will explain how the nest team as part of the Careers and Employability Service can support you with starting or developing a social enterprise.

nest is the University of Portsmouth’s Student Enterprise Team offering startup support to all University of Portsmouth current students and graduates for up to five years after graduation.

Our expert team is here to provide the tools and methods for success, inspire confidence and help you realise your goals.

“A social enterprise trades to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. And so when they profit, society profits.” Social Enterprise UK

How we can help:

One to one advice

Come to the Careers and Employability Centre to our nest Enterprise Clinics for an informal, confidential one-to-one chat, no matter what stage your idea is at and whatever your start up question. Please check the Careers and Employability Service website for details and times of the Enterprise Clinics.

Bring along anything that can help explain the idea including: product ideas, prototypes, sketches or simply your notes. Don’t worry if you don’t have any of these, we’ll be happy to see you.

If you are unable to make an Enterprise Clinic or are a distance learner please email or call us on +44 (0)23 9284 2684.


We run a range of workshops to help you develop your startup ideas.

  • Social Startup Programme

Are you interested in tackling social problems, improving communities, helping to improve people’s lives or the environment? If so, why not join our Social Startup programme.

We run a tailored programme of workshops that run over a five week period. The workshops will provide you with practical tools and specific Social Startup resources designed to help you develop your idea. Support is on hand throughout and after the programme. This programme is open to University of Portsmouth students and graduates (graduated within the last five years).

If you are interested in developing a social enterprise but don’t have an idea at present we run an idea generation workshop a week in advance of the programme starting to help you explore and develop a potential idea.

You can develop an idea by yourself or as a team. By developing your social idea you will be on the journey to launching your own social startup.

The workshops will provide you with practical tools and specific social startup resources designed to help you develop your idea and support is on hand throughout and after the programme.

For more information visit the nest website.

Other programmes are available throughout the year, a member of the nest team can provide you with more information.

Throughout the year we run a number of specialist events tailored to specific needs which cover a range of different topics. Follow us on social media for regular updates.


We have collated a wide range of resources to support you in startup. Explore our resource bank and if you need additional support please contact the nest Team.

Funding - There are a number of sources for funding that can help you explore your business idea further – both within and outside of the University. As a first step check out our funding resource page. Additional support on funding sources and application advice can be provided by the nest team.

Office space - The University of Portsmouth provides start-up space for student and graduate on the edge of campus, in the heart of Portsmouth’s City Centre. Our nest incubation space is a great way for student and graduates to develop their business ideas alongside other startups, with on hand support from the nest team.

The nest incubator is located on Floor Two of the Innovation Space.

Current University of Portsmouth students can apply to use the space for free on a hot-desking basis and University of Portsmouth graduates and students undertaking a self-employed placement are offered a discount. Find out more by emailing or come along to an Enterprise Clinic.

There are lots of benefits of using our nest co-working space:

  • Dedicated space to work on your ideas and startup
  • Community of like minded individuals
  • Build your networks
  • Talent and skills at your fingertips
  • It won’t break the bank
  • Expert support on hand from the Student Enterprise Team

Self-employment Placements

A Self-Employment Placement (SEP) is a chance to start your own business in place of undertaking a traditional industrial placement. A Self-Employment Placement (SEP) may be undertaken by certain students currently studying at the University of Portsmouth. This will normally take place following the second year of studies and, where appropriate, replaces the traditional placement year in industry.

The aim of the SEP is to encourage the development of enterprise skills whilst starting-up and running a business, or social enterprise, or being self-employed during the placement year. For more information please see this article.

Please note: There are limitations on setting up a business if you are an international (non-EU) student. For more information please attend an Enterprise Clinic or contact the team.


How to Contact us

Visit us at:

Careers and Employability Service

University of Portsmouth

28 Guildhall Walk



Opening hours:

Monday–Thursday: 8.30am–5pm

Friday: 8.30am–4pm


Telephone or Email:

t: +44 (0)23 9284 2684


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