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Business start-up advice


Thinking of starting a business? Need to discuss your first steps?

The Creative Business Office is located within the Phoenix Centre, the hub of enterprise at York St John University. We are a team of experts here to help you to talk through your business ideas, to review your business plan and to help your business to succeed. The service is free, so let us begin to assist you.

In addition to being available for business mentoring, we are pleased to be able to offer financial assistance to help students and graduates of the University. This guidance and funding can be used to establish the feasibility of your new business ideas and to help you start-up your business.

Contact creativebusiness@yorksj.ac.uk for more information.


Glossary of Terms


Proof of Concept Fund:

This fund supports the early stage development of ideas that show good commercial potential, by helping with your market research and by overcoming specific roadblocks you need to start. The maximum grant is up to £500 and is part-financed by the European Union.

To be considered, you must first apply and book an appointment. We can then check your eligibility and discuss your intentions in more detail.


Business Growth Fund: 

This fund is available to our students and graduates (up to 5 years), who intend to start their business in Yorkshire and the Humber. The grant provides up to £1,500 for newly registered businesses to .

Learn more about the fund and acquire an application.


G.E.P. (Graduate Entrepreneurship Project):

The Project partners all ten institutions in Yorkshire and the Humber to provide the best enterprise and business start up support possible to students and graduates, whether the support needed be guidance, finance or networking with like-minded individuals.

Widely recognised as an exemplar of best practice in enterprise education in the UK and EU, GE has received national recognition through industry awards, inclusion in national reports and reviews, and is regularly consulted on developing policy. The GE project is supported financially by the European Union.

Find out more on the Graduate Entrepreneurship website


I.P. (Intellectual Property):

An essential item to consider in bringing your business to market. What makes your business unique and can you protect your ideas? While it is always best to seek legal advise regarding IP, many great tools are available to learn more about your rights. 

We recommend the Intellectual Property Office website to entrepreneurs (particulary the creative sector). Their tool is designed to help you think about what IP your business owns and what protection you need.


E.R.D.F. (European Regional Development Fund):

The ERDF was set up in 1975, championed particularly by the UK and Italy to ensure that EU membership could show tangible economic benefits at home. This funding has become the main way that the EU has implemented its regional policy.

Currently, the scope of the project aims to reduce structural imbalances in economic performance within and between the members. The project's main aims are: Convergence, Regional Competitiveness & Employment, and Territorial Cooperation.


This programme is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted over £1 million of investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for local economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.