Grad2Director 2017: How York St John University helped bring business ideas to life

Late last year York St John University launched the innovative Grad2Director programme, helping graduates transform their fantastic ideas into flourishing business opportunities.

Developed in partnership with Dr John Park, an international expert in product and service innovation, the Grad2Director programme gave our 2017 graduates the chance to bid for funding to start running their own business by Christmas 2017.

More than fifty graduates registered on the programme and submitted business plans. After careful consideration of these plans eight graduates were awarded financial support from York St John and went on to found their own companies. Our eight new company directors come from a wide range of disciplines from across the University, including Business, English Literature and Linguistics, Education, Design, Social Sciences and Performing Arts. The businesses they have each set up are equally diverse, with the new companies focusing on areas such as counselling services for local authorities, designing state-of-the-art home products, cosmetics, web strategy and commerce, using music and media production to educate and engage secondary students with difficult social issues, and a technology enabling estate agents, landlords and tenants to have a more productive relationship.

Our eight business owners continue to receive support from Grad2Director and Dr Park as they take their new companies through the first few months following incorporation. We’re very excited to be following their progress, sharing updates as their new businesses develop.

We're also looking forward to the return of our Grad2Director programme when it becomes available for our class of 2018 graduates; watch this space for more information.