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The Hive - an incubator for entrepreneurship

The Hive is Nottingham Trent University’s centre for enterprise and entrepreneurship. It supports student, graduate and external businesses to turn ideas into reality through access to a range of support services, an active business network, mentoring and training programmes. Since opening in 2001, The Hive has helped more than 400 start-up companies. Around 70% of those businesses are still trading today.

The Hive offer includes:

  • Enterprise training programmes, workshops and events;
  • Advice and guidance from a team of experienced Enterprise Advisors;
  • 1-2-1 mentoring;
  • Free to access professional service support;
  • Access to NTU’s network of businesses and wider support services;
  • Access to funding opportunities.

The Hive will relocate to its new home within NTU’s Enterprise and Innovation Centre (EIC) which will provide a further focus for business and enterprise in Nottingham city centre. It will be a ‘hub’ for driving opportunities for student and graduate enterprise as well as the local SME community. The EIC, which is due to open in winter 2020, is key to delivering the university’s Enterprise Action Plan and will inform NTU’s future strategic roadmap for enterprise.

Supporting Enterprise and Innovation at The Hive

Work & Communications (WAC) is an app-based business founded by NTU law student Georgina Fairhall. WAC tracks hours and transforms work and money management for zero hour, hourly paid and gig economy workers. The app uses technology to bridge the divide between employer and employee.

Georgina has received support from The Hive since pre-start stages in 2018, attending the HeadStart programme and receiving grant funding through the Enabling Innovation project and investment from Santander Universities. Georgina was also supported through NTU’s Big House Accelerator programme and has had ongoing mentoring at The Hive, where her business is located. In addition to this, Georgina received matched investment from Nottingham Trent University, via the enterprise investment fund. 

Georgina was also successful in getting through to the national final of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards in 2018. This gave her access to potential investors, useful connections and business mentors including Warwick Hill, former MD of Microsoft Europe.

Thanks to The Hive’s support during the first two years of her business, Georgina has been able to successfully launch the first version of her app, which is available to download now. She continues to be supported by The Hive/EIC and has accessed a range of support services to help her accelerate the growth of WAC.

The Hive business logo

“Not only did The Hive provide me with the support in the early stages to get my fledgling business idea off the ground, they have helped me during every phase of my journey; to the point where I have now launched my app and am ready to take the business to the next level. They have been supportive in terms of helping me grow in confidence as an entrepreneur; I was really clueless in those early days! The advisors have always been by my side and helped me make connections, get involved with different opportunities and access grants. The Hive is now supporting me to become investment ready. I can’t thank The Hive enough.”

Georgina Fairhall, Work and Communications (WAC)