University bosses are piloting a project which will see students receiving funding to set up their own business alongside studying for their degree.
Preston-based University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is believed to be the first to offer a bespoke scholarship to its sports therapy graduates to help them set up a ground-breaking sports injury business.
The university’s Student Enterprise and Business Incubation initiative will see two successful candidates benefit from a free business development package worth £3,000.
Available to UCLan graduates only, including former students, support will be provided for a year.
It will comprise advice and expertise from mentors, in addition to a range of marketing materials including the creation of a new website.
Andy Cunningham, principal lecturer in business development at UCLan’s School of Health Sciences believes this is an industry first.
He said: “This is a unique opportunity for UCLan sports therapy graduates who are interested in establishing a sports injury business, or those who have an existing start-up but need support to grow.”
He added that many students graduating in sports therapy go on to work for professional clubs or for themselves, as opposed to working in the NHS.
However, with around 50 graduates a year, he said the university wanted to offer added support to enable those who wanted to set up their own clinics to get the expertise they needed.
He added that in return, the successful applicants are expected to act as ambassadors for UCLan and the School of Health Sciences, working to promote courses and build relationships with our students as well as going into schools and colleges to spread the message about the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating.