Start-up VISAS

Are you an international student about to graduate who would like to start a business in the UK? If so, then the Start-up visa could be the scheme for you.

The University offers 5 individuals to realise their business idea by endorsing and supporting them under this immigration route.

You need to show that your business idea meets the following Home Office criteria:




Is there a genuine business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage?

Does the applicant have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business?

Is there evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets?

If successful, you can remain in the UK for up to 2 years and  work on your business.

Please note, PhD students wishing to start their own business would be advised to apply for a visa under the Doctorate Extension Scheme which has a different, simpler application process. Contact the International Office by email at

How to apply?

International students can apply through the Business Start-Up Boot Camp offered by Innospace.

Innospace is Manchester Met University’s business incubator for pre-start and early stage businesses.  It provides a professional business address along with a supportive environment to help businesses to grow and develop. 

The Business Start-Up Boot Camp give participants all of the building blocks to start your own business and is delivered by external entrepreneurs.  It is a competitive two day programme and delivered twice a year in June and November.  Participants must apply via an application form and only participants who have a fully rounded idea and have started to conduct research will be selected for the Boot Camp.

After the Boot Camp, you will be invited for a compulsory one-to-one session with the Innospace Manager and Lead Boot Camp facilitator to talk about the next steps for progression and development.  After this session, you can apply for the Start-up Visa Scheme and will be required to pitch your idea in front of a panel and produce a business plan.  A panel of judges will decide if your business idea meets the Home Office criteria.

If successful, the University will provide you with a signed endorsement letter valid for up to 3 months of the date specified on the letter. You will need this endorsement letter for your Start-up visa application to the Home Office.

For the eligibility requirements and conditions of leave to remain in the UK, please refer to the UK Visa and Immigration website on Start-up visas.

Your commitment/responsibilities

  • A commitment to develop your business in the Greater Manchester area.
  • Attendance at the Business Start Up Boot Camp and follow on support after the two-day programme.
  • Your co-operation to comply with the Home Office rules and regulations – including regular communication with the University; attendance at / use of the Innospace facilities and regular update reports on progress.
  • Participation in scheduled enterprise events and training from the Manchester Enterprise Centre, where appropriate.

Next steps

To register your interest and receive an application form for the Business Start-Up Boot Camp, please email

To discuss your idea and more information about the Business Start Up Boot Camp, please contact the Innospace Manager, Louise Kenworthy:

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Hot Desking Start from £50 per month (inc. V.A.T.)
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Permanent Desk Start from £150 per month (inc. V.A.T.)
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Start-up Office Start from £250 per month (inc. V.A.T.)
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Private Work Space Start from £450 per month (inc. V.A.T.)
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Virtual Licensee Start from £300 per year (inc. V.A.T.)
We work in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Chartered Management Institute and Manchester Metropolitan University to deliver a range of marketing and management qualifications, supporting professional marketers at every stage of their careers. Operating from Innospace has allowed us to continue to develop our strategic relationship with the University access the right talent and expertise.
Imran Farooq, MMC Learning