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Start-up Scheme

Could you be our next Graduate Entrepreneur?

Are you an international graduate or final year international student with a business idea you believe is viable, scalable and innovative ? Then you should consider applying to the University of Warwick Start-up Scheme. The Start-up Scheme will give you a unique opportunity to remain in the UK and develop your business under the Start-up visa for 2 years.

What is it ?

The University of Warwick is part of a scheme, run in conjunction with the Home Office, which aims to identify, nurture and develop graduate entrepreneurs who have a viable, scalable and innovative business idea they wish to develop in the United Kingdom. The Start-up Scheme is limited to a maximum of 20 graduates per year and is only open to either international graduates or current international students of the University of Warwick.

Register Your Interest

Who can apply ?

Any student, who meets all four requirements, is eligible to apply.
You can apply if:

  1. You have a valid Student/Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University of Warwick or you previously held a Student/Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University of Warwick
  2. You are a EEA or Non EEA national who graduated from the University of Warwick
  3. You have been or are going to be awarded a University of Warwick degree (Bachelors, Masters or PhD)
  4. You have a viable, innovative and scalable business idea
  • Viability
    • The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
    • From 4th June 2020, the 'viability' criteria also includes “a realistic and achievable business plan based on the applicant’s available resources”.
  • Innovation
    • The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Scalability
    • There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

*Please note: If you have not yet completed your degree programme when you apply for endorsement under this scheme and your application is successful - then the endorsement will be conditional on successful completion of your degree programme. Foundation degrees, postgraduate certificates and diplomas are not acceptable qualifications for this scheme. Please refer to the Start-up Scheme visa application process here.

Initial Meeting

You are required to schedule an initial 30-minute meeting with the Graduate Enterprise Officer. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your business idea, the application process and how applications are evaluated.

You can schedule this call by clicking HERE or by emailing

The Graduate Enterprise Officer will then send you the link to submit your Start-up VISA application.

Please note: The initial 1:1 meeting is a pre-requisite for your Start-up Scheme application.

Full details of the scheme can be found on the Home Office website:

If you have any queries please contact us at: