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Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme

Are you a non-EEA national student graduating this year?
Have you got a brilliant idea for a new business based in the UK?

If so, you may be eligible to enter the University of Warwick Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme which will give you a chance of remaining in the UK on a Tier 1 visa for a further two years.

Tier 1 Guidance notes

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme

The University of Warwick is part of a scheme, run in conjunction with the Home Office, to find (non-EEA national) students who will graduate from the University of Warwick this year. The scheme aims to identify, nurture and develop graduate entrepreneurs with a genuine, credible and innovative business idea who wish to stay in the United Kingdom to develop their new venture.

Who can apply?

Any student, who currently has a Tier 4 student visa and who will be completing their studies at Warwick, with a recognised degree at either undergraduate or postgraduate level is eligible.

You must have a valid Tier 4 visa or have last been granted a Tier 4 visa (if applying from overseas) in order to be eligible to apply under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme.

If you have not yet completed your degree programme at the time of your application for endorsement under this scheme and you are successful with this application 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.

How do I apply?

Stage 1 – Register your interest. If you are interested in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme you should email Richard Groves (Enterprise Development Officer) at r dot m dot c dot groves at warwick dot ac dot uk to register your interest and arrange an appointment for an initial discussion.

Stage 2 – Initial discussion – This meeting will be used to check your details, your eligibility for the scheme and your business proposal and will usually last for about an hour.

Stage 3 – Making an application – After your initial discussion, you will be asked to submit a business plan for consideration. Your business plan should be no more than 10 pages in length (using a font no smaller than Arial 10), with a maximum of two appendices. The judges will be looking for a genuine, credible and innovative business proposition. Details of the judging criteria will be sent out to applicants.

We currently have two application rounds scheduled for submitting a business plan:

  • Monday 16th November 2015
  • Friday 4th December 2015

After you have submitted your business plan, the University will check your eligibility, review your application and decide whether you should be invited to present your business idea to a University judging panel.

Stage 4 – Presenting your business idea – If your initial application is successful, you will be invited to present your business idea to a University selection panel. The panel will be made up of senior staff from across the University’s academic and non-academic departments along with independent judges.

If you have already left the UK at the time of the panel, it may be possible to make your presentation via video conferencing facilities (subject to availability). You are welcome to attend in person but should be aware that it would be risky to try to re-enter the UK using your Tier 4 visa if you have completed your course as you will no longer meet the conditions of this visa. You must have a valid Tier 4 visa or have last been granted a Tier 4 visa (if applying from overseas) in order to be eligible to apply under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme.

The panel will make a decision whether to:

  • Endorse your application and issue you with an endorsement letter
  • Decline your application

Or

  • Defer your application pending submission of further information.