The Hive is a purpose-built centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise at Nottingham Trent University, designed to support and nurture students and graduates’ businesses through the early development stages to sustainability and growth.
Since 2001, it has helped more than 400 companies to start up and almost 70% of those businesses are still trading and prospering today; employing more than 500 people and with many of them still based in the Nottingham area.
The Hive has achieved this through providing entrepreneurs with up to three years of structured support; including training, mentoring and guidance as well as invaluable access to university resources and expertise, and a safe environment for testing their business concepts.
As part of the university, The Hive is also able to draw on a huge network of contacts in the region to assist those businesses – signposting them to relevant opportunities, collaborations, events and organisations, as well as funding opportunities and grants.
The centre is designed to meet the needs of start-ups by offering first-class office facilities with hot desks, meeting rooms, IT facilities and office equipment. By being located in the same building, entrepreneurs also benefit from the community created, sharing their experiences and knowledge with other like-minded individuals.
The Hive has helped develop businesses in areas as diverse as public relations, marketing and media to art and design, coaching and even cooking. Recent success stories include Hosta Consulting, an urban landscape and horticulture design service.
Another is award-winning company, TechSilver, started by current student Miles Waghorn in late 2014, which is an online based technology store specialising in innovative products and helpful services for the growing senior demographic. Miles won the ‘Next Generation – New Business Idea’ Award at the inaugural VentureFest East Midlands last year. Many other now well-established businesses in Nottingham that started life in The Hive include GoDine, a national restaurant booking service, Strafe Creative, a digital marketing and branding agency, and Prime Principle a market leader with their Classroom monitor – a school pupil online tracking and reporting system.
Indeed in its 15 year history The Hive’s students and businesses have won many awards, accolades and competitions. These have included regional prizes at the Nottinghamshire Business Awards, Spirit of Enterprise Awards, Prince’s Trust Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Regional Student Business Plan Competition, Nottingham Evening Post Business Awards, Midlands Business Awards and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce Awards.