Your next steps

Starting your own business or freelancing

Woman at desk

Do you have a start-up business idea? From architects to app developers, coders to cooks, drone operators to dress-makers, gamers to graphic designers, script writers to sports nutritionists, let the LJMU Start-up Hub help you on your start-up journey!  The team offer:

  • Workshops and sprints
  • Advice and coaching
  • Clubs and meet-ups 

The support available from our award-winning Start-Up Hub team helps you to research, plan and launch your start up and maintain or scale up an existing business.

You can be a current student or a recent graduate (for up to five years after you graduate) who wants to develop your confidence and leadership potential through taking the steps needed to start up. We offer you relevant, hands-on training and business advice.

Start-Up Hub Drop-ins

  • Every Tuesday - 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM*
  • Every Thursday – 10:00AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Start-up Hub, Student Life Building

Do you have an amazing idea that you think could change the world? An idea for a new product, service or side-hustle? Come and see the LJMU Start-Up team in the Student Life Building, Upper Ground Floor on Tuesday afternoons or Thursday mornings for an initial chat! We’ll let you know how we can support you and guide you towards the next steps to make those ideas a reality.

No need to book, just drop in and say hello!

*term time only

Start-Up Sprint

The Start-up Sprint is a 4-week business idea development programme designed and delivered by the Start-up Hub team. Each week we will cover a different theme to help you develop and test your initial business idea. All participants on this programme will receive access to a free business idea validation tool called Validate.

  • Week 1 – What’s your idea?  In the session you will start to explore your idea and your motivations for starting a business.
  • Week 2 – Visualising your business idea:  In this session, you will explore how to map out the foundations of a great startup idea.
  • Week 3 – Testing out your business Idea:  In this session, you will learn how to test your idea to discover whether it will work.
  • Week 4 – Pitching your business idea:  In this session, you will have the opportunity to pitch your idea to your peers and the Start-up team and plan next steps.

By the end of the 4 weeks, you will leave with a plan of action to take your idea forward with the opportunity to access ongoing support from the Start-up Hub.

For more information about Start-Up Sprint, including when the next programme is due to take place, please email

Freelance Toolkit

The Freelance Toolkit is a 4-week business development programme designed and delivered by the LJMU Start-up Hub team, specifically for LJMU students and graduates wishing to pursue a freelance career - designers, writers, videographers, sound editors or any other freelance pursuit. This programme is open to all students and graduates but is perfect for any final students looking to launch their freelance career after graduation!

The course offers freelancers the tools they need to succeed in their chosen market. Promising entrepreneurs will examine the value they offer (and to whom), the market they compete in, and how freelancers get work. The course will also look at the practical matters of running a freelance business, including registration, taxes, insurance, book-keeping and more.

Participants will leave with a plan of action to pursue freelancing, and of course, will receive ongoing support through the Start-Up Hub (even if they have graduated!).

  • Week 1 – Creating Extraordinary Value as a Freelancer: This session takes a look at the goals and creative output of every freelancer and explores how best to examine your market, buyers, and competition.
  • Week 2 – Capturing Value: Getting Contract and Deals: For many freelancers, business development is a real challenge! But by understanding what we call the “dealspace”, freelancers perform “key activities” that bring them leads and helps them close deals. This session examines how to identify those activities to drive sales and revenue.
  • Week 3 – Creating the Freelance Business: In this session we examine the practical matters of a freelance business: How to register, pay taxes, buy insurance, create contracts, invoice clients and keep books.
  • Week 4 – Go-To-Market:  During the final week, each participant will share a three-minute presentation on their freelance business, including their next steps, giving them an opportunity to get and give feedback to their peers.

By the end of the 4 weeks, you will leave with a plan of action to take your idea forward with the opportunity to access ongoing support from the Start-up Hub.

For more information about Freelance toolkit, including when the next programme is due to take place, please email

Start-Up Club

Date: The last Tuesday of each month during term time

Time: 4:00-5:00pm

Location: Start-up Hub, Student Life Building

The Start-up Club is an informal monthly session for students and alumni who are developing their start-up businesses/freelance careers. You might be at the very start of your start-up journey or a bit further down the road. Everyone is welcome. Come along and meet other LJMU students and alumni who are in the same boat and share and support each other on the start-up journey and receive guidance from the Start-up Hub team.

No need to pre-book, just drop in.  For more information, email

LCR Founders Project

LCR Founders is a collaborative programme between LJMU and University of Liverpool, giving students and graduates the opportunity to explore co-founding as a viable and scalable approach to business start-up.

Participants will have exclusive access to:

  • At least 12 hours of enterprise skill building and 1:1 coaching.
  • Exciting opportunities to work with some of the city’s leading established co-founded businesses.
  • Residential start-up weekends / founder festivals / idea jams / Inspirational speaker events and unique networking opportunities –   all Powered by Founders.
  • Free membership to our exclusive online community platform, including a FREE license to Sim Ventures Validate – exciting new business building software.
  • Access to substantially discounted registered office / co-working spaces in some of the cities greatest buildings.
  • Expert support and the opportunity to pitch for one of only 40 Bathgate start-up grants - up to £2000

There are 400 spaces up for grabs over the next 18 months – registration is simple just get in touch via

LCR Founders is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

LCR Founders partner logos

Faq Items

Where can I go for information about becoming a freelancer?

Freelancing means to work as an independent company rather than be employed by someone else. Freelancers are self-employed and often referred to as independent contractors. When you are a freelancer you can pick and choose the work you pitch for. You are responsible for invoicing for each job, delivering the work on time and to budget and annually reporting through a tax return to the UK Government body – HMRC.

Use the HMRC step-by-step set of questions to work out if freelancing is for you, understand what records to keep and how to register as a freelancer with HMRC

For more support with becoming a freelancer and growing your business register to join the LJMU Enterprise/Start Up community.

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Facebook: LJMUStartup

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