USW Freelancers Academy

The USW Freelancers Academy takes students through the steps needed to get their business idea off the ground. The USW Freelancers Academy is an annual event that takes place over 1 week. This year it has been scheduled to run between the 5th and 9th of June. There are a maximum of 25 spaces available.

Students need to complete a short application form stating why they want to attend. The week will cover all the basics of business plans, marketing, networking and getting yourself out there, the week is designed to help entrepreneurial students and graduates move into the world of self-employment.

Mentoring will be available to all participants and the week will culminate in the chance to pitch for a share of £1,000 cash.

For further information on this year’s academy please visit:

2016’s USW Freelancers Academy saw 23 students working with entrepreneurs and business experts to develop their business ideas and pitch for their share of £1,500.

Taking place in June each year, The Academy takes students through the steps needed to get their business idea off the ground. The week consisted of variety of interactive sessions delivered by business experts, entrepreneurs, business mentors university staff and the University Enterprise Team with the opportunity to pitch for funding on the final day. Topics ranged from marketing to Intellectual Property through to book keeping to effective networking.

The Academy attracted Creative Industry students as well those from sport, psychology and business. David Cooke who is due to graduate from computer animation in June said “The Freelancers Academy has been absolutely amazing. I have developed my skills and learnt what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. I would recommend this week to anyone who is thinking about working for themselves or starting a business”.

Josh Barnett founder of Treatment Clothing and contestant on the current BBC programme ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ was one of the guest speakers at the event. Josh shared his experiences of starting a business and tailored his workshop around using social media on a shoestring.

The final day involved all students pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges where £1500 was split between six business ideas. All students also took advantage of the 1-2-1 mentoring sessions supported Big Ideas Wales.
Guest entrepreneur and Judge Kevin Mansell-Abel said “It was great to be part of the USW Freelancers Academy once again. The Academy is a fantastic opportunity for students to get ahead, combining their academic learning with practical experience and mentoring from those who have been there, found the problems and overcome with solutions”.

Emma Forouzan, Enterprise Manager at the University and organiser of the Academy said “It was great to see our entrepreneurial students and graduates taking full advantage of the wealth of support available to develop the knowledge, skills, contacts and confidence needed to take their ideas from concept to a viable business in just five days”.

The USW Freelancers Academy is part funded by the Welsh Government to support delivery of the Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy (YES) for Wales.

For further information on the Enterprise support available to students and staff please contact the Enterprise Team, part of Careers and Employability by emailing

Bright Ideas Den

Bright Ideas Den is your chance to pitch for up to £1,000 to kick start your bright idea. If you have an idea you would like to try out whilst you study or have decided to set up a business on graduation, then the funding and advice available at the Bright Ideas Den could be just what you need.

The den runs every term and it is your chance to up-skill yourself or your business idea. The funding is available to current students and graduates of up to 2 years from the University of South Wales.

Applications are closed for BID at this current time.

For further information contact

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