Incubation support at Student Hubs connects students with local communities to launch innovative projects to tackle social and environmental issues. Incubation supports students with scoping, designing and launching innovative new projects in their local community.



Our approach


Local Hub staff support students through resources, training, advice, guidance and access to our Hub network to successfully scope, design and implement projects. We also connect students to existing community partners through our local networks and have the expertise to support them in making new connections if required.

Incubation support can attract a different profile of student from those that typically engage in our Practical Volunteering or Skilled Placement offer and enable highly engaged students to become leaders in their communities.

Incubation can involve piloting new projects as part of existing programmes, or may be a brand new project following a student identifying a particular social or environmental need.


If you’re a student with an idea to create positive social change, get in touch with your local Hub.

If you’re a university staff member interested in our programme, find out more about partnering with us.

If you’re a member of a local organisation, contact your nearest Hub about partnership opportunities.


“Winchester Hub has been a fantastic opportunity, providing us with a great platform to grow our social enterprise. Prior to starting our Try It Award adventure, we were given a detailed presentation on how to successfully set up a social enterprise and the logistics of business. This process enabled us to refine what our company was really about and get the ball rolling.

“We cannot thank you enough for your continuous support. From the interview to the present, it’s been a positive journey. It was refreshing to hear encouraging feedback for our business idea and not be knocked down at the first hurdle. This really developed our confidence!”

Emma Hill and Kiri Golding, GoldHill Dance Company



Awards and associated support

An important strand of our incubation work is our Awards Scheme, run in conjunction with our partner universities. We connect students to crucial start-up funds which enable them to put their projects in motion, and offer ongoing support to ensure that their social enterprise has staying power.

Our local and national events also support students to develop key skills and provide opportunities to learn from sector leaders.


Project Incubation


“I wanted to engage with the community to get to know what life is like in Southampton for people not directly involved with the university. I enjoy working with people and getting to know places and volunteering with the Hub is the ideal way to do this.

I have learned a lot [through incubating Invent Plus] about how to effectively organise a group, to work in a more organised fashion and to allocate my time more efficiently. Every aspect of volunteering has also been extremely fun and rewarding. Working with the Hub has greatly enhanced my experience at the university. I have bee able to add a lot of skills to my CV [and] have learned a lot about how to work in teams and how to communicate effectively.

Personally, I have particularly enjoyed the friendships I was able to build with other volunteers. We were able to build a tight-knit group among the volunteers which made our work so much more fun and made my university experience a lot better.”

Hans Dyckerhoff, Co-Founder of the Invent Plus project and Invent Plus Co-ordinator on the Southampton Hub committee