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


“With the support of Oxford Hub, an impossible idea to launch a student-led social enterprise on Hogacre Common suddenly seemed possible. With their help I applied for grant funding, and won a grant of £5000 from the UnLtd HEFCE programme to get my idea off the ground.

The Hog Roast is a vegetarian café that aims to be as eco-friendly as possible. We minimise waste, composting all food waste and using energy from a wind turbine to power the kitchen. It’s all about encouraging people to engage with environmental issues in an easy way – through food!

The Hog Roast is attracting more and more people every week, and we’re growing a real sense of community around it. Working with the Hub on this project has definitely developed my skills – but, most importantly, I’ve become a ‘yes’ person. If someone has an idea I think, ‘that’s awesome, let’s make that happen’.”

Madeleine Ellis-Petersen, Founder of Hog Roast Cafe
and Social Enterprise Co-ordinator on the Oxford Hub committee