The University of Bradford is pleased to be working with YABA to attract overseas-based entrepreneurs to establish start-ups in the city, though a new programme licensed by the UK government. The University is welcoming applications from aspiring entrepreneurs from any country, with an ‘innovative, viable, and scalable’ business idea, wishing to establish their enterprise and ultimately to settle in Bradford. We are especially keen to encourage applications from friends, relatives and associates of YABA members based overseas.


Why Choose Bradford?

Ranked among the best three locations to set up a new business (Barclays) and the second-most entrepreneurial city in the UK (Instant Offices, 2020), Bradford is an excellent location for start-up businesses. The University of Bradford has an excellent reputation for developing entrepreneurial talent and supporting the establishment of international start-ups.


University of Bradford Entrepreneurship Programmes

The University of Bradford offers two entrepreneurship programmes, which align with the UK Home Office requirements for endorsing entrepreneur visas. Both programmes provide support for establishing and growing a new enterprise in Bradford through mentoring, coaching, networking, investor introductions, access to library resources and working space in the entrepreneurship centre. Whilst the programmes enable overseas entrepreneurs to come to the UK, they are also ideal for UK-based entrepreneurs looking for support to establish and grow a business.


Our Start-up Programme is designed for new entrepreneurs with ‘innovative, viable and scalable’ business and social enterprise ideas. Entrepreneurs from overseas are endorsed for a Start-up visa for two years in the first instance. During this period, endorsed entrepreneurs are also eligible to work in the UK, to contribute to living costs as they grow their new enterprise. There is no requirement to have funds to invest in the business. The University of Bradford Start-up programme focuses on developing the core skills of running an enterprise, as well as providing practical support and introduction to funders.


The Innovator programme is designed for more experienced entrepreneurs, again aiming to establish a new ‘innovative, viable and scalable’ business and social enterprise in Bradford. Entrepreneurs from overseas are endorsed for an Innovator visa for three years and this can then be renewed or converted to an application for permanent residency in the UK. There is a requirement either to have completed a Start-up Programme, or to have £50,000 to invest in their new business. The University of Bradford Innovator programme aims to help entrepreneurs to gain rapid traction in the city, through introductions, networking, creating links to academic teams and facilitating higher levels of fundraising.


Start-Up and Innovator Visa Routes for Overseas Applicants

The University of Bradford is an approved endorsing body for the Home Office for Start-Up and Innovator visa applications and is the only one of its kind to accept graduates from any institution worldwide. Our aim is to attract both UK and international talent to Bradford to enrich the diversity, economy, culture and prosperity of our city. We welcome applications from individuals as well as from founder teams.

The Home Office page for the Start-Up visa routes which specify entry requirements is as follows: Start-Up Visa: Innovator Visa:

All applicants must meet the English language requirements set out by the Home Office and have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Further information on our entrepreneurship programmes and application forms can be found at: