Professional workspaces and networks

Our Derby Enterprise Network offers a range of workspaces, networks and events for external business people as well as for our own entrepreneurial students and graduates.

Co-working spaces

Flexible hot-desking space

We have dedicated hot-desking space available for businesses and entrepreneurs to book as a touch down space. Whether you are looking for a space as an individual or you'd like to get a few colleagues together in a physical room we're able to offer you the space that you need. Our hot-desking rooms are open and available to book Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

For external business people

Whether you are a freelancer, contractor, small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, you are welcome to use our free co-working space called the Business Lounge. It's based at the Enterprise Centre on Bridge Street, just 10 minutes' walk from Derby city centre. This also opens the door to the University's business events and networking groups.

For entrepreneurial students and graduates

If you are a University of Derby student or graduate with big plans for your own business, the Innovation Hothouse is the place for you — it offers a free co-working space as well as networking events to help you on your journey.

About Innovation Hothouse

You might also be interested in our award-winning Be The Boss programme, which offers support to students and graduates who want to become self-employed.

Your own space

If you are further ahead in your business journey, you might be ready for your own office or studio space. We run hi-spec, affordable 'incubation units' for start-ups.

They are open to external people as well as the University of Derby students or graduates. These units offer you stepped rental charges (so you're not paying more than you can afford in those first few months) and a range of business support services. 

Our incubation units are:

They're all thriving, entrepreneurial environments where you can collaborate and connect with others to help your business grow.

Incubation Membership Application Form

Incubation Membership

Business Support

  • FREE standard Membership of the East Midlands Chamber (normally £360 per annum)
  • Sessions with a business advisor
  • Ad hoc drop-in surgeries from professional service providers, e.g. accountants, HR specialists, IP specialists
  • Notification via e-mail of relevant opportunities and wider support

Promotion of your business

  • Online listing on the Banks Mill website (Creative businesses only)
  • Good news stories and case studies promoted on our website
  • Promotion via incubation social media channels
  • Promotion for your creative practice in our monthly e-newsletter (Creative industries only)
  • Access to the BM community, news and support through the closed Facebook group (Creatives only)

Business Services

  • Free acess to hot desking facilities at the Enterprise Centre (Normally £12 per day)
  • Use of a postal address at one of our incubation centres; promoting a professional image to your clients
  • Use of a mailbox for post collection at the Enterprise Centre (Collection during business hours)
  • Access into studio or office space with stepped rents
  • Discounted price on meeting rooms at the Enterprise Centre – 20% discount on the charge of externally advertised prices
  • Free use of the communal areas of the Enterprise Centre such as Costa Coffee area (Conservatory and Business Lounge dependent on availability) for informal meetings
  • Free use of Banks Mill foyer for solo exhibitions (Creatives only)
  • Opportunity to take part in creative events at Banks Mill including the annual Open Studios*

* Additional participation charge

Connect with our Business Engagement Team

To find out more about how we can work with you, contact our business engagement team today.

0800 001 5500 Enquiry form

Stay connected

Subscribe to receive our e-newsletter   Follow us on Twitter @Derbyunibis

Vice-chancellor standing in the university

Annual Impact Report

Over the past year, the University of Derby has celebrated excellent achievements. Read our Annual Impact Report to explore the highlights of our 2022/23 academic year.

Read the Annual Impact ReportRead the Annual Impact Report
A man with his back to use puts post it notes on a clear board.

From marketing student to entrepreneur

Sam Appentsen graduated six months ago but already he runs two separate businesses. His entrepreneurial spirit was encouraged and nurtured at university.

Find out more about Sam's University experiences Find out more about Sam's University experiences