Open Category (applications open!)


Apply to us for £1000 start-costs and mentoring to set up your very own food enterprise!

Application deadline: 24th November 2017

What is as an 'open category' social enterprise?

If you're interested in setting up a student-led food enterprise then apply in our open category!
A social enterprise is a business which trades with the purpose of tackling social issues; whether that is a community, individual or environmental problem. These enterprises make their money from selling goods or services, but here’s the clever bit, they reinvest their profits back into the local community, their social group (i.e. a club/society) or the enterprise itself. This means that when the enterprise succeeds people & communities benefit as well. For more information visit

When concocting your project, bear in mind it needs to:

  • Be student-led with students’ union staff support.
  • Sell sustainable food.
  • Operate as a social enterprise.

Why set up a food based enterprise?

Good for you, good for your institution, good for your community.

  • Fresh affordable food for students, staff and members of the public.
  • Provides real-life experience of setting up and running a business.
  • An opportunity to see your ideas come to life.
  • Enhances employability skills – leadership, teamwork, planning etc.
  • A great way for emerging student enterprises and societies to market their products.
  • Potential income generation for your students’ union or society.
  • A chance to raise awareness about the importance of buying sustainable food.
  • Supports the local economy and community partnerships.

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How we can help you

Mentoring & training from the NUS Student Eats team

Free Resources to support you to set up and run a successful food enterprise

Start up costs of up to £1000, with the opportunity for 7 enterprises supported by Student Eats to scale up their businesses (up to an additional £17,000), for more information visit our scale-up section. 

Thinking of applying?

Join our pre-application support webinar:

Download our guidance document and view our example answer.

The deadline for Round 6 is 24th November 2017. We may have some questions about your enterprise as we expect each application to be quite varied. As such we advise you to keep the following dates free in case we need to call you for more details: Tuesday 28th November 2017 and Wednesday 29th November 2017.

All applicants will be notified of their result by 20th December 2017.