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Business & Economy

University’s £1.6million digital revolution to create the tech freelancers of tomorrow

In a year where the world has operated almost entirely online, the University of Sunderland has launched a new scheme to support the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.

The University’s Digital Incubator has officially launched and is already playing a pivotal role in enabling the careers of current students and graduates.

While the pandemic continues to affect the jobs market, the digital-sector is flourishing leading to entrepreneurial students aiming to establish their own online businesses.

And that’s where the Digital Incubator comes in.

The project – funded jointly by UKRI Research England, the North East LEP, and the University – provides members with a physical space within the University to work from, access to academics for mentoring purposes, business workshops, one-to-one advice, and access to kit including laptops and commercial software licenses.

Louise Dixon is the Digital Incubator’s Project Manager.

She said: “This isn’t just about facilities, it’s about creating a community among our members.

“We aim to support those looking to go down the freelance, digital career-route. We want to get them thinking about a tech career at as early a stage as possible.”

Those who want to join the project are invited in for an initial chat, before being asked to pitch for membership through a presentation.

The Digital Incubator in housed in the University’s David Goldman building at St Peter’s campus.

The UK tech scene has seen a 68% increase in jobs at the top 100 start-ups and high-growth companies since the pandemic hit, with 3,298 advertised vacancies available in February, up from 1,964 in April 2020.

With increasing focus on the sector, the University is playing a key role in helping students and graduates establish themselves as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the already established ERDF-funded Enterprise Place successfully supporting thousands into the jobs market.

To learn more about becoming a member of the Digital Incubator, visit here.