The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Business Innovation Programme

The Business Innovation Programme
Find the Solution

The Business Innovation Programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to gain invaluable experience of working on a real-life business issue put forward by local businesses or not-for-profit organisations.

This is an opportunity to develop your business acumen, team working and problem solving skills by working on an 8 week project during term-time, in either Semester 1 or 2. Although the amount of effort to put in is your choice, typically students spend approximately 4-6 hours per week for the duration.

The Business Innovation Programme is supported by IBM, who facilitate the training programme prior to projects commencing.

Applications for Semester 2 of the 2016/17 Academic Year are now open! Please see below for further details on how to apply.

Because of the programme I have been able to secure a graduate scheme placement with FDM, an IT solutions company, as a business consultant. Without the programme I do not think that I would have even considered applying to work for FDM.


How the Programme Works

Contact Us

Apply Here

Taking part in the Business Innovation Programme has a number of benefits including:

  • The development of a number of employability skills, such as teamwork, communication and problem solving, that will enable you to enhance your CV and improve your employability prospects
  • Professional training delivered by IBM to help you effectively complete the project
  • The opportunity to work with a local business or charity on a real business issue
  • A contribution of £250*
  • Develop a network of contacts from within the University and externally
  • An opportunity to work in a team of peers from faculties that you may not normally engage with

*Upon completion of the project, the University makes a contribution of £250 towards any expenses you may have incurred.

To participate in the Business Innovation Programme, you will need to complete an application form explaining why you wish to take part in the programme.

If your application is successful, the programme will involve the following:

  • Assignment of projects to teams
  • An initial meeting with your Client to discuss their business needs
  • Support throughout the project will be available from your Client, the Careers and Employability Service and an IBM Mentor
  • Work to be carried out on the project for the duration of the 8 weeks – all team members to play an active role in the project and to work together to fit around other commitments
  • Final report to be produced and team presentation to your Client and members of the Careers and Employability Service at the end of the 8 weeks
  • Attending the reflection event, to help you recognise the skills you have acquired from participating in the Programme and how best to present these in future applications
  • You will be invited to, and have the chance to be nominated for, the Employability Awards - an opportunity to recognise the work done by all student groups; an opportunity for us to thank you for participating in the programme; time to meet other clients, University of Southampton staff and the student teams

A prerequisite of the programme is that students attend training sessions facilitated by IBM to prepare you for your project. This will include an introduction to key business issues and market research. Please note, this is compulsory and failure to attend will result in you being excluded from the programme.

If you have any queries regarding the Business Innovation Programme, please contact us:

Telephone: 023 8059 3501


Business Innovation Programme Coordinator: Victoria Turner

Click on the button below to apply. Select the 'Business Innovation Programme' tab at the top of the page.

Applications open on Monday 24th October and close on Wednesday 7th December.

Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.