For students

Enterprise Toolkit

Discover a range of online resources that you can access any time, anywhere, complementing our face-to-face services. Continue your entrepreneurial journey at your own pace or take a flexible approach if you can't make the next event or you want to revisit something.

We have extensive resources to help kickstart and develop your business or social enterprise – whatever your needs, our tools can help. Explore our new online resources, a collection of online, free, resources from the University of Edinburgh and beyond to help you develop your skills, support your mental health and stay in touch. 

Resources here include links to third-party websites and downloadable PDF publications. 


Our core courses and resources are:


Blackboard Learn

We have various courses on Learn to help you with customer discovery, pitching, understanding your business finances and legal structures and more. To access these go to Learn, the self-enrol tab, browse courses, search 'Edinburgh Innovations' and follow the instructions. 

Go to Learn 


This interactive toa tool to guide you through a business model canvas. This helps you map out and develop your business idea and export it as a portfolio. Results can be easily shared during your one-to-one adviser meeting or with your business partners. Your adviser can keep track of your progress, which improves the service you get from Edinburgh Innovations.

Go to Validate 


The Social Enteprise Institute 

An eight part series of short courses to help you take practical steps to start a social enterprise.

Go to the social enterprise courses



A tool to research your industry sector. It enables you to quickly find comprehensive information on business sectors and business opportunities. Find everything from what qualifications and skills you would need to relevant legislation and key market trends.

Go to Cobra 


Finding your business idea

Keen to set up a business or social enterprise but still looking for your business idea? In addition to our face-to-face services, try these resources for inspiration and guidance.

Exploring social enterprise

Keen to make a social or environmental impact through business? Use these resources to find out more about social enterprise business models.

Validating your business idea

Once you have your business idea it’s important to validate that idea and do some further research. Use the resources here for practical ways of validating your business idea.

Working up your business idea

Understanding all the different elements that make up a successful business or social venture can be daunting. Use these useful resources to break down your business idea into nine simple steps using the Business Model Canvas.

Creating a Minimum Viable Product

You should always look to test your product or service idea at an early stage. This will help you avoid expensive mistakes and get you to focus on the importance of the user experience. Use this resource to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which you can test on potential customers.

Marketing and sales

Getting your product or service to market is key for any business. To help you achieve this you will need a good marketing and sales plan – use these resources to get started.

Pitching your idea

Getting your business idea across to potential funders, co-founders, customers and other key stakeholders is a fundamental skill that all entrepreneurs need to master. Use these resources to hone your pitching skills.

Funding your startup

Taking a business idea from concept to launch will require funding – explore some of the options below for early stage funding, including grants, competition and angel investment.

Tax and legal structures

Choosing the best legal structure for your business and understanding your responsibilities as a director along with your tax obligations is vital when setting up a business. Use our resources to better understand your options and responsibilities.

Managing your business finances

Access these resources to help you better manage your business finances

Setting up as a freelancer

Learn the basics of how to become a freelancer or sole trader and discover the wider support available.

IP, trademarks and copyright

Is your business idea based on innovative research (or new idea) that has led to new products and processes being developed? If so then you should consider securing your intellectual property (IP) through copyright, trademarks and patents. Learn the basics using these resources.


Accessing the right networks can help you secure funding, learning opportunities, co-founders, and business and sales opportunities. Explore some local networking opportunities here.

Incubators and accelerators

If you have a high growth business idea and are looking for learning, investment, co-working space and market opportunities to scale your business then you might want to consider applying to an accelerator programme. Here are a few operating in Edinburgh.

Other great resources

Browse our curated list of the most useful resources to give you support and inspiration.