THE Preston-based University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating 10 years of helping new businesses get off the ground.
The UCLan Propeller Hub, formerly Northern Lights, has been helping students and graduates fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams since 2008.
According to the latest HEBCIS survey, UCLan is the leading UK university for incubating start-up businesses which remain active after three years of trading.
In the last 12 months alone, 33 new businesses have been created with help from the Propeller team.
Staff and students from the university joined local business leaders and entrepreneurs who have benefitted from Propeller to celebrate the 10th anniversary milestone in its newly refurbished hub within UCLan's Media Factory.
Deputy vice-chancellor Liz Bromley said: "The Propeller team does a fantastic job of enabling our students and graduates to develop a wide range of entrepreneurial skills.
"It produces people who are flexible ad competitive in the fast-changing international job market and the UK gig economy and are able to create and sustain their own multiple income streams.
"Supporting and promoting enterprising behaviours and attitudes is at the heart of everything we do at UCLan. Over the last decade we have helped local entrepreneurs thrive and in turn benefitted the regional economy, which is our duty as an anchor institution."
The Propeller Hub offers several services to students and graduates at the university including training courses, one-to-one mentoring, workspaces and networking opportunities.
Over the last year, the team provided 875 hours of mentoring, 30 workshops and 1,500 people took part in classroom sessions.
Fashion graduate Poppy Waters began working with Propeller in 2012 when she set up her fashion business Mary & Milly.
She said: "The team provided many extremely helpful services such as business workshops and networking events, which enabled me to up-skill and build contacts as well as confidence.
The most valuable service for me however, has been the business mentoring service."