Freelancing/Sole Trader/Consultant/Self-employed/Contractor

A freelancer (also known as consultant, sole trader, self-employed or contractor) is someone that sells their skills/services/products to people, organisations or businesses rather than work on a regular salary for one employer.

Many people say “The secret to freelancing is to treat it as a business”. Although you may not be a Limited Company you will still use the basics business startup skills and create a ‘company’ brand.

As a freelancer you could set yourself up as you i.e. Joe Bloggs or many people create a ‘company name’ because often you will be competing against other freelancers and businesses to sell your skills, services or products.

Enterprise Team Support

The Enterprise Team at University of Portsmouth offer free support, resources, advice and office space* to help University of Portsmouth students and recent graduates (within the last 5 years) startup as a freelancer.

You can access one-to-one support from the Enterprise Team all year round by coming along to one of our weekly Enterprise Clinics at Purple Door on Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm or Fridays 9.30am – 11.30am.

The Enterprise Team offers excellent workshops and courses run by experts to help you get your freelancer idea off the ground. One of these is the Route-to-Startup programme, which takes place each month. During the workshops you will cover various startup topics by using a range of practical tools. As part of Route to Startup there are regular Entrepreneurs Lounges allowing you to network with other student and graduate freelancers/startups.

Serious about being a freelancer? Thinking of making it your graduate career? Then why not take a ‘Self-employment Placement Year’. At the University of Portsmouth most students have the opportunity to take a ‘Self-employment Placement Year’ between the second and third year of study, giving you the opportunity to work for yourself, develop your startup and decide if freelancing is for you. To find out more email 

Don’t live in Portsmouth? Can’t make it to an Enterprise Clinic? Call the Enterprise Team on +44 (0)23 9284 2684 or email to arrange a telephone appointment or Skype appointment.

Useful resources

Starting up and finding work as a freelancer can be a difficult task. The Student Enterprise Team have built up a range of resources available online for you to access.

Gradlancer an external company specifically connects students with employer’s freelancer opportunities. It’s free for students and all you have to do is create you profile then you can find a project and bid against other students on the project. Find out more. 

*Office space is only free to students looking to hot desk. There is a discounted charge for students on Self-employment Placements (conditions apply) and graduates.