The University of Nottingham PARTNERSHIP


Sustainable Funding – The hardest thing about any new business, charity or trust; especially for one selling a service rather than a product.

How do I survive? How do I get by until I make it?

Where does the money come from? What am I doing?

Can I really do this? Is this the end? Why didn’t I get a ‘real job’?

Oh F!#K is it over?

The list of questions that goes through my head every day, plus a million more. Starting your own company is a rollercoaster, one filled with lots of upside down bits that make you feel a bit sick. Somedays are incredible, some pretty shit. But that is what I have signed up for and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The Himalayas are my office, a Land Rover defender bonnet is my desk and my profits are measured in happiness.

“The Himalayas are my office, a Land Rover defender bonnet is my desk and my profits are measured in happiness.”

But as my parents keep telling me, “happiness doesn’t pay the bills”. Well, that is true. But what happens when you orientate your entire business around improve peoples lives rather than making a profit? Alternative revenue streams start to emerge, enter


An organised that are not fussed profits but dedicated to educating, supporting and building the next generation of superstars.

£9,000 a term, pfttt, not fussed about profits my arse. That previous line could be taken from their website, so it must be true? But in all seriousness, UoN do support their student and alumni especially if you have a professor on your side. And that is exactly what ESCAP+AID has.

How do we get sustainable funding from a UK university?

ANSWER: Research Grants

A simple and very efficient way of receiving small pockets of research money that have no strings. Money that is primarily dedicated to furthering the world we live in across all disciplines. And by small pockets we are talking about £25 – £50k. Small to a university but huge to a start-up!! These research grants can also lead the way to further funding if the initial cash is successfully utilised. Then you are talking about big money – £1 Million Contracts. And thats big for both the university and the entrepreneur!

Research grants is one part. But there is another.


PhD funding is an entrepreneurs dream. A regular pay check, tax-free, completely customisable and not dependant on your project being successful – of course it needs to further the development of the sector you are working in. Not only that, you get support and access to all of the universities contacts, which you can use to start more projects, benefiting the university and the start up.

But its a PhD right? Who would do that?

Yes. And me. ESCAP+AID’s work in Nepal has opened this door and I’d be a fool not to take it right? Well I agree. It would also give me the opportunity to settle in Cape Town or the UK for a while to build the next epic ESCAP+AID ADVENTURE.

Whats not too LOVE?