ASPIRE centre opens to help student start-up business ideas thrive

The University has officially opened the Mitali and Divyendu Kumar ASPIRE start-up centre, designed to help students develop and grow their own business ideas.

The centre, based within Kent Business School (KBS), was opened by the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox on 23 January at an event attended by both Mitali and Divyendu Kumar, who made a generous donation for its establishment of £500,000.

ASPIRE, which stands for Accelerator Space for Innovation and Responsible Enterprise, is designed to help Kent students create new start-ups and responsible enterprises by learning the necessary entrepreneurial skills to help grow a business from the ground-up.

Divyendu Kumar and Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox

As part of this it is the home of the Business Start-Up Journey, a 12-week programme run by KBS that is designed to help students create and run successful businesses.

ASPIRE also funds a dedicated project officer, Rebecca Smith, to provide support to students running their businesses and an in-house ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’, Adam Smith, who runs a series of events, workshops and activities to help students on the BSUJ and other ASPIRE events.

Divyendu Kumar, who sits on the KBS International Advisory Board, is the managing director of BMW Oman, Rolls-Royce Al Jenaibi International Automobiles.