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So you want to be a student start-up?

19th December 2013
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There’s an argument for saying that students make the perfect entrepreneurs, we’re brimming full of youthful energy, educated to the highest standards, au fait with cutting edge technology and likely to have a better idea of what’s “in” than someone who’s spent the last ten years shut away in an office. 

Business ideaOn the other hand, we won’t have many contacts to give us a helping hand and the news is crammed to the rafters with cautionary tales about small businesses going bust. So what do you do? 

If you have a great idea and you’re serious about putting in the time and effort to get it going, tip the scales in your favour by making use of the excellent funding and resources out there to help. 

Learning

General Assembly aim to ‘transform thinkers into creators’. They offer advice on a wide number of areas, from business foundations to digital marketing. They also host a range of 8-16 week courses to help you build the skills you’ll need to make your business a success. 

Get some experience

Internships are your chance to gain first-hand experience of working in a start-up company. You’ll see the type of problems you could encounter and develop solutions to overcome them. 

Network

StartUp Britain was set up by entrepreneurs. It is a national campaign designed to give new entrepreneurs access to the passion and expertise of the UK’s leading business minds. They hold regular events, which can be a great place to meet likeminded individuals and share ideas. 

Get going

Endsleigh have a great scheme in place called ‘Get Going’. There are a range of guides offering practical advice and there are salaried internships and graduate schemes available too. 

Get some dough

To get almost any business off the ground you are going to need some initial funding behind you. Make sure you have your costs clearly mapped out, including: staffing, rent, equipment and anything specific to your business. You’ll also want at least a 10% contingency in place for unexpected bills. 

Although banks aren’t exactly falling over themselves to lend money to young people who don’t have a proven business in place, there are other options available to you. 

The Prince’s Trust can provide low-interest loans for small businesses via their Business Programme. They will also give you advice and support to help you succeed. For example, you may be given the opportunity to meet with mentors to help you review your finances and plans. This sort of support can be vital in the success of a new business. 

Other great sources of funding and support are available from StartUp Loans and Student Upstarts, both of whom have a focus on helping young people and students to get their entrepreneurial feet on the first step of the business ladder. 

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get your business idea off the ground.




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