Guest Blog Post by Chris Smith
It’s no secret that many of the world’s biggest and most successful companies and brands were started up by students still in college or university. Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Reddit and many others had their beginnings on University campuses.
As we come into 2017, you might be starting to think of your career after your graduation. You might even be lucky enough to have an idea for a business, but you’re not sure how to get it off the ground. Here’s some pointers and tips to help students get their ideas off the ground in 2017.
What can your university offer?
Both colleges and universities are more than willing to offer support to students with entrepreneurial ambitions. Their students are a reflection of the quality of the institution, so it’s within their best interests to nurture this kind of talent. If you’re wanting to try and develop an idea, investigate your university’s business school to see what support they offer.
Using Glasgow University as an example, their enterprise support offers students advice on a number vital areas including financial planning, legal set-ups and developing a business support. The vast majority of colleges and universities will have support networks in place, so be sure to find out what’s available to you.
In addition to your university, there are a number of networks out there that can help you develop your start-up idea into a reality. Business incubators such as Entrepreneurial Spark give out expert advice across a variety of industries to “encourage an entrepreneurial mind set and behaviours”. Partnering with the likes of NatWest and RBS, has given Entrepreneurial Spark an incredibly deep well of knowledge that they are willing to impart upon those who want to start their own business.
Similarly, StartUp Britain is a campaign run by the Centre For Entrepreneurs that aims to spread free advice in an effort to encourage people to start their own businesses. Their StartUp Britain bus travels across the country with the specific goal of handing out expert advice to both aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs. If you find it’s going to be in your area soon, why not pay them a visit to see what’s on offer?
Learn from those who’ve done it before
Thanks to the internet, there is a plethora of accounts and guides from successful student start-ups that are just a couple of clicks away. Reading up on their experiences can be beneficial for a number of reasons;
- They can give you an idea of what resources they found useful
- You can avoid the mistakes that they made
- You get an insight into the mind-set of a successful entrepreneur
Some of the student start-up guides online are full of interesting stories from people who had the idea to start a business while they were still studying, or just after they had graduated. Getting into the right frame of mind early on will do wonders to help you develop your idea and refine your business further down the line.
Look for funding
Companies recognise the value that student entrepreneurs are adding to the economy and many are starting to offer scholarships to help you on the path to entrepreneurial success. Do look out for these as they would be a useful helping hand towards your start-up costs.
2017 looks to be an interesting year for both entrepreneurs and students. If you find that you’re sitting on an idea that you’d like to develop into a reality, it’s important to know that there is support available from a number of different places to help you along the road to entrepreneurship.