Last year a study by The Prince’s Trust and the Royal Bank of Scotland revealed interesting statistics about graduates and their employment prospects.

The research showed that a quarter of young people believe they will be their own boss within five years while 27% are seriously thinking about starting a business. 

So what’s driving this increasing interest in self-employment? 

It seems the current job market and rise in unemployment is playing a significant role. Too many graduates are leaving university to spend several long months searching for a job within their chosen industry.

Available roles are over-subscribed with hundreds of applications; the competition is fierce and for many the only way in to their dream job is through unpaid internships. Entrepreneurship offers an intriguing alternative to this difficult and well-worn route. 

Is entrepreneurship a viable option?

Entrepreneurship has a reputation for being risky and unsecure, so it seems strange that inexperienced graduates would rush head-first into running a business before even holding down a full-time job.

It’s true that you need to be ambitious, brave and more than prepared for the challenge, but you don’t necessarily need experience to run your own company.

Nor do you have to be enormously wealthy to get started, just look at Alan Sugar! He came from very humble beginnings and started his first business with just £50, shortly after leaving school.

University-dropout Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, founded Apple in the garage of his parent’s home thanks to funding from an investor. Entrepreneurship comes from the most unlikely places; all you really need is an idea. 

For some graduates, entrepreneurship is more than just an option: it’s a necessity.

The difficult job market is steering forward-thinking young people away from traditional career paths and towards becoming their own boss. Whether starting a business or going freelance, more and more graduates are now working for themselves. 

Where, why and how do I become an entrepreneur?

Young people are being encouraged towards entrepreneurship by universities, professional bodies and the government. Why? Because successful start-ups are brilliant for the economy, generating wealth and creating jobs.

Many schemes have been established to provide much-needed advice, funding, training and experience to entrepreneurial graduates. Here are just a few examples:

Entrepreneur First turns tech graduates into successful start-up founders in just 12 months via a challenging but highly successful training programme. 

Smarta offers advice and support tailored to student entrepreneurs. 

James Caan’s Start Up Loans provides government sponsored funding to budding entrepreneurs. Initially targeted at those 30 and under, the scheme is now open to all ages. 

You don’t need to study business to be a successful entrepreneur. Universities all over the country are launching enterprise societies for business-minded students on any degree course to join.

These societies host lectures by local business leaders, run workshops and offer advice, facilities and in some cases, even funding.

University led enterprise activities are great for any student interested creating their own career opportunities and participation looks great on your CV too.

Further information

For more tips and advice on becoming an entrepreneur after graduation, please see:

If you have any further tips on setting up your own business, or would just like to share your thoughts, please pop them below!