Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t something that just happens overnight. It takes careful thought, planning, funding, hard work and probably a bit of luck, too. Whilst it’s technically possible to do it on your own, it makes much more sense to take advantage of the wide range of invaluable resources available for young and student entrepreneurs.
Here are some of those resources you could use to get your idea out of your head and into reality…
Centre For Entrepreneurs
The name of this organisation itself suggests that it’s likely to be a pretty useful resource for student entrepreneurs, and it really is a wealth of information. It is chaired by entrepreneur and Financial Times journalist Luke Johnson and plays various roles within the industry, including promoting entrepreneurship, and defending entrepreneurs from over-regulation, unhelpful legislation and over-taxation. Visit the website here.
New Entrepreneurs Foundation
The NEF was set up to transform UK business by developing a generation of new entrepreneurs. Each year it selects 30 young potential entrepreneurs to take part in a 12-month course that secures a work placement for them, gives them a business coach and sends them to monthly speaker and networking events. To learn more, visit their website.
StartUp Britain is run by the aforementioned Centre for Entrepreneurs but is a great resource in its own right. It has various sections where you can find help, whether your business idea is still in your head or actually exists and your’re looking to up-scale. Visit their website here.
Federation of Small Businesses
Much of what the Federation of Small Businesses does surrounds businesses that are already operating and trading, but they are still a very worthwhile resource for those who want to set up a new business. It was formed in 1974 and now has around 200,000 members, and by joining you’ll reap various benefits including legal and tax protection. Visit their website here.
The National Association of College & University Entrepreneurs
Again, the name speaks for itself here. NACUE is arguably the UK’s leading organisation for student enterprise. They work with a network of over 260 institutions and societies to run events, promote student enterprise and work closely with universities all over the country. Visit their website here.
The Smart Upstart Club
The Smart Upstart Club is a forum for aspiring entrepreneurs that launches in June 2015. It’s organised by John Smythe of Engage for Change and is set to provide genuine, honest advice to students and young people wanting to take the step to developing their own business. You can learn more and book tickets to the afternoon workshop here.
The Prince’s Trust
The Prince’s Trust has many strings to its bow, one of which is help young people start their own business. Since 1976, the Prince’s Trust has helped over 80,000 work forthemselves through its Enterprise programme. They offer startup loans of up to £4,000 for a sole trader and £5,000 for a partnership, which can come in very handy indeed. Visit their website for more information.
RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise
Inspiring Youth Enterprise is run by Royal Bank of Scotland and each year they set aside £500,000 of funding for organisations or help young people get into enterprise. Since 2013, they have supported over 65,000 young people, investing over £6m. Visit their website here.
The Young Entrepreneur Society (YES) was found by Carly Law when she was just 19 years old and wanted to start up her own business. It’s now grown and helps young people aged 16-24 to make their way in the business world. Their 12 step programme is designed to help young entrepreneurs get a start in their business life. To learn more about YES, visit their website.
Check with your university
Many universities in London and around the UK have societies and groups set up to help students who want to start their own business, so ask around and see what’s available to you. For example, City University London runs CityStarters, which is designed to help students start their own business. Ask whether your university has something similar.
Do you have any tips on how to become a student entrepreneur? If so, leave them in the comments below.