Business development · 24 March 2016

Can you combine studying and running a business? Plenty of university students think so

studying and running a business
Almost one-third of students run their startups between lectures
The number of university students who don’t want to wait for graduation before starting their own businesses is on the increase, according to new research by freelancing site PeoplePerHour.

?A lack of job security was cited as the most popular factor in encouraging students to combine higher education with entrepreneurship, and half mentioned paying down student debts as an incentive.

Those surveyed proved adept at time management as well as well resourced with entrepreneurial flair almost one-third of students run their startups between lectures, while 11 per cent admit to working on their company during academic classes.

it’s really encouraging to see such a great spirit of entrepreneurialism amongst young people. This is exactly what we need to ensure that we don’t return to the days of recession, said PeoplePerHour CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou.

Additional research published by Santander in November 2015 found that student-run businesses are worth 478m to the UK economy though many young founders do not plan to continue their firms after graduation. Only two per cent are intending to continue with an existing venture after finishing their studies.

A perceived lack of experience was the most commonly cited reason for this lack of appetite for graduate entrepreneurialism and one-third were put off by fear of failure. Almost four in ten students start enterprises for work experience, hoping to use their entrepreneurial achievements to secure a job at an established firm.

Simon Bray, managing director of Santander Universities UK, said: Thousands of students across the UK run very successful and profitable businesses whilst at university, but the appetite to continue being entrepreneurial seems to diminish as they come to the end of their studies.



Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.