Want to be a business whizz kid?

Want to be a business whizz kid?
12 June 2013

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the founders of Google, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and countless others started their business whilst at University and went on to make billions in the process.

Whilst they opted out before completing their degrees it does not always have to be that way.

You may not be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, but that should not be what you seek anyway, isn’t life about: ‘marching to the beat of your own drum,’ as so brilliantly stated by Henry David Thoreau.

Running your own business whilst at university can be a great way to earn as you learn and develop your entrepreneurial skills. But is it realistic? Can you dedicate the time to studies and running a business?

It all depends on you

If you have an ambition to run your own business university is possibly one of the best times to start a business and earn extra income. It becomes increasingly more difficult in the immediate years after university when you are building your career, have a mortgage on a house or starting a family.

To get started you have to fight your own fears to move forward with your new ideas. You have to be ready to forego the endless parties that so often accompany student life. You have to have a bigger motivation burning inside you.

The rewards

Many students resort to part-time jobs working in cafes, pubs and restaurants. Using that time more productively to run your own business will benefit you far more than only financially.

Whilst at college I supplemented my grant (it was a long time ago) by doing bookkeeping services for small businesses. It meant working four or five evenings per week and meant I never relied on family or bank debt to get through university. The experience of real world accounting was also far more valuable than the accounting course in my management studies, and I graduated the program with honors.

Be your own boss

More and more students are leaving university without a job or even the prospect of a job. Running a business while still at school or university almost doubles your chances of being your own boss later in life, according to research carried out by Dr Rosemary Athayde from Kingston University’s Business School. Dr Athayde believes people that started their business at university are: ‘more resilient and deal better with the knocks entrepreneurs often face.  Also, success breeds success; if you’ve managed to run a business that has thrived in the past, you’re more likely to be successful in doing so in future.’

If you have ideas, passion and drive, why not march to the beat of your own drum and use your university years to earn more than just a degree? What ideas do you have for supplementing your income whilst studying?


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Head of Behavioral Finance
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