22 Feb 2018

Student entrepreneurship is thriving in the UK

Student entrepreneurship is thriving in the UK

More than a quarter of UK students currently run or plan to operate a business while at university, according to new research.

Nearly 500,000 students want to be their own boss - showing that the spirit of entrepreneurship is thriving in our educational institutions.

The study also found that student enterprises collectively generate revenues of £1billion a year.

The universities division of financial services provider Santander discovered that, among those student entrepreneurs who have already launched a business, the average annual turnover is £11,408.

Technology-based solutions, plus arts and crafts are the most common type of student venture.

Reasons for starting a new venture

The research revealed that the most common reason for students to start a business or joint venture is financial motivation (60%).

For one in four, the decision to start their own business was influenced by the need to pay off their student loan.

Students are aiming high with ambitious plans for growth, with 18% of this group of entrepreneurs expecting their turnover to more than double over the next five years. 

Key role

Matt Hutnell, director of Santander Universities UK, said: “Student entrepreneurs play a key role in shaping the UK economy now and will continue to do so in the future. 

"It is encouraging to see that so many students are inspired to start a business whilst at university, from developing software to designing and selling clothing.

“We are continually impressed with the ambition and skills demonstrated by student entrepreneurs who are driven to create their own opportunities and successfully juggle running a business whilst also keeping up with their studies.

"At Santander we take pride in supporting and encouraging these young business leaders who challenge themselves to invent, innovate and create ideas. 

"We are committed to nurturing their talent and ultimately help them to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.”

When asked about future plans for their business, 33% of students expected to pursue it as a career when they graduate. 

Over half said they would continue the business as a second job or hobby once they finish university, and 9% said the business would continue with guidance from others. Just 4% said they would close it down.

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Aberdein Considine offers comprehensive legal and financial support for small business across Scotland.

To find out how we could support your business, call 0333 0044 333 or click here.

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