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New research has revealed London students are ditching graduate jobs in favour of self-employment, despite nearly half (47%) thinking the challenge is harder now than ever before.
To find out more about the rise of student business owners, leading print company Solopress delved into the issue. They asked those considering this career path what drove them to this decision, and when they first started considering the idea.
The research revealed nearly two thirds (61%) of students in London will start their own business while studying their bachelor’s degree, or following graduation. No matter when they decide to launch, nearly a third (32%) of students opting for this career choice, choose to do so in their first year of university.
Looking into the reasons behind the increase in student businesses, the study showed the lifestyle of a business owner offers things students don’t think are available to them working for someone else. For half (50%), the idea of being their own boss was appealing, while more than two in five (41%) simply want the flexibility of shaping their own working day and over a third (36%) think it’s the only way to get the financial reward they deserve.
When asked how they plan to get the money to set up shop, nearly three quarters (72%) of London students intend to use savings, two fifths (41%) plan to get investors and a third (33%) think loans are the way to go.
Despite the financial risk involved in setting up a business, London students seem to think it’s the only way to go if you’re looking for career success. Overall, two in five (40%) of them think building a business from a young age makes people more successful than working for someone else in their younger years.
But what does this mean for the UK workforce and how can businesses convince students in the capital to join them?
For business expert and author of The Startup Coach, Carl Reader, it’s not an issue of one versus the other. Instead, he believes “student entrepreneurs are a positive thing for the economy” and encourages businesses to support students in their businesses and provide the flexibility they need to let their work flourish both inside and outside the workplace.
If you’re a business looking to keep young talent interested, consider the following factors in your offering:
This workplace trend is here to stay, so it’s important for businesses to offer workers the chance to successfully manage their own ventures as well as their duties in the workforce. Introducing flexible working hours and the ability to work remotely is a surefire way to get students through the door – and keep them within your business.
It’s clear from the rise in student entrepreneurs that the younger generation are becoming more and more ambitious. If they struggle to see how their passion and drive will be valued in your company structure, they’ll be reluctant to join. Create a clear path of progression and offer support along the way to keep them focused and invested.
With over a third (36%) thinking working for themselves is the only way to get the financial reward they’re after, it’s important for businesses to implement this kind of benefit. Keep up to date with the industry standard salary and consider bonuses and other ways to show value through monetary rewards.
This research shows us that the newest workers are passionate enough to put the hard work in to achieve the lifestyle they’re looking for. Rather than letting this impact the talent you get into your business, look at adapting your offering to reflect the requirements they’re after and embrace this new way of working.