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Over a quarter of students start or are planning to start a business whilst at university

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Tech being the most popular type of business solution

Over a quarter (26 per cent) of students currently run or plan to run a business whilst they are at university, according to new research from Santander Universities.

Amongst those up and coming student entrepreneurs who have already launched a business, the average turnover is £11,408 per annum, equivalent to a collective £1 billion, a 32 per cent increase from the £913 million turnover recorded in 2016.

Technology-based solutions (27 per cent) and arts or crafts (17 per cent) are the most common type of student venture. These are followed by: clothing and textiles (nine per cent); administration and business services (nine per cent); tutoring (eight per cent) and charity, voluntary or social work (seven per cent).

The research, commissioned by Santander Universities to support the launch last month of their eighth annual Entrepreneurship Awards, which recognise and support student entrepreneurs from across the UK, reveals the most common reason for students to start a business or joint venture is financial motivation (60 per cent). This is followed by the desire to pursue a hobby or personal interest (59 per cent) and the intention to gain work experience (32 per cent). For one in four (23 per cent) students, 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 per cent of all student entrepreneurs expecting their turnover to more than double over the next five years. The average expected increase in turnover in this time period is 68 per cent.

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, commented: “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.”




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