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5 reasons to start planning your business before you graduate

Group of student looking at computers in a hackathon

Brimming with ideas and eager to start planning your future business empire? Well, this could be the perfect time to get thinking about your ideas! (Even Richard Branson thinks so – find out why in the video below!)

Just remember, starting a business can be time-consuming, so make sure you can handle the extra hours and talk to your tutors about the extra work that you’re doing. If you are on a Tier 4 Student Visa you will not be able to start your business whilst you are still a student but good planning will reap rewards later on. Click here for some more golden rules when thinking about starting your business in the UK. 

1. You still have a fresh perspective

Don’t worry about ‘lacking experience’ – the fact is, now is the time to nurture new ideas and try things out. Being flexible and open to possibilities is a great advantage, as long as you take advice from experts and mentors too (see no. 4!).

2. You have the most priceless thing of all: time                  

Yes, you’re busy with lectures, assignments and extra-curricular activities, and your studies should always be your first priority. But chances are, you’ll have even less free time after graduation – when you’re focused on internships, job interviews and those first steps up the career ladder, it’s easy to forget your early business ambitions. So why not turn all of those coffee breaks into business meetings and brainstorming sessions?

3. Your university or college is your network

The UK’s universities and colleges are ideal places to meet new people and start building a professional network. Everyone from first-year students to PhD candidates is likely to be enthusiastic and buzzing with ideas. Plus, there are always lots of events, seminars and conferences on offer (you could even set up your own), where you can meet people interested in the same things as you. So take advantage of them! If you are on a Tier 4 Student Visa you might want your university or college to endorse you for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepeneur visa when you graduate so it is a good idea to keep them updated on your business ideas.

4. Your campus is your office

Your university or college is a great place to study and work, with computer resources and lots of meeting places. Many institutions have an ‘enterprise hub’ offering young entrepreneurs financial support or business mentoring. Plus, you have access to academics and tutors with expertise in many different areas and excellent connections in industry.

5. It’s OK to try things out

You’re a student after all. Nobody expects you to have lots of experience or a perfect business plan; they just want to see good, fresh ideas and some determination. The important thing is to keep learning – your first business plan may not be the biggest success but you’ll gain experience and wisdom for next time.

Get more advice from the UK’s entrepreneurs – including Sir Richard Branson, founder of the global Virgin Group – in this short film!

Word on the Street is an English language teaching programme co-produced by the BBC and the British Council. See more Word on the Street films at LearnEnglish and LearnEnglish Teens

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