Queen Mary offers seed funding to student entrepreneurs, supplemented by free training and mentoring, so you might not need to risk losing your own money if you need start-up capital. For more information visit http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/students/enterprise/Funding/.
There are also additional sources of funding available to you. The government is a big supporter of start-ups. Successful start-ups provide employment and generate revenue that enriches the wider economy. As such there are various government schemes, grants and financial incentives for you to take advantage of: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder
The private sector is equally supportive of start-ups. Investors and businesses are always in the market for innovations and disruptive ideas. Virgin Media’s Pitch to Rich scheme is just one example of this.
If you want to start your own social enterprise there’s also a large money pot for you to draw from. UnLtd, the leading provider of support for social entrepreneurs in the UK, has a range of prize funds for ideas, fledgling start-ups and established businesses that have a positive impact on society.
2. Develop your CV and enhance your employability
No matter what career path you intend to follow, be it mechanical engineering, business, law, PR or teaching, nothing says innovative self-starter like a candidate who has already founded and run a business before they leave university.
Regardless of whether or not your business is successful, you’ll come away with a host of skills and experiences that employers value.
3. Work to a schedule that suits you
Of course, in order to be successful you’ll need to be self-disciplined and manage your time effectively (being self-employed often means working longer than a 9 to 5, particularly in the early stages). But one of the greatest perks of having your own business is that you can decide when you work, so there’s no getting tied down during festival season!
4. Do what you love
Whatever your passion in life, chances are it would lend itself to some sort of enterprise. Whether you’re motivated by money or helping society, any entrepreneurial idea can be turned into a business or social enterprise.
5. Earn money
Starting your own business is risky, but it may have higher earning potential than a part-time job. If you’ve got skills that are in demand (e.g. coding skills, design skills, writing skills) you might find that setting up a business in these areas or simply working for yourself is a good way of bringing in money to support your studies.