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The next step for the aspiring entrepreneur

by Nick Willis January 27, 2012

​Question: What are your options after leaving university?

  1. Go travelling

  2. Get a part time job

  3. Volunteer somewhere to get work experience

  4. Join the hunt for that elusive graduate job

For a number of years this has been the generic exit route from University, with graduates being pressured into finding work to cover the sky high costs of higher education.

But one option that a growing number of graduates, (and also school leavers) are pursuing is to start their own business. The highly competitive nature of graduate schemes, and time consuming application process has encouraged many bright, entrepreneurial graduates to seek a self employment route. Granted, the starting salary may not be as attractive, or the long working hours, but the experience gained is invaluable.

At a time when graduates and school leavers are being encouraged to gain as much experience as possible, (paid or unpaid), a new generation of young entrepreneurs has spawned.

One such aspiring entrepreneur is Andrew Rajanathan*, who believes that becoming an entrepreneur was a much more appealing option than joining a large firm. This is a view shared by an increasing number of graduates and school leavers including Kevin Robinson*. Kevin left school at 16 and worked within the building trade and recruitment industry before starting his own business.

Whilst the number of young entrepreneurs is on the rise, there are a few common challenges which can restrict these budding entrepreneurs from making their first million. Most notably:
Knowledge of a sector, knowledge of how to run a business, and the network of contacts required to springboard the business to success.

These factors are the key focus of a new training programme targeting the kind of bright, entrepreneurial candidates who are looking for the next challenge.

The New Entrepreneurs Foundation programme (NEF), backed by Brent Hoberman (Founder of lastminute.com), Charles Dunstone (Carphone Warehouse) and Sir Nigel Rudd, offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with some of the UK's leading entrepreneurs - and get paid for it!

The successful applicants are placed into entrepreneurial organisations to work alongside some of the most influential people in the business. Now entering it’s second year, the programme has seen 25 candidates from 2011 placed across a range of high growth companies including: Skrill, Monitise, Liv-ex, and Seatwave.

With applications now open for the 2012 intake, there isn’t a better time to expand your career opportunities, and move away from the more conventional career path. You can apply now for the NEF 2012 intake by clicking on the link below:


*Andrew and Kevin were both part of the NEF 2011 intake and worked with Liv-ex and 2 Sisters respectively.

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