The world of graduate jobs and post-university career paths has never been so competitive. With hundreds (sometimes thousands) of graduates fighting it out for the most coveted positions, and only a small number of positions available in comparison with the number of new graduates, many young people are taking their career into their own hands and considering starting their own business.

So what are the advantages and the pitfalls of starting a business right out of university?

Avoiding unemployment

Well, obviously one of the perks of being your own boss is that you’ll never be out of work – or at least, that’s the plan! Statistics from the Higher Education Career Service showed that around 7.3% of recent graduates are currently unemployed. What better way to avoid falling into that group than by starting a business?


Many new graduates find it hard to transition from the laid-back, flexible world of university, to the strict 9-5 environment of a professional office. For those who want to retain that element of flexibility in their life, starting a business (or even going freelance) is ideal. If you can get your business off the ground, you’ll be able to choose which days you work, what your own office hours are, and you might even be able to work from home or another familiar location.

The excitement of a great idea

If you truly have a great idea for a business, why wait until further down the line to start up? There’s no time like the present, especially with various organisations and grants available to help young people that want to get their venture going – more on that later. The work will be tough, and it’ll require a lot of desire and commitment, but when your business starts to grow, the sheer excitement will be worth it.

So how can I start a business as a new graduate?

First off, get in touch with your university. Whether you’re new to their alumni network or whether you’re still at university and considering your options, get in touch with their enterprise or business centre. They have links with lots of local organisations that can help you get started, or simply give you some more information on starting a business for yourself.

You should also head online and check out which grants and loans are available to fund your start-up fees. The Start-Up Loans Company has joined with a multitude of delivery partners like the Prince’s Trust and Big Issue Invest to provide ‘soft loans’ to young entrepreneurs, and there are plenty of local growth funds and grants to apply for.

  • What do you think about starting your own business straight after university?
  • Would you consider it – or is it a big no-no?
  • Let us know your thoughts.




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