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Generation Z: The Next Cohort Of Student Entrepreneurs

Generation Z are fast turning to entrepreneurship to avoid a hostile MBA jobs market. A start-up can give you a completely new career, or an extra dimension to your CV.

Tue Feb 11 2014

A recent story by American magazine Entrepreneur suggested that ‘Generation Z’, those born between the years of 1994 and 2010, is poised to become the most entrepreneurial generation of all time.

With the eldest of that generation now at university, how can Gen Z build upon the foundations of the previous generation, which brought us global leaders like Facebook and Groupon?

These days, students graduating from business school are looking at an increasingly uncertain future. The assumption that graduates would swiftly walk into solid employment following the culmination of their studies is no more. And so many are turning to entrepreneurship as a way of taking matters into their own hands.

Becoming an MBA entrepreneur isn’t necessarily about becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg. In reality, few of the world’s most successful businesspeople got it right the first time around.

However starting early will at the very least provide some valuable experience, whilst helping to lessen any shortfalls in the financial department.

At a more simplistic level, owning an Avon franchise is a good example, as you can pick the hours you want to work and fit the business around your studies, whilst learning essential sales-skills in the process.

Of course, should your desires lie further North than simply making ends meet, a door-to-door sales franchise isn’t likely to be buy you a Chelsea mansion or private leerjet in the foreseeable future. So what about those with altogether loftier ambitions?

Last year, Newcastle-based medical student Stuart Maitland was named the UK’s most inspiring young entrepreneur. His start-up venture, mHealthful, specializes in creating medical Apps for patients and healthcare professionals.

Will Clowes, founder of innovative advertising platform Uni Car Ads, has seen his student start-up grow quickly and he has done business with commercial behemoths including Wilkinson and Domino’s Pizza.

Here he shares his experience with student and graduate insurance firm Endsleigh Insurance, which launched their own student start-up launch-pad ‘Get Going’ in 2010.

If you need further inspiration, Natwest sponsored The National Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award features several inspiring young business people, including Hannah Fleming. Her business, Fleming Events, looks to add spice to public events with the addition of a gingerbread house or two. 

Of course, running a business can be a daunting task. And luckily there are organisations on hand to help – see Gov.uk for more information about help in your local area.

There are plenty of books too, including the aptly named ‘How to be a student entrepreneur’ by Junior Ogunyemi.

Starting a business can also be time-intensive and draining, which doesn't bode well for your business school studies. The question is, can you strike the right balance between your business and your degree?

If the balance is right, then starting a business is a great idea for those looking to earn extra money and impress potential employers.

Thinking of a viable idea, putting it into practice and growing your business into a money making enterprise shows massive dedication and talent which, even in today's competitive MBA jobs market, will make you stand out from other applicants.

MBAs that start their own business could even discover that they don't need to apply for jobs upon graduating, because their start-up has blossomed into a full-time career. Perhaps that’s the future for Generation Z.