MORE students and graduates want to set up their own business, driven by ‘excitement’ and ‘autonomy’, a poll today claims.
The Lloyds TSB Commercial Enterprise Awards recognise the best university and graduate businesses in the UK.
Last year’s North West winner was Stagetex, a Liverpool-based audio-visual and staging company providing lighting, sound, staging and visuals for events.
And to mark the launch of the second annual competition Lloyds polled students and graduates on their entrepreneurial ambitions.
The survey found that 44% want to set up their own business after leaving university, with 54% of graduates and 46% of students intending to do so in the next five years, an increase on last year’s figures of 45% and 41%, respectively.
Current economic conditions are no deterrent and a sense of excitement and working for themselves were cited as key motivating factors.
However, despite the popularity of running a business as a career, there is a feeling that more can be done to support aspiring start ups.
For example, 83% of students and graduates think there should be more advice available at university, while 71% of graduates feel that there should be more teaching of business skills at school with a near identical number 67% believing that these skills should also be taught at university.
Most graduates (63%) and students (58%) believe that more should be done to encourage enterprise as a career.
Leigh Taylor, director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in the North West, said: “Start-up businesses and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the absolute lifeblood of the UK economy and so is it very encouraging that there is such a strong appetite amongst both the student and graduate community to set up businesses.
“It is our role to assist those budding entrepreneurs on this journey by providing the appropriate funding and mentoring to get them off to a good start.”
Other findings showed that students and graduates feel optimistic about the economy, with only 18% seeing the current economic climate as an issue.
When asked what are the biggest challenges that students and graduates believe they face when starting a new business 49% identified having the correct funding in place and 40% having a unique idea.
Mr Taylor added: “It is great to see that current students and graduates are not put off by the economic landscape, but feel optimistic that with the right idea and funding in place they feel they can make a real success of their business.”