Student Entrepreneurs: Turning a Micro Business into Employment Success
Regardless of the major field of study there is increasing competition in the job market upon graduation.
Students now have to think of innovative and creative ways to stand out from the crowd so they can be successful at a job interview or in the job market in general. One option some undergraduate students are turning to is the idea of a micro business or other entrepreneurial endeavour while they are still a full-time student. A micro business is generally thought of one that costs less than $1,000 to get started, making it an affordable endeavour for many younger people, especially if two or three students invest their money as partners.
When larger companies, as well as smaller start-up companies, see that a student has already demonstrated proven leadership, it can put their resume or CV to the top of the pile. Additionally, many students choose to forgo the traditional employment option, either because they are not able to secure a full-time job immediately or because it’s now easier, in some cases, to create a job for oneself.
1. Technological entrepreneurship
Countless undergraduate students are now creating apps or other free/low-cost, user-friendly technology that they can use as a living portfolio as well as a demonstration of their business and sales abilities.
App development is something that students can find the time for because it will often help them prepare for one of their technology classes or is something they can do during a school break or on the weekends. A living resume is definitely a good way to stand out from the crowd when entering the workforce upon graduation.
2. Social entrepreneurship
Many young people wish to add to their community and change the world. This is one of the best qualities of our merging generations and their idealism should not be diminished by the reality of a 40 hour work week. Young people are encouraged to remember that even the smallest contribution to the community can make a difference. As a result, many students have started micro businesses that engage in social entrepreneurship. A social entrepreneur is someone who starts a business or endeavour that benefits either their local community or the world at large.
Endeavours such as volunteer teaching, research and development in underprivileged economies, and starting a volunteer program in one’s local community are all examples of socially beneficial activities. The creativity comes in when a group of students brainstorm to find a specific product, technology, or service that can benefit their particular community. Social entrepreneurship demonstrates problem-solving skills and philanthropy that many companies and organizations are looking for.
3. Self-employment and freelancing
Many new graduates will discover that they may have an easier time creating a job for themselves rather than convincing someone to hire them. Most young entrepreneurs will need to have a day job or supplemental income of some kind.
However, those who are highly motivated may be able to start their own side business that could lead to a partial income or potential investors later on. New grads who work a day job for financial reasons often find that this next stage of their life is more rewarding if they have something exciting to develop during the evening.
There are multiple ways in which micro businesses and student entrepreneurship can lead to a productive employment future; students are encouraged to play to their strengths, be creative and innovative, think outside of the box, and work as a team.
Students who develop something truly new should copyright, trademark, or patent their invention through the appropriate channels depending on the country they live in. It’s important to protect one’s investments and intellectual property for future use. In addition to protecting one’s investment, student entrepreneurs are encouraged to be realistic in the profits they will make this early on in their career. Micro businesses often bring in $5-10,000 per year but have an initial investment of less than $1,000, which can be a great side income when added to a day job.
Students who are offered a full-time job with a company are highly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and continue to maintain their entrepreneurial spirit as they grow with the company.