Number of student start-ups soars research shows it pays to start a business young

More students are turning their backs on the “bleak” UK job market and setting up as entrepreneurs.

That is according to online business marketplace, which has released new data, based on the sign-up rate on its website.

The rate of student sign-ups over the last three months was 89% higher that it was over the same period last year.

The majority of these new members have admitted that the toughest job market in a generation is forcing them to create their own employment opportunities, by launching their own initiatives or setting up as freelancers.

London: hub for student enterprise

London and the south east were the most common source of student registrations, with 56% coming from this area. The Midlands and Yorkshire, although significantly lower, recorded the second highest membership levels – delivering 11% and 8% of new sign-ups respectively.

Furthermore,’s research, which comes on the eve of the government’s announcement of the Labour Market Statistics tomorrow, revealed that these independent enterprise initiatives are paying off. Figures from the website show a year on year increase of 101% in earnings by student members in the last three months.

2011: The class of entrepreneurs

The student entrepreneurs include 21-year old Sarah, who set up her marketing company before graduating from Lancaster University. Determined to generate an income for herself and her two young sons, she says: “I have around 16 clients at the moment ranging from small micro businesses to large multinational companies. I am expanding fast and have taken on new national and international clients.”

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Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder of said: “The jobs market today isn’t creating enough new jobs for this year’s crop of students and it looks set to get worse with a bleak economic outlook. Yet rather than giving up or taking a year out abroad, students are working harder to create their own opportunities.   “Our research shows that more students are joining to set up their own businesses, looking for work and creating work for others. The class of 2011 may well go down in history as the most entrepreneurial class yet.”


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