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Student Entrepreneurship: Why we Need to Encourage it?

Manpreet Kour

Last week, when walking through the market, I saw a group of teens selling notebooks.

No, not the ones sold in shops. Their covers were different.

Some had quotes written on them. Some had impressive designs. I could even see the poster of Avengers Infinity War on one.

Student Entrepreneurship
Student Entrepreneurship 2

Being curious - I decided to stay and have a few words with them.

After talking to them, I found out they were college students – who had opened a startup called NoBizers. Their idea was to offer students a chance to have their notebooks custom-designed.

As we talked further, they shared how they were doing everything on their own. They even contacted vendors who refused to buy their books. So, they were selling them as a stall in the market.

This left me both impressed and hurt at the same time.

Impressed because these students dared to think beyond the regular job culture and started their own business.

Surely they didn’t get the success they had expected. Still, they hadn’t lost hope. Their passion was commendable.

Hurt because there was no one to guide them. They could do a lot better if they were mentored in a proper direction.

In fact, they’re not alone. Many students dream of starting their own business but fail to do so because there’s no one to advise them. So, they think let’s do the job first and then a few years later - we will start our own business. But that doesn’t happen and their dream to be an entrepreneur somehow dies with them.

However, it’s time to change. We should start appreciating and guiding these student entrepreneurs. Looking for reasons?

There are 100 but I will settle for 5 best:

Reasons to Support Student Entrepreneurship

1. The stats say it all

According to a survey by Millennial Branding :

72 % of high school students want to start their own business. 61% of them want to start their business right after college.

Now the question is:

If these students are so eager for entrepreneurship, why don’t we start supporting them from now?

If we start preparing them from now - perhaps, they will come out as adept businessmen by the time they’ll finish college.

2. Many successful businesses were founded in college

Microsoft! Google! Facebook! Yahoo! Reddit! Wordpress...

There’s a long list of companies that were originated in the college campuses.

So, believing that students are too young to do anything big is a huge mistake.

You never know if their idea that you turned down today might emerge into a magnum opus.

The same thing happened with Google. During initial days, Larry Page and Sergey Brin tried to sell the company to the online service Excite for $1 Million but were rejected.

And the rest is a history. We all know what Google is today.

So, instead of pushing them down and pressurizing them into giving up their dreams – we should encourage our student entrepreneurs.

3. There’s a lot of time and scope for improvement

No one becomes a successful entrepreneur in just one day. Instead, we make mistakes, fail, and learn. Applify’s entrepreneurship journey from a startup to leading an app development firm in Singapore has also been full of obstacles.

Now, the interesting thing is that we can make a lot of mistakes in our 20s. We are young, motivated, and dynamic. Even if we make mistakes,  we have parents to support us.

But we can’t afford to make the same mistakes when we’ll be 30. At that time, we’ll have families to take care of. So, we’ll have to take every decision carefully.

Given this, a student entrepreneur has more advantage over a person who just quitted his/her job to start a business or someone who’s juggling between business and job.

Hence, encouraging students for entrepreneurship now will give them enough time to learn from their faults and become successful.

4. We learn the most basic lessons of business in college

There’s an old saying:

No knowledge without college.

And it is true.

In college - we meet strangers and make them our friends. Here, we learn to trust, we learn to gather resources, and we learn to lead.

All these qualities are crucial in business and can help create successful entrepreneurs.

But if not supported and guided in a proper direction - these qualities will go in vain. Instead, you need to nurture them and help these aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

In simple words

I had read a wonderful quote on LinkedIn a few days back:

A dream without a plan is just a dream.

Imagine, a student wants to open a startup but doesn’t know how to do this. What will happen?

He will keep working hard but will not achieve the expected results. He might give up in the end.

That’s why student entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged and established businesses need to take an initiative towards this.

Google’s Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program is one such wonderful initiative. We need more programs like that.

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