The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many of us to implement ideas that had been on the back burner for years. More and more entrepreneurs are pursuing their passion projects alongside their work and studies and so putting their ideas into action.
Companies are finding new ways of working and delivering value to their customers and stakeholders.
As we emerge from the pandemic, entrepreneurial students will begin to evaluate these changes across the community and seek out opportunity. They will attempt to answer questions that society has faced over the past year, questions like: how will changes in hygiene practices influence the move towards a contactless society? How will prolonged periods of isolation shape our relationships and our mental well-being? What impact will the rise in homeworking have on careers and transportation networks?
The traditional way of working has changed, which has in turn created space for entrepreneurs – and students can get involved.
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Over many years, we have seen more young graduates opt for flexibility and entrepreneurship over the traditional career path. It will be these young entrepreneurs who will address skills shortages, provide a pipeline for scale-up activity, create social ventures with purpose, and establish new businesses that generate jobs and wealth.
However, being an entrepreneur requires resilience, focus and creativity. While at university students have access to expertise, facilities, support and knowledge which can help yo cultivate these skills.
While achieving a degree requires subject focus, entrepreneurial students should absorb and consider the wider issues in society and access opportunities available at their university. From training programmes to guest speaker events, to funding opportunities or challenges, these experiences can broaden your mind, build practical skills, and give you the time and space to innovate around like-minded students.
The ability to solve problems, come up with creative solutions, take initiative and work with others are critical future skills in any industry, and the ability to investigate a challenge and develop a business concept while in the safety of a university is powerful way to enhance your abilities – whether the idea progresses or not.
Many universities recognise that entrepreneurship is now a career choice for graduates. Embedding innovation and entrepreneurship throughout university courses and societies is useful for both students and institutions.
Earlier this year, Robert Gordon University launched its third annual Innovation Accelerator programme aimed at entrepreneurial students, staff and graduates who had an innovative idea that they wanted to develop into a business or impactful project.
The programme lasted five months and focused on three challenges: overcoming the impact of Covid-19, reducing inequality and poverty in our society, and providing solutions for overcoming the challenges of mental health and well-being. Many universities will have similar programmes in which students can get involved.
These challenges respond to the broad societal issues that every industry must consider.
Entrepreneurship is becoming more and more of an option for students who are struggling to find more traditional jobs