Why should entrepreneurs consider going to university?
Aspiring entrepreneurs should consider joining business societies while they are at university, says Canadian entrepreneur Emerson Csorba.
For a lot of students, the beginning of the year comes with plans to join all manner of societies. From choirs to sci-fi clubs, film societies and sports teams, there’s really no limits to the variety of extracurricular activities open to them. But for undergraduate and postgraduates alike with an interest in business, entrepreneurial societies should be at the top of the list.
That’s the view of Emerson Csorba, the Canadian entrepreneur behind multi-generational employee engagement consultancy Gen Y Inc. In an article written for the Telegraph, he says that entrepreneurship societies are a growing and valuable part of university life outside the classroom.
Currently studying at Cambridge University as a Cambridge Trust Scholar, Mr Csorba says that he actually puts most of his own success down to the lessons he learned while building his own company.
But within the academic environment, there are also plenty of opportunities to test business skills and gain valuable experience early on.
“Student entrepreneurs gain hands-on experience with their education, grow their personal networks and have no choice but to become more diligent with their study time,” he writes.
It also carries a number of benefits regardless of whether the students go on to start their own companies or not, he explains, since entrepreneurship “cannot only enhance students’ success academically, but strengthen confidence and instil qualities and skills conducive to success upon graduation”.
He isn’t alone in appreciating the benefits of university for aspiring business leaders, even if they do so after they become a success.
Sir Richard Branson recently said that entrepreneurs should start young and approach business with a “just do it”attitude if they want to succeed. The younger, the better, he reasoned. Yet in an interview with LSBF last year, he also said that he actually considered going to university when he reached 40 and already had lots of experience.
When he left school as a teenager to run his first business – a young people’s magazine called The Student – he did so because his headmaster told him to make the choice. But he explained that universities need to focus more on encouraging students to set up their businesses alongside their education so they can benefit from help within the university.
The explosion in entrepreneur societies within UK universities is helping student entrepreneurs to achieve exactly that.