UP to 4,000 student entrepreneurs – including in Bedfordshire and Buckingham – are being connected with small businesses under a new initiative.
The Startup Career Milkrounds sees the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) and Enternships.com working with university enterprise societies, including Buckingham Business Enterprise Society and Bedfordshire Entrepreneurs,
It is part of the government’s enterprise education package and a bid to boost enterprise.
The new annual Milkround fortnight will give students and graduates the chance to engage with small firms, securing summer placements, raising entrepreneurial skills levels and creating graduate jobs.
Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk, said: “Providing opportunities for young people to start and grow a business is crucial to the long term economic success of the UK. The Startup Career Milkrounds, being developed with the university enterprise societies, are a great way for students to meet local businesses, build strong links and discover the opportunities available to them whilst they are studying or when they graduate.”
A £10 million startup loan programme will also help budding entrepreneurs get a range of mentoring support and a small amount of capital to start their enterprise.
NACUE has selected 20 enterprise societies to organise student-led Startup Career Milkrounds for their regions. Each society will receive £500 from NACUE to design and host the event, which will be match-funded by the society’s respective university.
Students will have the opportunity to hear from and connect with the vibrant startup communities in their regions, through a series of talks, speed-networking sessions, and meetings with local SMEs.
Hushpreet Dhaliwal, chief executive at NACUE, said: “We cannot ignore the fact that startups and small businesses employ more than 90 per cent of all people in the UK. Working with Enternships.com and student-led enterprise societies, this initiative will link entrepreneurs with local businesses and show students and graduates that startups offer a great alternative career path.
“Startup Career Milkrounds will also give local SMEs access to a wealth of talent in their area. It will remove many of the myths and ideas that young people have about starting their own business and highlight how becoming an entrepreneur can be both a viable and hugely rewarding experience.”
The initiative runs until tomorrow, June 2.