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Graduates look to join the startup economy

Graduates look to join the startup economy

As the wage squeeze continues to leave millennials struggling to make ends meet new research shows that under thirties are turning their back on graduate jobs in favour of starting their own businesses – contributing to the so named ‘startup economy’.

The research conducted by accountancy firm Moore Stephens illustrates a significant rise in the number of company directors under the age of thirty in the UK, which now stands at 311,550, up 5.29% in the last two years.

Traditionally most graduates sought out graduate roles or schemes at respected companies which often involve specialised training and potentially a fast track to management. While this has conventionally offered the best route for those with a degree the study from Moore Stephens would suggest that the allure of owning your own company is becoming far more popular than working for an esteemed firm.

The head of Moore Stephens startup programme Mark Ayres explains to The Independent, “The financial crisis in many ways gave rise to ‘generation startup’. Highly intelligent and motivated graduates faced an incredibly tough time finding a job in the years following the recession in 2008. Many decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own companies – often challenging and disrupting the status quo.”

Moore Stephens believe that one of the key contributing factors to the budding startup economy is technology. As technology becomes for efficient, cheaper and popular it gives young entrepreneurs a platform to launch a new company, with an audience that are receptive to new ideas.

“Of course, a major contributing factor to this has been the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.” Ayres continues, “Technology gives entrepreneurs – no matter who they are or where they come from – instant access to millions of potential customers across the globe.”

Young graduates need only look at the success of some of the most valuable startups of the last decade to see the rewards that may come from founding your own business. The rising success of startups even led to the term ’unicorn’ being coined in reference to startup companies that reach the milestone of being worth $1bn by venture capitalist Aileen Lee in 2013.

Some of the most famous ‘unicorn’ startups include Spotify, Dropbox, Airbnb, SpaceX, Deliveroo, Uber and DocuSign. The incredible success of these startups has seen some of them surpass the $1bn mark, and now hold valuations up to $62.5bn in the case of Uber.

Not only an interesting proposition for graduates, investment in new startups has seen some Angel investors and venture capitalists make strong returns.

Investment in startup companies is quickly becoming a very popular strategy as Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe, Indiegogo and Kickstarter make backing a fledgling company simple and easy.

But as more and more investors and graduates look to get a slice of startup success there is no question that it will become harder to identify (and create) startup companies that will join the already existing ‘unicorn’ club – but for those who create and back the right idea, the returns can be astronomical!

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