Getting into entrepreneurship requires a lot of sacrifice and dedication. It takes so much commitment to start a business at any age but getting into entrepreneurship while in campus can be especially challenging due to having to balance out school and work. Interestingly, some of the most famous entrepreneurs like Mike Zuckerberg got their big ideas while still in campus and didn’t hesitate to go out and implement.
University can serve as a great platform to better equip you for entrepreneurship. If you are a budding entrepreneur still in university, here are 6 tips to help you break through.
1. Make use of University Entrepreneurship Programs
One of the main challenges faced by university students is lack of capital and relevant networks to help them jumpstart their business ideas. Most universities have entrepreneurship related clubs and activities that you can take advantage of. Being active in such forums can help you find likeminded people, access events that will help you find networks and access to alumni who can provide mentorship for your entrepreneurship journey.
2. Take up Internship at a startup
There is no better way to learn the basics of running a business than working at a startup that is in its initial stages. Interning at a startup will help you learn the professional side of running a business, familiarize yourself with the challenges that startups face and also make relevant connections. Getting an internship at a startup that is in line with the business you would like to venture into is an added advantage.
3. Make use of the University Market
Being in college or university gives you ready market for your products. It’s also a great place to conduct a basic market research to test how people will embrace your products in the outside world. Starting your business while in college also helps you make and learn from mistakes as you start small scale so that you are ready for the ups and downs of running a business after school.
4. Brand Yourself
As a university student looking to get into entrepreneurship, that’s the right time to work on your personal brand and image. To do this, you’ll have to focus on building your brand and your networks. You can make use of simple tips like having a customized email address that includes your business name, printing out business cards, building a social media presence for your business, creating a simple website and carrying yourself professionally.
5. Attend a lot of Start Up events
There are numerous start up events that you can register for as an upcoming entrepreneur in campus. Some organizations that organize such events are NaiLab, Startup Grind, Kamakazi, Nairobi Garage and iHub. Attending such events will expose you to great networks, mentorship opportunities and trends in your industry.
6. Read, Read, Read
You are what you read. If you have hopes of building your business empire, reading a lot of books lays a great foundation for you. In campus, you have the advantage of being flexible with your time. Spare a few hours daily to feed your mind, join book clubs, make friends who love reading too so that you can exchange books.
If you are really passionate about an idea, don’t be afraid to take the risk and develop it. University is the perfect place to grow your business while becoming a well-rounded individual.