This week’s hot topics: Start-up now or stay in school?, Young Start-ups to get £2500 loans and How can you fit family and friends around a new start-up

Start Up Now, or Stay in School

Much talk this week has been dedicated to the value of business schools and the rise of incubators in order to attract students and entrepreneurs with so-called increased opportunities and to compete with independent incubators.

Even Richard Branson has stuck his oar in, claiming in his new book, that younger people would be better starting out, rather than attending a business school: “I would say starting a business because that’s been my own experience. There is so much to be learned from successes and even more from failures – and these are experiences you get only by doing.”

However, Bart Clarysse, who holds a chair in entrepreneurship at London’s Imperial College Business School, has notice more business schools have been establishing incubators for student enterprises over the past two or three years. Entrepreneurism is in full flow, with people taking it upon themselves to dig deep out of this recession.

It also appears that students would rather be doing as opposed to studying. Some on the business school side acknowledge the tension. “A student committed to entrepreneurship and on a very clear path [to a start-up], would certainly wonder, ‘should I be spending all that money for an advanced business degree or just go to an incubator?’”, says Prof Hosanagar.

But business schools argue that they are the right place for some budding entrepreneurs. Many students who are committed to entrepreneurship do not necessarily have an idea or a business plan, for example.

Still very much up for debate. 

Young Start-ups to get £2500 loans

If skipping lessons and getting away from horrible teachers wasn’t enough to convince a budding entrepreneur to stay away from school, young start-ups will be eligible to receive up to £2500 to get them on their way.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Discussion continues around the opportunities arising from the 30,000 businesses that could. Is it enough for a good chance at success? Will it just land them in difficulty, entrepreneurs ask.

The announcement was made by Business Secretary Vince Cable as he spoke of the Government’s support for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) at the MADE entrepreneurial festival in Sheffield. He met some of the young people who have received a Start-Up Loan and are taking their first steps in business.

Vince Cable said: "With more young people than ever before looking to start their own business, Start-Up loans will provide the support they need to help get their business ideas off the ground. The scheme is not just about money. They will also get access to professional mentors who will pass on their knowledge and expertise about running successful enterprises. Money is going out of the door now, so those who want to take advantage should apply today."

What a nice man Vince is.

The new Start-Up Loans Company, chaired by Dragons’ Den judge James Caan, says 1,200 young people have registered an interest in applying for the loans, which will be delivered to 18 to 24-year-olds by providers including The Prince’s Trust and Young Britain, alongside the offer of mentoring.

Not only is the Olympics appearing to ‘Inspire a Generation’, Nick Gale believes that the start-up scheme of £82.5, to help launch up to 30,000 new businesses will ‘inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.’

We do like ‘inspiring’ in 2012.


Start-ups and significant others – can you really fit family and friends around a start-up?

Sticking on topic – it would be rude not to – can starting a start-up be socially endearing? You see Richard Branson surrounded with attractive females, but he has made his money. Starting out may be very different. An article asking ‘can you have a girlfriend and a new start-up at the same time’ provoked a healthy debate on Quora which led to wide sharing and discussion across social channels.

Can a new start-up and a significant other find a balance to make it work? Most of the top responders thought you could do both.

But others were more sceptical: "My own experience of being a former girlfriend of a guy who joined a Start-up was not-so-great," one wrote. "It meant less time together, not receiving emotional support (even when it was directly sought), listening to negativity all the time...sometimes I felt like I was his plaything, that he would only pay attention to me when it suited his needs."

Starting a new business can be brutal. It’s consuming; you become dead to your friends for weeks at a time, and it can be so grueling that you forget to eat or shower. Not the most ideal proposition in obtaining a girlfriend?

What do you think? Connect with us through twitter on @MicrosoftSB.

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