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19 Nov 2019

Top tips for student entrepreneurs to celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

headshot of Sophie Hyde Sophie Hyde

Tuesday 19 November marks Women’s Entrepreneurship Day which aims to empower and celebrate women in business around the world.

Last year, Loughborough University celebrated the day by talking to a student, staff member and alumna about their entrepreneur journeys.

Today, Dr Sophie-Louise Hyde, a student adviser from Loughborough Enterprise Network (LEN), shares her tips for students wanting to start a business alongside their studies.

Ask yourself why you are starting the business

List your goals, visions and values. Start-ups with a purpose draw people towards them – both customers and investors. Inspire, based in The Hub upstairs at Loughborough Students’ Union, can help you during the early days – from idea stage to innovation.

Ashleigh Ponder, the LSU Enterprise Chair said: “Collectively, as women, we need to make the most of the opportunities we create for ourselves as well as those that are presented to us. Ultimately, being entrepreneurial can apply to everyone – we just need to believe that we are capable of bringing the ideas we have into fruition.”

Your first idea is not always your best

It is important to be comfortable with going back to the drawing board and to keep trying. The University offers a safe space to try something, test an idea, learn from it and, ultimately, try again.

Make the most of LEN’s Resource page

This page has free downloadable content, including our popular Business Model Canvas template. This allows you to consider all elements of your idea and test their feasibility and all students are asked to complete one of these. The page also features important information about legal entities and business registration.

Come and work in our Start-Up Labs

These two co-working spaces for student businesses are located in the Ideas Factory in STEMLab and via The Place in the Stewart Mason building. Here you can attend workshop sessions and access 1:2:1 support and training that will help you to develop the knowledge and skills you need to kickstart your business.  It also provides an opportunity to meet with other student entrepreneurs.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

Sophie suggests that this is key for young women who may be unsure or lack the confidence to believe that they can be successful. She said: “Find yourself a community of people who are starting out, like you. This will give you people to lean on along the way and you can be each other’s champions.

“The students we work with have said that’s been one of the best parts of being involved and one of the most important parts for their own health and wellbeing on their business journey.”

The Loughborough Enterprise Network (LEN) supports students and graduates throughout their enterprise journey. The Network consists of LSU InspireThe Studio and the Start-up Lab. For more information visit the website.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (18-23 November). To celebrate LEN are hosting a range of activities and competitions, online and offline, for all students to get involved in across our Loughborough and London campuses.