If you’ve just graduated from University, or are doing so in the near future and can’t think of anything worse than working for someone else. Or better yet, you’ve had a ‘light bulb’ idea for a business, then don’t worry yourself silly (like I do) about securing a job just yet. With your fresh, creative juices flowing, why not opt to give working for yourself a go. Set up your own business. Get a mentor. Write a 5 year plan. You never know, you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg?
Virgin Start Up (created by, you guessed it – self made billionaire Richard Branson), is offering young entrepreneurs the opportunity of a lifetime for those fresh out of university, who have an idea they’d like to take forward. They assist you in taking out of a government loan (backed by Virgin) and assign you a mentor, who will give free business advice.
The not-for-profit scheme will really push your idea forward and help you get the very best start in business, before tracking you every step of the way. It’s not a new project (they’ve already funded and assisted in creating some amazing companies), but it is rarely publicized to the extent I feel it should. There are so many young creative’s out there, slaving away doing jobs they’re over-qualified for – when in actual fact, they could be setting up their own business and working for themselves.
Handmade chocolate creations company YuCoCo is just one of Virgin Start Up’s many success stories, with the site offering users the opportunity to create and personalise gift (or treat) chocolates – with an interactive system (which includes topping your chocolate). It’s fun, it’s creative and it’s turning over a substantial profit. Something it may not have had the opportunity to do without Virgin Start Ups.
I’d love to one day turn my blog into a fully fledged online magazine, employing young new writers who have plenty of amazing ideas up their sleeves, however before hearing of Virgin Start Up’s, it really did only seem like a far-fetched dream.
There are so many bloggers and fashion lovers I’ve met who have expressed an interest in setting up their own boutique, or clothing line but simply don’t have the funds or means to do so. I’m not saying it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but if it does interest you, it might be an option worth considering. Buying and choosing stock without the help of an adviser can be risky business, but this scheme can offer that – for free.
So whatever your idea is, why not pitch it to Virgin Start Up’s? Do you research, write your pitch and deliver. What have you got to lose? You might be a millionaire this time next year? Well, we can dream.