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Student startups: The funding options available

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Monday, April 3, 2017


“Skint” is probably one of the most used terms in a student’s vocabulary, yet it’s something that’s just not going to work out if you’re in the business of starting a company. While there might be the odd exception to the rule, on the whole it takes at least some funding to get things off the ground.

Student start-ups are becoming more common though. Once upon a time Richard Branson may have been the only success story, yet now more and more undergraduates are making names for themselves courtesy of their hugely successful start-ups while they study. One of the reasons for this is accessibility to funding.

In some ways students have an advantage from this regard; they have some options that a typical start-up might not be able to tap into. To highlight this case, let’s take a look at some of the main funding options that a student start-up can utilize.

Prince’s Trust

Like a lot of the resources that will be listed on this page, the Prince’s Trust isn’t specifically targeted towards students – but the fact it is aimed at 18-30-year-olds means that they are a primary target market.

It’s one of the biggest charity programmes in the UK and will offer both financial aid, as well as business support, to any entrepreneur who falls into the above age bracket. The loans can be up to £5,000 and always have low interest rates attached. Over 80,000 businesses have benefited from this scheme – which tells its own story.

University resources

This is one of the vaguer suggestions, for the simple reason that each scheme offered by a university is different. It is becoming more common for universities to offer their own support, and sometimes funding, to undergraduates and alumni who are starting a business.

Usually, these universities will have special facilities that can be offered, meaning that you can take advantage of your own office space etc. You tend to have to give a stake in your business, with this sometimes being as high as 20%.

Start Up Loans Company

For anyone who is looking for slightly more funding, this government-backed initiative is probably one of the best solutions.

The Start Up Loans Company provides loans as high as £25,000, with the interest rate being just 6% per annum.

This is actually something that is available to any entrepreneur in the land, but with over half of the loans being provided to under 30’s it highlights just how students can take advantage.


Short for the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs, this can provide a real boost to your business if you can take advantage of one of the pitching sessions. It can open you up to a range of investors and unlike other opportunities it is specifically related to students, meaning it can boost your chances in comparison to other means of funding. As well as the funding potential, it’s worth mentioning that NACUE will put you in front of some of the best business minds in the country so you can tap into their knowledge.

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