Top marks for business start-ups

UCLan ranked top in the north and fourth nationally for the number of graduate start-up businesses created

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been ranked in the top five of UK universities for the number of graduate start-up businesses created.

According to new analysis of the 2017/18 data provided by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)1, 201 start-ups have been founded at UCLan in the 12-month period meaning the institution ranks fourth on the national list and top in the north.

It just goes to show that stereotypes that are often associated with graduates and students are tired and outdated. They’re hardworking and ambitious creators of wealth and jobs, and a vibrant part of the wider UK economy that we’re proud to serve.

Professor Sue Smith, UCLan’s Interim Director of Innovation and Enterprise, said: “The University has long since been a sector leader for the large number of start-up businesses created by our students and new graduates. We have invested time and resources through our ‘Propeller’ enterprise hub to help our graduates develop their ideas and turn those dreams into a reality.”

The report, produced by sales recruitment specialist Pareto Law, reveals that in 2018 the estimated total turnover of over 14,000 graduate start-ups was more than £822 million. That figure is more than the turnover of HelloFresh (£802 million) and BooHoo Group (£603 million)2 and highlights the significant contribution student entrepreneurs make to the wider UK economy.

The estimated total turnover of graduate founded businesses and social enterprises has risen from £669 million (2014/15) to £821 million (2017/2018), an increase of 26% in four academic years.

UCLan ranked top in the north and fourth nationally for the number of graduate start-up businesses created

201 start-ups have been founded at UCLan in 2017/18

The idea of students starting their own ventures, big or small, is not only excellent for the students themselves but also the wider economy.

Further data provided by HESA shows that when it comes to the number of companies set-up per university, institutions that have an artistic or more vocational focus take a more active role in equipping graduates with the skills, confidence and support to set-up their own companies.

Jonathan Fitchew, CEO of Pareto Law, commented: “In uncertain economic times it is great to see that student-founded businesses have found a way to grow and thrive. The challenges faced by any graduate who has started a business over the past few years are significant and those who manage to make the grade should be proud of everything they’ve achieved.

“It just goes to show that stereotypes that are often associated with graduates and students are tired and outdated. They’re hardworking and ambitious creators of wealth and jobs, and a vibrant part of the wider UK economy that we’re proud to serve.”

Jake Butler, Operation Director at Save the Student, added: “The idea of students starting their own ventures, big or small, is not only excellent for the students themselves but also the wider economy. You don't need £1000s to start and there's not even a need to set the world alight and going it alone can be a great experience.”

The university which has created the largest number start-ups and social enterprises in 2017/18 was the Royal College of Art – with a figure of 251.

To encourage this year’s graduates to start and grow their own businesses, Pareto Law is offering one UK student the chance to win £10,000 worth of sales training by sending a video of themselves delivering a short video pitching their new business idea via the company’s website.

Rachel Atkinson | 28 October 2019