By Daniel Hunter

The number of start ups being founded by students has increased by 54% in the last 12 months, according to online freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour.

The results revealed that not only are more budding entrepreneurs starting businesses whilst still in education but over a third (37%) said they met their co-founder at university.

The survey revealed that 57% of undergraduates who had started a business cited the lack of job security upon leaving their studies being a significant influence when weighing up the pros and cons of juggling studies with a startup. Another 45% said they had started in order to earn extra cash while still in education while a third (34%) said they had always planned to be their own boss.

Access to internet enabled devices has given students the flexibility to work on the go, fitting in work hours in between lectures (32%), whilst out socialising (24%) and even during classes (9%).

The biggest areas for the growth in young entrepreneurs were revealed as Bristol, London and Liverpool.

It would also seem that young entrepreneurs are raring to get started, an impressive 31% of start ups surveyed said they managed to get up and running with their concept within 3 months, 29% said it took 3-6 months and 28% said it took between 6 and twelve months. Just 12% of those surveyed said it had taken them longer than twelve months

Forty-two percent of student entrepreneurs surveyed said they manage to fit in at least 20 hours of work on their business per week, whilst a dedicated 15% claim to spend up to 50 hours per week on developing their business concept fitting the hours in around their studies and on evenings and weekends.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, said: “A major factor in this growing trend of new small business owners across the younger generations is how cheap and easy it is to set up a business and build a client base from day one. The barriers of starting a business being lowered is one of the main reasons we’re seeing such a noticeable rise in students choosing the self employment route earlier than ever before. They seem to be concerned about the security of the current jobs market for graduates and appear to be making alternative plans for their future after university.”