By Daniel Hunter
A new Government led initiative to boost enterprise will see up to 4,000 entrepreneurial university students and graduates in England connecting with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Startup Career Milkrounds is part of the Government’s enterprise education package and will see the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) and Enternships.com working with university enterprise societies.
They will create a national brand for an annual Milkround fortnight that will give students and graduates the chance to engage with small firms through Milkround-style fairs, securing summer placements, raising entrepreneurial skills levels and creating graduate jobs.
“Providing opportunities for young people to start and grow a business is crucial to the long term economic success of the UK," Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk, said.
"The Startup Career Milkrounds, being developed with the university enterprise societies, are a great way for students to meet local businesses, build strong links and discover the opportunities available to them whilst they are studying or when they graduate.
“We are already doubling the number of enterprise societies and aim to have them in every university and most further education colleges by 2015. We will also soon be launching a £10 million startup loan programme for young people so that budding entrepreneurs can get a range of mentoring support and a small amount of capital to start their enterprise. By investing in enterprise now, we can inspire and nurture the entrepreneurs of the future.”
NACUE has selected 20 enterprise societies to organise student-led Startup Career Milkrounds for their regions. Each society will receive £500 from NACUE to design and host the event, which will be match-funded by the society’s respective university.
Students will have the opportunity to hear from and connect with the vibrant startup communities in their regions, through a series of talks, speed-networking sessions, and meetings with local SMEs.
Hushpreet Dhaliwal, CEO at NACUE, said:
“We cannot ignore the fact that startups and small businesses employ more than 90 per cent of all people in the UK. Working with Enternships.com and student-led enterprise societies, this initiative will link entrepreneurs with local businesses and show students and graduates that startups offer a great alternative career path.
“Startup Career Milkrounds will also give local SMEs access to a wealth of talent in their area. It will remove many of the myths and ideas that young people have about starting their own business and highlight how becoming an entrepreneur can be both a viable and hugely rewarding experience.”
Enternships.com will also work with each society so that local startups and SMEs can post placements and jobs on an online portal for free during the campaign fortnight.
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