College students with entrepreneurship in their blood need not wait after graduation to start a business. Some of the well-known companies in the world, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Dropbox were founded by college students.
However, running a small business while in college requires masterful time management and creative budgeting strategies. Here are some tips on resources that can help college students afford to run a business while paying for an education.
Save by Using Campus Resources
College students usually have free access to Wi-Fi, library materials, cheap or free copy and printing services and other resources that they can use to save costs in running a small venture.
Student entrepreneurs can also get help from university counselors and professors who are more than willing to mentor students on business matters.
Find opportunities for free money
Student entrepreneurs can take advantage of special entrepreneurship programs, grants, and competitions like the Hult Prize which provides up to $1 million in seed money to student entrepreneurs who win its competition.
Keep priorities in expenses
There are many temptations to spend money to enjoy social life in college. However, always think of how it might affect your ability to run your business.
Be careful about student loans
Students should not be tempted to use student loan money to fund the business. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) specifies that federal student loans and grant money are only for educational purposes.
Attend business courses
It’s a good idea for the student entrepreneur to attend some business courses. They can take classes that can help them learn the skills needed to run a business.
Apply for an internship
Students can gain hands-on experience by applying for an internship in the same field or industry of their business. An internship can also help them understand how companies in the industry operate as well as how to avoid mistakes. They can even earn salaries from the internship that they can use for the business.
The bottom line
Many examples show that running a small business in college can be difficult, but it’s definitely possible. Just make sure to have a good financing plan.
By following these tips, you have the chance of getting the funding needed without having to seek out investors or borrow money.