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Beyond the Classroom: How Students Are Paving the Way Through Entrepreneurship

A group of students in discussion

Education is a necessity, but it should not be a hindrance to achieving your dreams. Many believe student entrepreneurship is unattainable until they have obtained postgraduate degrees and diplomas.

Of the respondents in a survey, only 31% of entrepreneurs have high school diplomas. This shows you can start providing innovative solutions to real-life problems even as a student. The good news is that several students are already venturing into business.

About 28.4% of the students in a survey were in the process of starting their business venture, while another 10.8% already had functional businesses. If you’re confused about navigating being a student and an entrepreneur, this article is the guide you need. Read on!

Boston's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The Boston entrepreneurial space is thriving, with over 2,000 startups and many other establishments under its wing. Some of the critical players in the ecosystem include startups, educational institutions, venture capital firms, and non-profit organizations. This diversity provides room for innovation and rapid growth in various sectors.

Evolving Education

Education now extends beyond sitting in the classroom; there’s now more emphasis on experiential learning. Whether you’re asking basic questions like, “What is an entrepreneur?” or next-level questions, you can rely on industry professionals to offer relevant answers. Today, students are exposed to practical activities like internships to help them gain relevant experience faster. This method of learning helps to spark an interest in entrepreneurship in students.

Student Entrepreneurs

There are many entrepreneurship ideas for students that one can pick from, even within the school premises. From online stores to physical service providers, the possibilities are endless in student entrepreneurship, and more students are gradually embracing those opportunities.

In fact, about 4,000 students registered businesses in 2022, a leap from 800+ students in 2021. Guess what? Several of these student entrepreneurs have excelled and are currently thriving in their various fields. While it may be a daunting task to juggle work and school, you can sign up for programs like the Global Student Entrepreneurs Award (GSEA) to stand a chance to win prestigious prizes and recognition for your hard work.

The award is open to students of tertiary institutions who are under thirty. You must have been in business at least six months before the application and have generated $500 in revenue or more.

University Support

Most universities, like Harvard and MIT, provide several workshops and programs to support their student entrepreneurs. Some even offer entrepreneurship training in their business schools that covers the fundamentals of starting and running a business. They also answer many entrepreneur questions for students using practical approaches.

High school students are not left out of the picture, as there is structured entrepreneurship for high school students. Several summer entrepreneurship programs for extended periods are also open to help them develop their ideas and boost their creativity.

Pros and Cons of Student Entrepreneurship

Like every venture, student entrepreneurship comes with its unique set of pros and cons. Let’s have a look at some of them:


  • Potential for long-term gains, growth, and networking.

  • Early head start in the professional space.

  • Access to university resources.

  • Reduced financial risks.

  • Ability to leave a lasting impact on society.


  • Struggles with time management.

  • Lack of experience.

  • Risk of making mistakes.

  • Academic pressure.

  • Limited access to funds.

Advice for Aspiring Student Entrepreneurs

If you have not yet ventured into entrepreneurship, there’s no need to panic. You can still make a lasting impact on the industry regardless of when you start or how many others are already in your intended line of business.

Speaking of advice, this is not a checklist on how to become an entrepreneur that you must follow to the T, necessarily. It is simply a set of practical tips that will help you see smooth sailing when you eventually become a student entrepreneur. Be sure to:

  • Identify Your Passion: You should know the solution your business will offer or an idea you want to execute. Passion for your business will help keep you focused in the long run.

  • Join a Community: Navigating entrepreneurship alone is not a pleasant experience. Joining a community of like-minded entrepreneurs will help you grow your network and interact with the top players.

  • Start Small and Learn as You Go: You don’t always have to get everything right from the beginning. Embrace your journey and be open to the lessons that come as you grow. You can also leverage mentorship opportunities to help reduce the mistakes you make.

  • Master Time Management: Create a schedule to allocate time for your business and academics. Balancing both requires commitment and intentionality; you can use time management tools like Toggl and Time Doctor to stay on track.

  • Build a Team of Skilled Individuals: You need a team of individuals with diverse skills to complement your abilities. They will provide different perspectives on issues and help you tackle challenges easily.

  • Seek Funding: Entrepreneurship requires adequate funding to stay afloat. Explore funding options like loans, grants, and investments so you do not go out of business.

  • Complete Legal Compliance: Familiarize yourself with legal concepts like business registration, taxes, and licensing. Doing this will help you avoid any complications in the future.

Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams a Reality With EO Membership

Successful entrepreneurs are those who are not afraid to take bold steps. Being a student should not hold you back from achieving your dreams; you have the power to determine the future of entrepreneurship in Boston.

You need a good community to help you lay a strong foundation and find your footing as an entrepreneur. EO Boston is a community for successful and budding entrepreneurs, and it's just what you need! If you meet the requirements, you can get started with our EO Accelerator program today and kickstart your journey as a student entrepreneur. See if you qualify!


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