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Graduates turn to self-employment as entrepreneur supports starts up of the future

Graduates turn to self-employment as entrepreneur supports starts up of the future

A Midlands marketing expert has helped more than 60 graduates to get the skills they need to set up their own business to encourage entrepreneurship in the region.

Victoria Prince, who has 16 years of experience having worked for marketing teams within iconic British brands Thorntons and BMI Baby, launched Marketing Mavericks last year after seeing graduate roles cut due to the current pandemic.

Statistics from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) show in 2020 graduate jobs dropped by 12% with the majority of employers anticipating further decline this year, according to the Student Recruitment Survey 2020.

It is the largest fall in graduate recruitment since 2008/9 when the market contracted by 25%.

For students like Raj Taak, who was made redundant when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it meant he had to rethink his career path and find the skills to set up his own business with the help of Victoria.

One of the first students to complete Victoria’s Marketing Mavericks course, within two months he was running his own successful marketing consultancy using all his experience and graduate education to run his own business.

Since setting up eight months ago the course has even been trialled within universities, including Nottingham Trent University, to help graduates to get the skills they need to set up their own business and Victoria hopes that more universities will follow suit and encourage graduates to see self-employment as a viable option.

She said: “The current climate is probably one of the most challenging job markets for graduates. With graduate roles cut and many employers reducing their staff levels rather than hiring finding a new role can prove difficult despite the wealth of expertise and knowledge our graduates possess.

“For many graduates it is confidence that holds them back from looking at self-employment. Further learning or graduate roles are often seen as the natural progression.

“However, I want to show graduates that with the right help and support starting their own business can be a great way of forging their own career path and developing a business which works for them.”

Covering everything from the basics of setting up a company to understanding how self-employment works and marketing your business it is designed to give talented graduates the confidence to be the entrepreneurs of the future.

For Raj, of Taak Marketing, it was a lifeline that helped him to turn his world around when he suddenly found himself unemployed for the first time.

“Without Victoria’s help I don’t think I would have had the confidence to set up my own business at this time in my career,” says Raj, who now runs two businesses from Nottingham.

“Setting up my own business was something I had planned on doing further down the line but actually it is probably one of the best things I could have done and I am finding more fellow graduates are seeing it as an option as the current jobs market means we are having to relook at options and be more innovative in our approach.”

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