Careers in entrepreneurship

students in Essex start ups

It’s a founder’s paradise out there

Becoming a founder, entrepreneur, mogul, or however you term your enterprising nature, Essex Business School can nurture your start-up ambitions into career success.

While we offer degrees in entrepreneurship which have generated successful business founders, many Essex Business School alumni from across our subject portfolio have gone on to become entrepreneurs so this page is relevant to you whether you are interested in studying entrepreneurship or simply just have a great business idea.

Carving out your own niche in business can be risky, but the rewards can also be huge and is there a better feeling than being your own boss?

Discover how you can apply the skills gained on your degree to becoming a business founder and how Essex Business School can incubate your new venture to take you to the next level.

Our incredible entrepreneurial alumni are a credit to their creativity and ambition and they are happy to share the secrets of their success too.

Entrepreneurship careers?
  • Many of our entrepreneurship graduates started working on their business idea while they were studying and have since gone on to secure start-up funding and launch their new venture.
  • Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship graduates tend to be fast thinkers and make important decisions with ease. This suits them directly to a career as a business owner but can also set you up for a role in coaching, mentoring and leadership.
  • Your degree from Essex Business School equips you with the skills to start working on your business idea from day one.

Entrepreneurship career prospects

Where can a degree in entrepreneurship take me?

Entrepreneurship is not a traditional graduate career path, instead it is an exciting field which takes place in a constantly evolving social and economic landscape. Not without its pitfalls, becoming a new business owner can be a perilous journey, but we attempt to equip you with a robust framework through your degree to enable you to take your product or idea to market, establish it and see it grow.

At Essex Business School we believe in sustainable entrepreneurship, so we are interested as much in where you and your product or ideas will be in 10 years as with where you are when you start out.

Common careers for entrepreneurship graduates include:

  • Business or start-up owner
  • Independent consultant
  • Social entrepreneur
  • Intrapreneur
  • Business analyst
  • Media
  • Marketing

We maintain close links with the University of Essex Startups Team and to gain a perspective on how entrepreneurship is the alternative graduate career route, we recently spoke to the Head of Start-Up Services, Andy Mew on his view of entrepreneurship vs the traditional graduate scheme.

Read "Grad Schemes Are Not The Answer"

How will Essex Business School help me develop the skills I need to succeed? 

Essex Business School are focused on developing your entrepreneurial skills through our taught curriculum.

While our degrees in entrepreneurship embed far more skills than what is listed below (see the Essex Business School Careers page for more about embedded skills), here are the skills from our skills map that we have identified as being particularly useful for a career as an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship skills

  • Showing leadership
    Good leadership can often be linked to success so developing your leadership skills could allow you to succeed in launching your own business venture.
  • Adaptability to changing circumstances
    The business climate is constantly changing and while this tends to be weathered collectively in an established business, being adaptable is a strong skill to have if you are facing a new and changing business landscape on your own.
  • Showing initiative
    Entrepreneurs must show initiative in order to get their ideas off the ground, always looking for new ways to innovate and engage. We will nurture your ability to innovate and encourage you to show initiative wherever possible in your studies.
  • Demonstrating motivation to succeed
    Having the motivation to succeed will reduce the risk of failure. And even if your first new venture is unsuccessful, having motivation to succeed can help you build your next enterprise. Motivation to succeed requires resilience and we are focused on delivering programmes which are designed to improve your resilience and encourage your motivation.
  • Expressing business ideas
    The ability to express your business ideas through a variety of mediums is key for entrepreneurs as they navigate new markets, new sales partners and new investment opportunities. We will encourage you to develop your ideas in a coherent way while also teaching you presentation skills and how to use modern presentation platforms and technology.
  • Argumentation skills
    While expressing your business ideas, you may find that skills in argumentation may help you to win over those more difficult clients and investors. Our curriculum embeds argumentation skills development through your assignments, essays and group work projects to encourage you to express your ideas concisely and while engaging your audience.
  • Creative problem solving
    As an entrepreneur you will often have to find creative solutions to your problems in order to minimise spend, maximise impact and maximise profit. We will help you to look creatively at business scenarios to encourage you to develop problem solving skills which can be put to good use in your future ventures.
  • Recognise rival conceptual ideas
    Understanding what your competitors are doing in the market is a key measure which will help you develop ways to differentiate your product and market it in a more targeted way. We will encourage you to recognise ideas and concepts and analyse their effectiveness.

Alternative skills

While many skills which are core to being a successful entrepreneur can be taught and developed in a classroom setting, there are many which cannot. It it important to point out that due to the level of risk associated with entrepreneurship, there are some skills which can only be developed out there in the "real-world".

These skills centre around:

  • Resilience
  • Competitiveness
  • Creativity
  • Quick thinking.

We can prepare you for scenarios which will develop these skills through the simulation games and group work tasks which take place on our taught programmes, however, the Essex Startups and University of Essex Careers Team will support you further in your alternative skills development.

What opportunities are there for further entrepreneurship study?

Entrepreneurship is one of our five core subject groups and forms a large part of our research repertoire for the Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship group which is based at Essex Business School Southend.

This means that we offer further study in entrepreneurship at both Masters and Research degree (PhD) level.

If you are interested in studying entrepreneurship at a higher level or want to take your own research in new venture creation and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to the next level, then you are welcome to apply for one of our postgraduate degrees in entrepreneurship:

Masters study

We offer three Masters degrees in entrepreneurship which allow you to specialise in either marketing, business or innovation:

Postgraduate research

Our Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Innovation,  Management and Internationalisation (REIMI) research centre focusses on research and training for entrepreneurship, innovation management and internationalisation. 

If your thesis explores issues such as; entrepreneurial disengagement, co-creation in social entrepreneurship, and cognitive entrepreneurship and over-optimism; then our supervisors would be interested in speaking with you about exploring it here at the REIMI research centre:

Entrepreneurship graduates

Our entrepreneurs

Our entrepreneurs aren’t just our Entrepreneurship graduates. Our alumni have had start-up success from across all our degree programmes.

Female student with long hair and white shirt stands at a large, curved whiteboard which is covered in writing with her pen poised.
The Entrepreneurship education we provide distinguishes due to the expertise and reputation we’ve developed. We have been up to the challenge of advancing entrepreneurship education on multiple fronts, from receptivity to a new era of education governed by new tools and rules. Our courses prepare students for an unprecedentedly uncertain future full of complexities which would be highly likely to bring them new roles, responsibilities, as well as challenges.
Dr Wei Liu Lecturer in strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship Essex Business School
Essex Startups

Got a business idea but don't know where to start? You do now! Essex Startups are the University of Essex start-up and new enterprise development service for students. Whether you have a business idea, are starting your business or already have an established business, Essex Startups can support with advice, incubation, bootcamps and funding.

Find out more

Discover our degrees in entrepreneurship