The graduate entrepreneur

Interview with...

Chris Wickson
Age:
26
CV:
Studied at Loughborough University
Business name:
RateMyPlacement.co.uk
Goods/services:
Hosts student work placements and internships, reviews and career advice
Location:
London
Trading for:
Three years
Ali Lindsay, Ollie Sidwell and Chris Wickson

Chris Wickson on whether he expects a surge in start-ups as graduates who struggle to get jobs start businesses instead...

“Absolutely, when I was at uni there was a real buzz around entrepreneurialism and programmes like ‘The Apprentice’ came along and people started to think, ‘I can start a business’. I don’t think the barriers for starting up a business is too high, and I don’t think it’s as hard as some people think.

“There are a lot of bright graduates out there who haven’t been able to secure job for whatever reason, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more graduate companies starting in the next year or two.”

There are a lot of bright graduates out there who haven’t been able to secure job for whatever reason, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more graduate companies starting in the next year or two

On whether Chris thinks age matters for entrepreneurs...

“We were all 23 years old when we started the business, and I don’t think age matters actually! The fact that there are three of us co-founders means we can bounce ideas off each other easier.

“I think if I was setting up a business on my own at Uni it would have been a lot harder, but I would say that age is not a barrier at all.”

On how they financed the start-up phase...

“Originally we all chipped in some of our student loans, so we all sacrificed a few beers and saved up some money in a pot to get the website up and running. Once we left uni we all entered graduate employment and kept the website running at weekends and in the evenings.

“We kept the costs low and took a salary from our other jobs until we reached the point where we felt we could quit those and concentrate on the business. Once we started to generate some revenue the company reached a stage where it could support us.”

 

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