Undergraduates rush to follow Zuckerberg in search of billions group jumping the air

Undergraduates rush to follow Zuckerberg in search of billions

Research published by Direct Line for Business, the small business insurer, reveals a new generation of entrepreneurial undergraduates, with 15 per cent planning to start their own company after graduating.

London, 28th June 2015 New research [1] published by Direct Line for Business, the small business insurer, reveals a new generation of entrepreneurial undergraduates, with 15 per cent planning to start their own company after graduating.

Many undergraduates already operate their own businesses while studying. Over 52,000 [2] students currently run their own enterprise, in industries ranging from events promotion to software development and clothing design.

The Millennials - or those born between 1980 and 2000 - are entrepreneurial, ambitious, confident in their own abilities and fiercely independent. Of those graduates planning to start their own business, 45 per cent stated they were driven by the desire to be their own boss. Over a quarter, (27 per cent) believe they will earn more money by starting their own enterprise than they could by working for someone else. A worry over suitable job opportunities has motivated a further 19 per cent to contemplate starting their own company.

Male undergraduates display a greater entrepreneurial spirit than their female counterparts. One in five (20 per cent) male students plan to start their own enterprise post-university, compared to 11 per cent of female undergraduates. Given the billion dollar valuations of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s Google, which were both started while the founders were at university, it is little wonder undergraduates are inspired to set out on their own.

Those studying creative, arts & design courses at university are more likely than any other student to start their own business. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of those studying these courses plan to start their own company upon graduation. Those studying STEM subjects such as engineering, science and maths are the least likely (12 per cent) of all the university disciplines surveyed to consider starting their own enterprise upon graduation.

Percentage of undergraduates planning to start their own business upon graduation divided by course:


Creative Arts & Design



Medical & Dental



Business & Administration






Life Sciences






Human & Social





Jane Guaschi, Business Manager, at Direct Line for Business said: "This research goes to show that we are truly a nation of entrepreneurs. It's encouraging to know that companies such as Google, Facebook, Wordpress, Asceno, and even Time Magazine, which were all founded by students at university, are inspiring the Millennial Generation to strike out on their own. The latest generation of graduates is clearly fiercely independent and wanting to control the destiny of their own careers, rather than answering to anyone else."

"'Even though many student businesses are run out of rented accommodation, it's vital the operators consider protecting their stock and equipment to guard against the risk of business disruption. Home Business insurance can cover student business owners for public and products liability claims, which could be invaluable if they don’t have large assets to defend claims made against their enterprise."

Students seeking practical business advice to assist with starting or running their own business can find a wealth of useful information at the Direct Line for Business knowledge centre.

Notes to editors

1Research conducted by YouthSight in May 2015 amongst a representative sample of 1006 undergraduate students

2 Data analysis based on student undergraduate numbers supplied by HESA (http://www.hesa.ac.uk/)

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Amrit Nijjer
Tel: 020 7282 2803
Email: amrit.nijjer@citigatedr.co.uk

Direct Line Group
Simon Henrick
Head of News and Issues
Tel: 0208 313 5965
Mobile: 07833 166 717
Email: simon.henrick@directlinegroup.co.uk

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk

Small Business Insurance Press Release

Last Updated: 15 July 2018