Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise
Starting your own business, social enterprise or charity is a career option open to all academic backgrounds. Don’t be put off if you think you don’t have all the skills.
Starting your own business, social enterprise or charity is a career option open to all academic backgrounds. Don’t be put off if you think you don’t have all the skills (e.g. financial accounting, building a website etc). There’s lots of help available with any and all aspects of starting an organisation, both while you’re here at Oxford, and after you complete your course. You can also access complementary skills to your natural strengths by joining with others to “co-found” your new business, social enterprise, or charity.
Big shout-out here for EnSpire Oxford – THE go-to website to start your investigation of, and to help you navigate, this exciting world.
Many University of Oxford graduates have turned innovative business ideas into successful and disruptive start-ups. Dr Kyle Grant, founder of environmentally-friendly laundry and wet cleaning business, Oxwash, is a great example. Oxford University spinout Quantum Dice uses an innovative approach to IP and helping Oxford students commercialise next-gen encryption technology. Another Oxford spinout, Perspectum, has developed the first mainstream applications of artificial intelligence using MRI to help treat metabolic disease.
Entrepreneurship might suit you if you like being in charge, influencing other people, taking risks, making things happen and are adventurous, assertive, ambitious, and motivated.
- Independence to follow ideas and ambitions
- Geographical flexibility to suit your life
- Control over the environment in which you work
- The successes and rewards are all yours
- Choice in the work that you do
- Satisfaction in making the impact you want
- Opportunities for significant growth
- Often low/no income early-on
- No guaranteed salary, sick pay, paid leave
- Set-up costs: rent, equipment, insurance etc.
- Inherent risks of failure
- Can be hard to separate work from home life
- Initially, lack of interaction with a big team
- Accountability – it’s all on you and your co-founders