Careers in Entrepreneurship

 

In brief

Launching your own business is a popular choice for LSE graduates. With poster boys such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, it has become attractive to create an enterprise alongside studying that can then be developed upon graduation.

Entrepreneurship covers a range of different career approaches, from creating a business, to thinking innovatively in a corporate setting, to approaching your career in an enterprising way. 

The key traits of a successful entrepreneur are: self-belief, disciplined dedication, strong money management, and a mix of flexibility and effective planning. 

Check out the LSE Generate programme, which is dedicated to supporting students as they build their business from scratch or consider entrepreneurship as a viable career path.

Where can you work?

  • New ventures – as a startup founder or small business owner, your focus might be creating a company or franchise, starting a new venture or business line within an existing enterprise, or commercialising a technology or piece of research.
  • An existing startup– many future business owners gain vital experience this way.
  • Business incubators and accelerators – companies that help new and startup companies to develop, e.g. by seed funding or providing services such as management training or office space.
  • Corporate entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship – institutionsacross every sector are affected by disruptive technologies. To survive, they have to adapt and develop their own innovative strategies. Graduates are often seen as attractive hires as they bring up-to-date knowledge on customer trends as well as a confident and more entrepreneurial mindset.

What's changing in the sector?

There is currently a strong focus on innovation to meet the demands of our ever-changing world and to solve the challenges that traditional work sectors are struggling to tackle – perfect for the entrepreneur.

Useful Websites

CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.

VentureLoop – the worldwide leader in startup jobs focused on venture-backed companies.

Crunchboard – the official job board of TechCrunch, leveraging their audience of 12 million readers each month.

Mashable – job board with resume and interview tips.

Angel.co – a platform for startups to raise money, recruit and apply to incubators. A great resource for startups and candidates to mutually choose one another.

WeWorkRemotely – lists jobs that aren’t restricted by location.

Authentic Jobs – a targeted destination for hiring web and creative professionals.

Startupers – job board that hosts thousands of resumes and CVs of people who want to work in tech startups.

Startup support

Great Business –provides useful links to a wide range of sources of startup advice in the UK.

Startup Britain – offers inspiration, resources and guidance.

Nesta – a global innovation foundation that backs new ideas.

LSE Generate – LSE support for student startups.

Useful Information

Routes in

Introduction

It is generally easier to gain experience from within a startup than a large global corporate and the flexible nature of the startup world offers you a multitude of ad-hoc opportunities to gain experience in this ecosystem.

If you’re looking to gain experience

There are many different ways into the startup world, and a proactive individual should be able to secure experience without too much trouble. Experience is often unpaid, so it is important to research the roles well and communicate clearly regarding your salary expectations. Startups that have recently received funding and are growing are more likely to offer remuneration.

Whether it is better to get training and mentoring within a larger organisation before jumping into a startup or launching your own business, is a hotly debated topic. Focus on your own skills gaps and career goals when looking to gain experience.

If you’re early on in your career

Be flexible about your starting point.

Consider startups where you can get in early in their development – usually companies with less than 10 staff members. This might be a less competitive option, and in a small organisation you'll get more exposure to the senior members of the company.

Apply for a job in an area you have experience in. Once you’re in, you can work your way internally to the area where you want to be. For example, if you have experience in sales but want to work on product development, join a company that needs sales support and prove that you are competent. Companies are more likely to give chances to employees who are already excelling in another area.

If you have more experience

Experience can be a bonus for startups, especially as they grow.  If you have already worked within entrepreneurial enterprises, you can probably cope with the ups and down of the startup world and have a resilient character. 

Even if the businesses you previously founded or were a part of were not successful, the experience of making that journey is invaluable and will often be looked on favourably by future business partners or employers.

It is often possible to source new roles through existing contacts, recommendations and the meet-ups that take place within the industry.  Networking is essential, and a proactive approach is important.

Not sure what to do next?

We’re here to talk over your career plans with you. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, so don’t feel you have to have it all worked out. You can book a one-to-one appointment with a careers consultant on CareerHub.

Job roles

There are many ways of experiencing the world of innovation.  We’ve outlined some of the major ones with links to where you can find more information. If you can, try and talk to someone who’s doing the job you’re interested in, or in the startup that you have your eye on, so you get a real flavour of what it’s like.

  • Business founder – therole most people would automatically associate with entrepreneurship.
  • Business development – requires a deep understanding of market trends. There are numerous product development roles which require staff members to look for new or existing markets for products.
  • Social media – develops brand awareness, increases online engagement and ultimately the customer base. There is often a requirement for content creation, from blog to video production.
  • Data research and analysis – reviews data collected about the product and helps the company channel its efforts in the correct direction.
  • Product management – requiresan in-depth understanding of how users engage with a product and builds a roadmap for the product’s success. Product managers carefully plan the release of new features and product versions.

 

Supporting roles

  • Venture capital analyst – evaluates companies, performs deal work and coordinates the firm’s data and reporting processes.  It is important to know what is going on in the market and to keep the partners up to date with the latest events and deals.
  • Fundraising – there are many ways to secure capital for a startup venture and there are many different roles available to fulfil this need, from individual angel investing through personal business capital to working for a venture capital company.
  • Consulting –from legal support to HR implications, external advice is often needed. Consultants can provide a fresh perspective, create a realistic budget or source the right people for the team.
  • Public policy – the aim is to develop better public policies that encourage and support entrepreneurial activity. Applies quantitative analysis, economics, finance and management skills to social problems.  For social entrepreneurs, the role of public policy is central when measuring impact and preparing to tackle future challenges.

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2️⃣ weeks left to apply for the University Challenge hosted by @CareInnHub! Interested in the social care sector a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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@sophieds27 Thank you for another fantastic presentation, Sophie, and for joining us for #LSEIOD 2019!

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