Can you start a business straight out of school?

start a business

Can you start a business straight out of school?

A few weeks ago, we spoke about the pros and cons of earning a degree before you start a business. But what about if you know education just isn’t for you? There’s no one path in life that you have to follow. For some, school isn’t as engaging as the real world.

It doesn’t mean you can’t make something that works for you. You don’t need a degree necessarily; all you need is the spirit to work hard and build something. Today, let’s look at how you can start a successful business straight from school.

It’s 100% possible

Plenty of extremely successful entrepreneurs will have learnt all they know on the job. For some people, university and previous employment provide the perfect jumping-off point to start a business. But the emphasis is on some. It’s not always going to be the best fit for you, and it’s definitely not a requirement for a successful business.

Some people simply don’t get on with education and will find it stifles them more than it offers any benefits. In a survey, 5% of entrepreneurs didn’t complete school. And 20% completed school but went no further in higher education. So this certainly isn’t the road less travelled. 

The longer you spend in education, the more closed off you can become. After devoting so much time and money to one subject, you can find yourself pigeonholed, feeling it’s too late to switch lanes and change your mind. In this sense, being fresh out of school can make for a very open-minded, freeing approach to starting your own business. The world is your oyster, as they say. 

Timing is important

For some, further education provides the confidence, knowledge, and guidance needed to find their place in the business world. Then there’s some who want to complete a degree and get a few years of work experience in their chosen field before even contemplating starting their own business.

But others come away from school with enough passion, drive, resources, and life experience to know the timing is right. It’s completely up to you, your journey, and your personal circumstances. If the timing feels right, go for it. After all, it’s a fear of failure that so often holds people back – not a lack of knowledge or experience.

Here are some important factors you should consider.


Are you in a position to recognise opportunities, put yourself out there, show initiative, and see failure as a good thing? If your answers are all yes, you’re off to a great start. Your mindset will play a massive role in how you approach important decisions, overcome obstacles, and deal with setbacks.


While you don’t need to have endless money to start a business, you should be financially stable enough to support yourself and minimise risk. Also, have you established a valuable network, and/or found business mentors to support and guide you? Often, university is great for building your network, but there’s plenty of alternative ways to make new connections. If you’re starting from scratch, this should be a big priority at the beginning of your journey.


Experience doesn’t have to mean a decade spent in formal employment. Throughout school, have you been exposing yourself to the business world – whether that’s through part-time work, volunteering, internships, or simply doing research? 

It’s also worth remembering that there will be no singular perfect time for starting your business. If you wait until all your ducks in a row and everything is as you want it, you’ll be waiting forever. No matter where you are in life, at some point, you just have to take the plunge.

Focus on your passion 

Perhaps the best bit of advice for starting a business straight out of school is to focus on your passion and let it drive you forward. Following whatever it is you’re passionate about gives you an immense amount of drive and purpose. 

Passion and an entrepreneurial spirit will often outweigh the merits of a university degree or decades of work experience. If you trust in yourself, your idea, and are passionate about the venture, you’ll find yourself more readily able to learn from mistakes, bounce back from disappointments, and commit to the journey. 

There’s no set rulebook for business. When you feel ready, go for it. Whether you’re halfway through school or just finishing, there’s no such thing as too soon when it comes to making your business goals a reality. So long as you’re realistic with yourself and your circumstances, try to trust your gut and allow yourself the opportunity to learn and grow as you go. And, most importantly, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.

At Big Hand, we know the business world like the back of our hand. Our dedicated team are available to offer professional advice, guidance, and accounting service to keep your business journey as seamless as possible. To find out more, get in touch on 0161 327 2911.

About the Author:

Since 2013, Sophie has been an integral part of the Big Hand team. As a social butterfly, Sophie is mostly responsible for introducing new clients to the company. If you’re an avid networking, you’re most likely to meet Sophie at local events. Alongside attracting new business, she also assists with account management, and she manages payroll on behalf of clients. For fun, Sophie loves to keep fit running or playing korfball with her team. She is also in the middle of learning a new language and so her most recent challenge is attempting to read Harry Potter in Dutch.