Going solo as a way of developing a career

Police were called to the Waterfront last night. Image: PeterCutts

Police were called to the Waterfront last night. Image: PeterCutts - Credit: citizenside.com

Finding out about freelancing at University special event

Kerri-Ann Hockley

Kerri-Ann Hockley

Ipswich-based insurance broker, PolicyBee, has partnered with University Campus Suffolk (UCS) to hold an event supporting students interested in going self-employed after their studies.

‘Go Solo’ will take place in the Foyer of UCS’s Waterfront building on Thursday 7 April, between 12-3pm. Students will be able to drop in, and speak to businesses and organisations providing advice and support on going freelance.

Many local businesses and organisations have agreed to offer advice at the event, including Eastern Enterprise Hub offering entrepreneurial support, Colchester-based Browser Media, offering marketing advice, Ensors Accountants advising on finance, and Ashtons Legal advising on the legal issues of self-employment. There will also be a number of local freelancers on hand to share their experiences with students.

Kerri-Ann Hockley, head of customer service at PolicyBee, said: “PolicyBee is committed to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs – particularly those local to us.

“We are very pleased to have so many fellow small businesses supporting the Go Solo event. It just goes to show the feeling is mutual among local businesses: we all want to help budding entrepreneurs in our region.”

PolicyBee worked with the Suffolk Business School at UCS to survey students about their opinions on becoming self-employed, and the support they wanted to receive at the Go Solo event. They found that 75% of UCS students surveyed were interested in becoming self-employed in the future. Nearly 90% of UCS students wanted the opportunity to speak with people who are self-employed, and over 85% of students wanted advice on the legal requirements involved in setting up their own business.

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Suzanne Nolan|, lecturer in employment development at UCS, says: “While UCS has a busy programme of careers events for students, this is the first time we have held an event specifically about becoming self-employed.

“Freelancing is a growing trend, so it makes sense that our students want to find out more about what could be a rewarding career choice for many of them. UCS students are serious about their futures, so we are glad to be able to offer them exactly the help and support they asked for in the student survey.”

Fundamental to the event is the support of the Eastern Enterprise Hub, a non-profit organisation supporting entrepreneurs in East Anglia.

Kim Trotter, learning manager at the Eastern Enterprise Hub, says: “In February, Ipswich was named as one of the top ten places in Europe to invest in business. We believe that supporting local graduate entrepreneurs will help invest in Ipswich’s future, by ensuring that local talent needn’t go further afield to seek the rewarding careers they deserve.”

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