Should you bring students to work on your startup project? Let’s figure out the answer from the following 5 reasons!

12 Nov 2017

Entrepreneurial projects have to overcome many challenges during their initial startup phases, from financial challenges that limit their ability to hire skillful human resources deducting large chunks of the limited budget to the rapid need for creative ideas, recognition, and reaching more customers. A startup team eventually finds itself overwhelmed by the increasing number of daily routine tasks while they better keep their focus on more crucial tasks.

Is it possible for entrepreneurs to delegate parts of daily redundant tasks to student interns or fresh graduates who have the passion to learn and gain experience by doing those simple tasks under the supervision of the main team?

Here are some benefits that will boost your project if you offer internship opportunities for university students or freshers who are willing to develop their skills in niches contributing to your project….


1. Saving the high cost of salaries by 75%


Saving the high cost of salaries

Photo source Enpact

Salaries eat big part of any project's budget, and with increasing workload, the need for human resources arise, cost of wages increase and sometimes keep growing until it goes out of control.

In countries with well-established markets (like Europe and USA), many entrepreneurs, especially those who are launching a startup company are keen to employ students (as interns or trainees) in their team instead of hiring more employees, while keeping a minimal number of experienced employees. This solution serves as a practical method to reduce costs, maintain work quality when benefit from their high potential to work and learn, and to exchange experience with potential calibers for the company's future.

Relying on student interns and trainees besides the main managing team at your startup will save about 75% of salaries budget compared to relying only on permanent full-time employees, as common practice is that trainees are paid about a quarter or one-third of the paid salary to the experienced employee. That is possible because of the fact that students would actually appreciate the non-financial benefits you give to them. They consider the certificate of achievement stating training period, accomplished tasks, or a recommendation letter to work in a friend company if they did over expectations, to be more crucial than money. That will ease a lot of procedures of your startup in initial phases or during the critical moments.


2. Reduce workload put on the main team and co-founders


Reduce workload put over the main team

Photo source Enpact

Startup team often includes a limited number of professionals and experts within specific domains (related to the core business of the project, software development for instance) in addition to financial and customer management domains. However, startups lack the workforce enough to execute the stacked tasks from three to five main departments.

Considering the first point mentioned above, trainees (students and fresh graduates) especially those interested in entrepreneurship are the best candidates to help with overload of tasks, since they appreciate such opportunity which opens new windows to learning new matters and gain practical experience -even if modest- under supervision and follow up by more experienced employees.

This way, if you choose the right trainees and manage them like your most valuable resources... Your founding or employing team members will manage to focus on planning, organizing, and supervising trainees whom, on their part, will carry on a big part of workload put over the managing team, so all parties would gain benefits.


3. Invest in future employees for your company


Invest in future employees

Photo source Enpact

Even big corporates face challenges to finding good technical human resources. Good calibers that have technical competency are rare, and conditions to change their positions are difficult. The loyal and comfortable work environment is one of the important reasons to provide in your company nowadays. In addition, -according to statistics- 50% of trainees come back as employees at companies that offered training to them, this time as more qualified employees with a sophisticated experience to add to the place that once has added to them when they were taking their first footsteps on their career.

As a startup, the efforts and time you invest in interns or trainees now are the best reward you provide to your company's future when it is growing and scaling. There will be in high need for young talents with highly creative abilities to pump new blood that drives it from a startup to well established small or medium enterprise with the ability to compete against bigger businesses.

Imagine how such small effort you exert now can contribute to the grows of your company by a professional team, who is believing in your idea and loyal to your project.


4. Indirect marketing to your brand, that gives it more recognition among university students


Indirect marketing to your brand

Photo source Enpact

Youth communities are known to be the most dynamic in any society. When students get trained at a company, likely they will share their experience with their colleagues and instructors, like his experience with his teammates, kinds of tasks he accomplished (not just reading theories in books), and the certificates he got after completing the training-ship. This creates what is known as indirect or inbound marketing, which helps increase the recognition for your brand among new audience through an indirect sale.

The students who join your team will be the biggest marketers of your brand and especially when they have contributions to it. You will have the opportunity to capture their impressions about your new products and services that target young customers and utilize their feedback and comments to develop the value you add to the customer.

Almost big corporates realized that true, it provides periodical internships or even job shadowing days to create new communities of fans and build their potential workforce that believes in their values and like their work environment. It is a big opportunity to build such communities that contribute in pushing your startup forward.


5. Students have high potential and will increase the overall productivity of your team


Students have high potential

Photo source Enpact

At the beginning of their professional life, youth are eager to learn and gain practical experience, develop new skills, and prove themselves. As an entrepreneur, you definitely need such initiative and creative spirit within your team, when managed well, to contribute to the creation of innovative products, services, and more creative methods for marketing.

Students more dynamism and fast pace performance come from their eagerness to practice and make the connection between the theoretical background and real-world applications, unlike employees that may be doing the work only for money. Additionally, students are more passionate for technology and quicker at perceiving and embracing new trends and inventions to communicate with the outside world, that is rapidly becoming inevitable necessities in today’s digital economy for the speed and efficiency of work and to exceed competitors even the more experienced ones.

University students and fresh graduates comprise the best options for your startup or SME firm to refresh its innovative abilities and expand their business through their creative ideas, enthusiasm for technology, and their strong motivation learn and apply their knowledge.

Investing in youth training, especially in flexible environments like startups paves the way for entrepreneurial projects in Arab region to succeed, and contributes to the solution of societal issues such as educational systems that lag behind job market demand, and helps the rise of promising projects, built by young teams, or at least for part of them.


Written by: Basem Mosallam and Ahmed Elessawy

Strategic Partners