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Bristol students walk their way into becoming entrepreneurs

Published: Wednesday, 18 April 2012   Category: Graduate jobs

While most undergraduates leave their career decisions until the very last moment, a group of enterprising students at the University of Bristol are already flexing their business skills.

Conceived by medical student James Bogie, 20, from County Down, the free historical walking tour of the city is now set to become a real money-spinner.

Launched in 2011, the "narrative history" tour explores the characters and stories that have shaped Bristol's past. It has proved to be such a hit with visiting tourists that it is now being turned into a fully fledged business. The tour was originally targeted at freshers.

Mr Bogie said:

"There are some really great tours already happening in Bristol, like a pirate tour and a ghost tour, whereas ours is more of a general tour."

The tour’s creator is seeking funding to help make his business dreams a reality. He has set a £300 fundraising target through the Sponsorcraft website, which gives students the opportunity to appeal for fundraising support.

The site is the leading platform for student and society funding and funds only change hands when a project achieves its funding target.

Currently, tour guides work on a tips-only basis and Mr Bogie will use the funding to meet costs for the tour’s website, advertising and to print personalised maps of Bristol.

The tour runs on a Saturday and it focuses on the city centre and attractions such as Wills Memorial Building, Castle Park, the floating harbour and St Nicholas Market.

The government recently announced that it will back young entrepreneurs with funding similar in terms to student loans. The scheme will be piloted later this year.

The news was welcomed by Virgin Boss Richard Branson:"The entrepreneurs of today will be the job creators of tomorrow so I'm delighted that the government has listened to those at the very start of their careers.

"The country is full of gifted and enterprising people so this pilot, which crucially has business mentoring and support at its heart, will help prevent a lost generation of talent."

Do you have a business idea that you would like to pitch at your first graduate job?

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