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Could you be an entrepreneur in 2023?

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Open University students have turned their hobbies into successful businesses with the support of the OU – and so could you!

If you already have a side hustle or a great business idea, 2023 could be the year you turn it into a reality. And the OU has resources and support on hand to help you make it happen.

Get inspired by stories of OU student entrepreneurs who are juggling start-ups with their studies:


Photo of Karen Oliver

Karen Oliver 

Karen turned her health blog into a coaching business to support those struggling with eating disorders.

She’s now studying Psychology with the OU to expand her business into a private practice.

She said: “The support, resources, and advice I’ve received from The Open University as a student entrepreneur has been a game-changer for my business.

“The OU is set up and designed for distance learning, so I knew I would be well supported. I can fit my studies around all my other commitments as a single parent and business owner.”

 Photo of Nick Bassan

Nick Bassan 

Business Studies graduate Nick launched a smart-tech clothing brand while completing his degree.

After two attempts at university, Nick says the OU gave him the freedom and flexibility he needed to succeed.

“I was able to apply learnings from my course to both the job I work at and the business I’m developing. It was a match made in heaven,” he said. “I love the freedom that the OU gave me.  The OU are so well built for the digital age and perfectly suited to me as an entrepreneur.”

Photo of Allana Francis-Ashmeil

 Allana Francis-Ashmeil

 Known as ‘Coach Ace’ to her students, Allana launched her children’s coaching business during her OU Sport and Fitness degree.

After struggling with dyslexia at school, she says the OU gave her the support and confidence to succeed. And she’s now eager to inspire sports stars of the future.

She said: “I always wanted to set up a business in sport to ‘give back’. OU study made me feel I had the capability to do more.”


Photo of Carly McCluskey

Carly McCluskey

Carly from Glasgow launched a plant-based business during the pandemic with the aim to make breakfast more environmentally friendly.

She says studying Business Management with the OU is giving her all the skills and practical knowledge she needs to make her ‘vegan egg’ business a success.

She said: “My degree has helped me in so many ways, from learning the basics of accounting, so I can do the books for our business, to learning the basics of marketing to help promote it and create social media campaigns.”


How the OU can help you? 

Visit the OU’s Entrepreneur’s Hub for tips, resources and more inspirational stories to help you bring your business idea to life and make it a success.

Try our free OpenLearn Entrepreneurship short course which covers everything from coming up with that ‘lightbulb moment’ idea to financing your business.

So, if you dream of setting up your own business or charitable venture, or changing careers, what are you waiting for?

If these students can do it, then so can you.

Article by Carly Sumner Sinfield