Facilitating access to private financing, for both student and graduate entrepreneurs, is essential to help HEIs develop an entrepreneurial eco-system. Different approaches are used in HEIs and this is often determined by the local context and the strength of the local economy. Possible approaches include:
- Brining student entrepreneurs and investors together in networking events;
- Building relationships with local financiers to facilitate access to microcredit for student and graduate entrepreneurs;
- Educating about the potential of crowdfunding; and
- Business competitions and pitching events, where students have to sell their ideas to professional business people and investors in a very short time period.
Events and competitions can award prizes which offer an incentive for students to participate. Larger HEIs may have the resources to create seed funds for student businesses and award funds through a competitive process. It is also important to ensure that there are linkages between financial supports and training, coaching, mentoring and other personal development supports to ensure that student and graduate entrepreneurs can develop their entrepreneurship skills to increase their chances of successfully using the financing.