Make the numbers add up

Finances for university can look like a minefield, but getting to grips with the system is relatively straightforward, says Rob Fowler, the co-ordinator of the student money advice and rights team at the University of Derby. The key: apply for loans early, prioritise accommodation costs and don’t ignore budgetary warning signs.

The first step is to cover course fees, which most students will do via a loan from the government. The tuition fee loan, which is not means-tested, is paid directly to the university; once students have applied and been approved, they don’t really need to think about it again until it needs to be repaid — more on this shortly.

Read more in The Times

“I believe in entrepreneurs knowing no boundaries”

Entrepreneurs should know no boundaries, says Pavegen founder Laurence Kemball-Cook – and yes, that includes risking a brush with the law to get your idea noticed

Thirty-year-old Laurence Kemball-Cook has more than a whiff of a Richard Branson about him: charming, enthusiastic and perfectly happy to take a few risks in the name of a marketing stunt.

For a start, a bit of building site breaking and entering was the only way he could turn the idea he came up with at Loughborough University – paving and floor tiles that generate electricity from footsteps – into a business.

Read more in Strategies for Growth

Guardian sustainable business award winner: finance for good category

The Social Stock Exchange (SSX) wants to bring impact investing – investments which have a social or environmental benefit while also making money – to everyday, individual investors.

SSX is targeting both retail and institutional investors. The more people it can get involved in the social investment market, the more capital will be available for businesses that want to increase their social or environmental impact by scaling up. In the last year SSX’s member companies collectively raised £400m, including the construction of 800 affordable UK homes, 78,000 tonnes of CO2 saved through clean energy, and 8,300 people accessing new healthcare facilities.

Read more on the Guardian  website

Freelance journalist and writer