There was you thinking students spent their whole time nursing absinthe hangovers with two day-old pizza and playing video games to avoid looming deadlines. Well, shame on you! What they’re actually doing as they sit for hours at a time, staring into a fluorescent computer screen is masterminding their own entrepreneurial game plans and starting up successful business ventures, so watch out because Gen-Y is set to take over the world one start-up at a time.

New research issued by insurance company Direct Line for Business has shown that more than 52,000 of UK companies are run by the country’s student population. Forget decades scaling the rungs of the career ladder, chasing that CEO titleUK students and self employment until your hair turns silver, these kids are one step ahead of the game and showing no signs of slowing down.

Of those students surveyed who are not already running their own micro-enterprise, 15% say that they plan to do exactly that as soon as they’ve got their cap and gown and waved a fond farewell to their higher education. Nearly half of these aspiring entrepreneurs explain that this plan of action has been motivated by a desire to be their own boss, with a further 27% believing that they will earn more money this way.

This new generation of independence has also been largely effected by a mass fear regarding the lack of suitable jobs. Nearly 20% of those surveyed expressed this worry and see starting their own business as a suitable way to bypass this obstacle and instead, carve a career path for themselves without having to rely on anybody else.

Interestingly, the research also revealed a distinct gender discrepancy when establishing students’ post-graduation entrepreneurial plans. While 20% of male undergraduates expressed a desire to start their own business after completing their studies, only 11% of female undergraduates reared their heads at the prospect.

Furthermore, those studying creative courses based in art and design were more likely to embark on an entrepreneurial venture after university, while only 12% of STEM (science, engineering etc) students showed interest in starting up their own business.

Business manager at Direct Line for Business, Jane Guaschi, said:

“It’s encouraging to know that companies such as Google, Facebook, WordPress, Asceno and even Time Magazine, which were all founded by students at university are inspiring the Millennial Generationto strike out on their own.

“The latest generation of graduates is clearly fiercely independent and wanting to control the destiny of their own careers, rather than answering to anyone else.”