We've know that "a job for life" has long been a thing of the past for the majority of students, however, attitudes towards traditional employment have become so acute, they've caught most universities off guard. Enter Gen Z, with a list of aspirations that includes flexibility, job satisfaction, diversity and control. A longing to work with companies that align with their values and share their beliefs. It's refreshing to see such endeavour but without the required training and support, are we setting students up for failure and disappointment? 

This new bread of freelancers are set to shape our industries and redefine success on their terms. Yet, embarking on a freelance journey is not without its challenges. A lack of business know-how and a shortage of support is resulting in high failure rates, not to mention the bias around ethnicity, gender and disability. But all is not lost. 

Xero, the cloud-based accounting platform, and the University of Westminster with its rich history of nurturing creative minds, has embraced the Rise, Freelancer campaign to help influence the lives of aspiring freelancers, increase the likelihood of success and set an example for others to follow.

The Rise, Freelancer campaign is an initiative set up by the Freelancer Club that stands for empowerment, resilience, and the pursuit of a life less ordinary. Xero, with its unwavering dedication to simplify the lives of small business owners and freelancers, recognised the need to extend its support beyond the realms of accounting. Collaborating with the University of Westminster, known for fostering innovative thinkers, was a natural choice. Together, they embarked on a journey to inspire, educate, and uplift the next generation of freelancers.

Through the Rise, Freelancer campaign, a carefully selected cohort of students from the University of Westminster has been offered a comprehensive 6-month programme that will open doors to a world of possibilities. The programme isn't solely about learning essential business skills (although there's an abundance of resources to scratch that particular itch); it's about equipping students with the confidence, mindset and tools to thrive in the competitive landscape of freelancing.

Among the group of remarkable students, Kareena Ravaliya's story struck a chord as an example of determination and resilience. A freelance graphic designer, Kareena's journey has been a testament to her tenacity. She has hurdled over obstacles, faced the uncertainties of freelancing head-on, and emerged stronger each time. The support provided by the University of Westminster and Xero is a lifeline that acknowledges her journey and fuels her ambitions. We spent the day with Kareena to learn more about her journey, challenges and aspirations as she embarks on the Rise, Freelancer programme. 

Xero's involvement in the Rise, Freelancer campaign is a demonstration of their commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels freelancers' aspirations. By offering financial guidance, organisational tools, and a platform that simplifies the complexities of running a freelance business, Xero stands as a true partner in the freelancers' journey to success. Their simplified offering, Xero-Go has been designed specifically for freelancers to ease the burden of managing finances. 

As Kareena and her fellow students begin their freelance careers armed with knowledge, resources, and a community of support, they're proving that with the right tools and mindset, success is attainable, no matter how steep the climb.