Rising debt levels are failing to put off students from becoming entrepreneurs when they graduate.
Despite average debt soaring to £11,900 from £3,400 ten years ago, a study by the National Council for Graduate Enterprise (NCGE) and Barclays Bank said the proportion of graduates wanting to start up their own business has remained consistent.
Around 30,000 students, or four per cent of the current 750,000 undergraduates, wanted to set up on their own as soon as they left university.
At the same time, 67 per cent of students said they would consider setting up a business in the foreseeable future, either on their own or with others.
But the research found that high levels of debt were likely to cause people to delay or scale down their plans, with 57 per cent of students who would like to set up their own business at some point saying they would defer their plans until after their debts were paid off.
A further 18 per cent said they would scale back their plans, while around a quarter said they would continue regardless.
Ian Robertson, chief executive of NCGE, said: "Its very encouraging that committed entrepreneurs are not dissuaded by debt levels, after all, good entrepreneurship does imply acceptance of calculated risk, but all students need to understand that a degree of financial burden need not be an impediment to getting off the starting blocks."
Mr Robertson added that while 36 per cent of students thought their debt would have some impact on their ability to borrow money to set up a business, just three per cent had actually tried to source funding for their ideas.
However, the National Union of Students warned graduates that ignoring debt was not necessarily the best move.
Julian Nicholds, NUS vice president, education, said: "It is good to see that some graduates are managing to set up their own businesses despite the spectre of debt looming over them.
"However, we at NUS still firmly believe the priority for most recent graduates is finding regular employment as soon as possible to stop their debts from spiralling out of control, regardless of whether the jobs suit their skills, abilities or aspirations."
One graduate who knows the problems setting up a business is 22-year-old James Eder.
Mr Eder founded Student-beans - a discount and promotions website - after graduating from the University of Birmingham last summer.
The company now has 6,000 student members and works with 130 businesses across the city.
Mr Eder said graduates who are determined to set up their own businesses would find ways to get around the burden of debt.
"True entrepreneurs always find a way and there is support out there if you look for it," he said.
"Starting a business does not necessarily mean that you end up in even more debt. You can bring a business partner on board or apply for assistance through organisations such as The Prince's Trust.
"Also, as student loan repayments don't start until you earn above £15,000 a year, repayments shouldn't have to affect someone's decision to start a business."
Mr Eder believes the biggest barrier to student entrepreneurs is the UK's risk averse culture.
"People seem to expect failure in this country," he said.
"The majority of students are pushed towards graduate jobs with large organisations, because starting a business is seen as too risky.
"I think this is the biggest reason graduates don't become entrepreneurs, not debt."