The real dragon’s den? New scheme sets out to help young people start businesses
The Welsh Government will support 1,200 young people to start their own business as part of plans to foster a new culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Wales, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething announced today.
Announcing £5 million over the next three years to deliver on the self-employment aspect of the ambitious Young Person’s Guarantee, the Minister said supporting young entrepreneurs will form a vital part of making Wales a place where more young people feel confident in planning their future.
The Welsh Government is determined that there will be no lost generation in Wales as a result of the Covid pandemic. The Young Person’s Guarantee will provide everyone under 25 in Wales with the offer of work, education, training, or self-employment.
The investment is included in the £20.9m a year commitment to extend the hugely successful Business Wales service beyond the end of EU funding in 2023.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Encouraging young adults to stay in Wales by building their careers and launching their own businesses here will be instrumental as we re-design our economy post-coronavirus.
“We see this as the start of a new era, which is why we are taking bold action to build a vibrant economy that provides opportunities for all as we sustainability invest in the industries and services of the future.
“Our young people hold the key to Wales’ future success. Their talents, skills and creativity are essential to ensuring our economic success. I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve for them all to fulfil their potential.
“By working together towards the vision we have set out for a greener, fairer Wales we can pave a path to prosperity for all young people, regardless of background.”
The £5 million funding will build on the success of Big Ideas Wales, run by the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service, which provides learning through workshops led by entrepreneurs and a network of Champions to aide transition from Further and Higher Education into the world of work.
Specialist support will be provided through a new Young Person’s Start Up Grant of up to £2,000 per business. This will support 1,200 young people that are unemployed, left education or training in the early stage of business to become self-employed.
Pre and post start up support will also be available for one year, designed to help individuals overcome any barriers to starting a business, including one-to-one business advisory support, entrepreneur mentoring, business planning and financial management.
Twenty-year-old Neath Port Talbot entrepreneur Poppi Kingsepp recently launched her own catering business with help from Big Ideas Wales and a Barriers To Start Up Grant of £2,000 from Business Wales.
She said: “Launching a business in the post-pandemic hospitality sector proved to be a challenge, especially for someone like myself who knew absolutely nothing about business. But Big Ideas Wales had so much valuable advice to offer me as a young entrepreneur and supplied me with the tools I needed to navigate this industry.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my business advisor, who turned up to each and every one of our weekly progress meetings armed with useful advice, helpful resources and lots of assets to help grow my business.”
Summer Start-Up Week 2022, a collaboration by Further and Higher Education institutions in partnership with Big Ideas Wales, began yesterday with more than 180 young people registered for the award-winning, free, online course to support young people’s transition from education into business.
The Economy Minister added: “The UK Government broke its promise to replace in full the EU money Wales was set to receive. The Welsh Government cannot replace the missing £1.1 billion but we are determined to support young people with the funding we do have. Our support is a down payment on the future success of a modern Welsh economy, powered by skilled workers and ambitious businesses.
“We will continue to press the UK government to back a Team Wales vision where talent is supported and the £1 billion promised to Wales is restored.”
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