A new national campaign has been launched to find the next generation of young innovators and turn their business ideas into a reality.
The Prince’s Trust and Innovate UK are inviting young people with ideas to fix everyday problems, make changes in their community or tackle environmental issues to take part.
The programme, open to 18 to 30 year olds from a range of backgrounds, will provide participants with support, advice and funding to exercise their entrepreneurial ambition.
A series of events will run across the UK through January 2018 to help develop the ideas of young adults, before a competition opens the following month. The final award package will be presented to winners in March 2018.
Research published to coincide with the campaign’s launch, conducted by YouGov, revealed the challenges faced by young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds when looking towards the business world.
The study found that 82 per cent of disadvantaged young people from disadvantaged backgrounds viewed the business sector as difficult to access.
Although over half wanted to run their own company, around four in five did not know where to get advice about setting up a business, with lack of funding cited as the main barrier.
Over one in three believed they had ideas for a product or service which they could sell, and Ideas Mean Business is hoping to develop their innovations.
Commenting on the programme’s launch, Ruth McKernan, chief executive of Innovative UK, said young people from diverse backgrounds still faced barriers restricting their ideas.
“A little advice, finding the right support and inspiration to succeed can make all the difference,” she said.
“By focusing on young people from diverse backgrounds and motivating them to see how their ideas mean business, we hope to unearth the UK’s future innovators.”
Lindsay Owen, director of policy and evaluation at The Prince’s Trust, said starting a business could become a “viable route to success” for thousands of young people across Britain, and provide a reliable income.
“Although many of these young people are evidently brimming with ideas and entrepreneurial spirit, a lack of confidence they can succeed appears to be holding them back,” Owen explained.
“While their concerns are understandable, in fact, their worries are unfounded; funding and support are available to help get new business ideas off the ground. The underlying problem, therefore, appears to be a lack of knowledge about what support is out there.”
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