Young entrepreneurs to receive increased support

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The next generation of budding entrepreneurs are being given the chance to run their own companies

Setting up a new business can be a daunting process and this can especially be the case for younger people who might not have the same level of confidence or experience as their older counterparts.

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has announced a new partnership that aims to address some of these concerns for young entrepreneurs.

Announcing a new partnership agreement with enterprise and financial education charity Young Enterprise, the pair will now provide young people across the country the chance to gain some valuable experience when it comes to the creation of a new business.

Pupils from schools in Birkenhead, East Ham, Bristol, Chatham, Arfon and Edinburgh are all being offered the chance to take part in the Company Programme - a project that will see them take up the reins of launching a new firm - a process that can daunting even for seasoned professionals.

The youngsters will receive mentoring at every stage of the start-up, with the aim of fostering  their passion and ambition for the world of work and for vocational education in particular.

Small business owners from their local area will be giving up their time to work with the kids, with each new business operating for the full academic year to ensure participants have the chance to experience the gamut of corporate responsibilities.

The youngsters will be given the chance to learn about every area of business operation,  ranging from creating their own design concept, to selling, marketing strategies and financial planning.

FSB national chairman John Allan commented: "Research has proven that if a pupil has four or more interactions with a business while at school, they are five times more likely to find themselves in education or training after school.

"If we want to develop the next generation of small business owners which will help carry the UK economy forward, then schemes like the Company Programme are important in showing that vocational learning is a valid and beneficial path offering long term career prospects."

He added that the project forms an integral part in ensuring the next generation are fully prepared to meet the rigours of the modern world of industry.

Mr Allan's sentiment was echoed by Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Enterprise, who noted business-focused education provides a sound environment for the learning of enterprise, financial and life skills at an early age - something that will stand these youngsters in excellent stead as they grow up.

"With this in place, we will see fewer young people falling through the cracks of the education system and more approaching the job market with the skills employers are looking for," Mr Mercieca concluded.