Young entrepreneurs 'lack support'

MORE than a third of the East of England's young people want to start a business but a lack of support at school means few achieve their dreams, according to a new study released by youth charity The Prince's Trust.

MORE than a third of the East of England's young people want to start a business but a lack of support at school means few achieve their dreams, according to a new study released by youth charity The Prince's Trust.

A report marking 25 years of The Prince's Trust Business Programme reveals that 38% of young people in the region would like to start their own business, but less than 6% have actually done it .

More than a third (36%) cited high start-up costs as the biggest barrier to starting a business, while almost three-quarters (71%) believe that schools and colleges encourage safe, conventional careers rather than supporting aspiring entrepreneurs.

More than three-quarters (76%) of the East of England's young people also claim careers advisors do not mention starting a business as a career option.


You may also want to watch:


The Prince's Trust has helped more than 150 young people set up in business in the East of England over the past year and gives advice and support to people, from a variety of backgrounds, to become successful entrepreneurs.

Among them is Hannah Marshall, 25, from Colchester, who started her own fashion design business 18 months ago with help from The Prince's Trust.

Most Read

She left Colchester School of Art and Design College with a degree in Fashion and Textiles butd struggled to find a job in the fashion industry. She had a job working part-time but wanted to start her own business and could not find anyone who was willing to loan her the money.

With financial and business support from the trust, Hannah now runs a successful design company, and is due to be appearing in British Vogue and Elle in Germany.

Another person assisted by the trust is Paul Jackson whose business was launched in December 1991 and has now been running for 16-and-a-half years.

He has two shops called Bags of Fun which are party shops - the original shop in Colchester and another which opened in Norwich last year.

He launched the business after being made redundant from his job in finance at the local health authority and decided he wanted to be his own boss. He was given a grant - the Prince's Trust used to provide grants although it now provides loans - and has never looked back.

Graham Ball, East of England regional director of the Prince's Trust, said: “Young people are the spark plugs of the economy. This country has produced some of the world's most talented business people, but it risks falling behind when it comes to investing in young talent. The Prince's Trust is calling on the local business community to support more young start-ups.”

The survey of more than 1,000 young people nationwide also revealed their concerns about the current economic climate. However, almost one in five of East of England's young people (18%) stated that they would start their own business if they lost their job during a recession.

Almost half (45%) of young people interviewed believe that the United States does the most to encourage and support young entrepreneurs, compared with only 8% claiming the UK as the leader for enterprise.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of young people want the Government to provide tax relief and low-interest loans to young entrepreneurs. At present, 74% believe that only well-off people can afford to start a business in the UK and that today's entrepreneurs are most likely to be white, middle-class, middle-aged men.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus