Pioneering for Change
Young entrepreneurs’ campaign wins multi-million pound Budget initiative!
Remember our feature on Virgin Media Pioneer's Control Shift event last November? Well back then is when the first seeds of the Youth Investment Fund were planted and VMP being the pioneers that they are decided to take on the government and campaign to get the Youth Investment Fund implemented. We're pleased and proud to announce that on Wednesday 21 March the budget announcement wasn't all bad news, no! for the young person with a business idea and a dream the Budget 2012 has made getting funding that little bit easier. Read all about it below.
The efforts of young entrepreneurs from the Virgin Media Pioneers online community have won the creation of a £10 million nationwide pilot programme to provide greater financial support for start-up businesses. In the 2012 Budget , Chancellor George Osborne announced the start of a Youth Enterprise Loan Scheme which will support entrepreneurship amongst young people through small, low interest, loans.
Members of the Virgin Media Pioneers community – an online network for young entrepreneurs created by Virgin Media – have been advising Government on how to help the UK economy recover and prosper through encouraging enterprise.
The Virgin Media Pioneers community has been challenging the convention that a young person could easily get a loan to study business, but not on equal terms to start one.
Zoe Jackson, founder of Living the Dream and a Virgin Media Pioneer, said: “When I raised the possibility of such support for young entrepreneurs with the Prime Minister earlier this year I was greatly encouraged by his interest. So today’s announcement of a Youth Enterprise Loan Scheme is fantastic news for those out there with business ideas that are being held back by a lack of funding. With the right support and mentoring this money will make a real difference for so many young people and for enterprise across the UK.”
Ronke Ige, founder of Emi & Ben and a Virgin Media Pioneer, said: “Every large company starts small. I want to be an employer; I want to create jobs in London. Yet I’ve experienced first hand how difficult it can be to access relatively small amounts of funding. I am very happy the Government recognises the role that entrepreneurs and small business can play in the recovery of the UK economy and this Youth Enterprise Loan Scheme will make a big difference to those wanting to set up their own businesses.”
Abdul Khan, founder of ratethatcurry.com and a Virgin Media Pioneer, said: “A Youth Enterprise Loan Scheme is great news and just the sort of financial help young entrepreneurs need in this tough economic climate. Running your own company is never easy but, with the right support and mentoring, this could transform the aspirations of a lot of creative, ambitious young people who want to go it alone.”
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, said: “This has the potential to transform the prospects of thousands of young people. The entrepreneurs of today will be the job creators of tomorrow so I’m delighted that the Government has listened to those at the very start of their careers. The country is full of gifted and enterprising people so this pilot, which crucially has business mentoring and support at its heart, will help prevent a lost generation of talent.”
Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, said: "This Government thinks that everyone should have a chance to turn their idea for a business into reality. That's why in the Budget this year we announced we are setting up a Youth Enterprise Loan scheme.”
Find out more about Virgin Media Pioneers at www.virginmediapioneers.com