Enterprise Avenue: Celebrating 30 years of The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme

UK set for youth business boom

The UK could be on the brink of a youth business boom according to a new report by The Prince’s Trust and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

The Start-Up Generation - download the reportA new report by The Prince's Trust and RBS has revealed that thirty per cent of young people believe they will be self-employed in the future, while one in four expect to be their own boss within the next five years.

The research has been released as part of the celebrations surrounding the 30th anniversary of The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme.

While only five per cent of young people in the UK are currently self-employed, more than a quarter claim they are “increasingly” thinking of setting up in business.

In addition, the research revealed that more than one in four unemployed young people would rather try to set up their own business than continue to job-seek in today’s competitive market. Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of self-employed young people has already risen by 71,000 since the start of the economic crisis.

Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust, said:

This research reveals an increasingly entrepreneurial mood among young people. Five years on from the start of the recession, youth unemployment remains high and many are seeing self-employment as a way to break the cycle of joblessness.

“Setting up in business can be tough – but at The Prince’s Trust we have a 30-year track record of helping disadvantaged young people succeed in work and self-employment, no matter what their background. It is critical we nurture young people’s passion for business and invest in the next generation.”

Forty-three per cent of young people have already made money from entrepreneurial activity such as selling a product they have made or working on a freelance basis, and more than half hope to do so in the future.

Professor Michael Hay, Professor of Management Practice in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, said: “Traditionally Britain has lagged behind other countries in terms of the number of young entrepreneurs, but today’s report suggests that young people’s attitudes to self-employment are changing.

It is important that the next generation of young entrepreneurs get the support they need from organisations like The Prince’s Trust. In the current climate, helping young people to beat unemployment and set up businesses that employ other people can only be a good thing for the UK economy.

While 42% of young people have considered setting up in business, many are being held back due to worries about funding or not having enough support. More than half of young people say that not having enough money would prevent them from setting up in business, while a third claim that having a mentor would make them more likely to consider self-employment.

Chris Sullivan, Chief Executive of RBS's Corporate Banking Division said:

RBS has, for over a decade, actively supported efforts targeted towards young, unemployed people with a commercial idea, and the drive and ambition to start-up their own business.

He continued, "It is of particular importance in these tough economic times, to provide support for some of the most disadvantaged young people in the country. Through our ongoing partnership with The Prince's Trust we’ve seen first-hand the life-changing results."

The research also shows how 44% of self-employed young people feel more confident about their business than this time last year, while 40% expect to see business improve in the next six months.

30 years of the Enterprise programme

The Prince’s Trust is celebrating 30 years of setting up young people in business through its Enterprise programme.

The scheme has helped 80,000 young entrepreneurs to date with support from funders such as RBS.

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If you have a business idea, and are aged 18-30 (16 - 25 for Explore Enterprise in Scotland) and unemployed, the Enterprise Programme could be for you.

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Supported by RBS

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) is the largest corporate supporter of The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme, providing disadvantaged young people with access to funding and mentor support to enable them to start up in business.

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