Here at The Trust we’re very proud of our Enterprise programme and the many successful businesses it has helped to create (over 80,000 at last count). We know that it’s the unique combination of funding and ongoing mentoring support which helps vulnerable young people to be their own boss for a living, and now we can prove it.

Trust in Business, is a new analysis by Wavehill and supported by NatWest, which shows how businesses started with funding and mentoring support from The Trust are more likely to survive than those who go it alone. The research shows that 73% of Trust-supported businesses continue to operate into their third year, compared with the national figure of 61% (ONS Business Demography Data).

In addition, the research showed that qualifications need not be a barrier to entrepreneurial success – quite the opposite, in fact. The research revealed that of all Trust-supported businesses, young people who achieved fewer than five A* to C grades at GCSE level are just as likely to still be running their business in year two (77%) as those who gained a university degree (78%).

The report was launched at an event in Westminster, attended by Ministers, Civil Servants and self-employment experts. The event heard from Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Young, former Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister, Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial & Private Banking NatWest, and Young Ambassador, Gemma Owen. The attendees discussed how government, charities and other organisations can innovate to support the sustainability and growth of businesses.

The research was commissioned following an earlier report in 2013, which assessed the merits of the Enterprise programme. Keen to determine the longer-term impact of the programme and positive outcomes amongst young people, we created Trust in Business to look at the sustainability of the Enterprise programme.

Martina Milburn CBE, Chief Executive at The Prince’s Trust said: “We’ve long known that the level of qualifications achieved by a young person is no indicator of just how bright, determined or creative they are. Many tell us that they simply lack the confidence and the initial funding to get their ideas off the ground.

Despite the falling unemployment figures, an unacceptable number of young people still face long-term unemployment. This research shows that entrepreneurial success and a career are a viable and achievable option no matter what your starting position. With the right support, including loans and ongoing mentoring, the chances of creating a lasting business are not only possible, but actually very probable.

Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial & Private Banking at NatWest, the biggest corporate funder of our Enterprise programme, said: “We’ve been working in partnership with The Trust for over a decade and have witnessed the huge impact The Trust has on young people’s lives. From providing an income for themselves and their families, through to job creation or providing much needed products or services, the positive effects of the Enterprise programme spread beyond the individuals who are helped. If we encouraged more young people to start their own businesses, both local communities and the UK economy would reap the rewards.”