The nine not-for-profit organisations have been awarded funding through the latest round of Inspiring Youth Enterprise. This programme, run by RBS Inspiring Enterprise, is providing £500,000 in grants each year for three years to organisations that help young people explore enterprise, develop their skills and start up in business.
The winners include Ballymena Business Centre for its project Create 100, which will provide 10 young people who have an interest in starting a business within the creative industry sector with an opportunity to use retail premises in a prime town centre location. The 10 young entrepreneurs will also benefit from a programme of support in setting up their creative business in an Enterprise Hub environment for one year. They will in turn act as ambassadors and mentors to 90 other young people interested in learning about starting up their own businesses.
Melanie Christie Boyle, Chief Executive of Ballymena Business Centre, said: “This is the first project of its kind in Ballymena Town Centre. It will enable young people of all social and economic backgrounds to get involved, help build a better future, to be role models, and actively play their part in the regeneration of our high streets.
“I have no doubt that this project can inspire others to take up the challenge and will demonstrate how through a partnership approach including private, social and banking support, we can really make a difference.”
The League of British Muslims, a national voluntary organisation that supports Muslim-led voluntary and community organisations throughout the UK, has also won a grant for a project based in Ilford South. This aims to help young people who have been out of work for six months or more develop the skills to establish their own sustainable business enterprise and move off Job Seekers Allowance within six months of entering the project.
The project offers training in entrepreneurial skills, business principles, bookkeeping, and marketing; and offers one-to-one mentoring. It includes a three-month opportunity to learn how to run a business by selling re-branded donated products from retail partners.
The RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise funding will support all elements of the project, including equipment costs, volunteer expenses and training costs.
Bashir Chaudhry MBE, Project Leader, League of British Muslims UK, said: “This project intends to unlock the entrepreneurial spirit of 50 long-term unemployed young people. By encouraging them to develop and run their own successful and sustainable enterprises, the project will take these young people out of the benefit system and demonstrate how hard work and the right business ethic will enable them to earn considerably more from their very own business.”
More than 200 organisations applied for grants in this round of funding, and judging to decide the eventual winners included a public vote. Thom Kenrick, Head of Sustainability Programmes, RBS said: "The quality of applications received was really high, making it tough for the judges and, I’m sure, the voting public to decide on the eventual winners. We received over 4,200 public votes which is a credit to the shortlisted organisations".
The winning applications include a wide variety of structured programmes covering targeted training, skills and knowledge development, mentoring, peer support and a range of other ideas to help build and develop the key skills necessary to allow more young people to start up and succeed in business.
The full list of winners is as follows;
- Ballymena Business Centre; Create 100; Ballymena
- Bootstrap Enterprises; Enterprise Support for Young People in the Creative Industries; Blackburn
- Edventure Frome Community Interest Company; Start-up 360°; Frome
- Enabling Enterprise; Classroom Entrepreneurs; London
- Gateshead College; The Hive; Gateshead
- League of British Muslims; Mini-Enterprise Business Opportunities Support Scheme (MEBOSS); Ilford
- NYBEP Ltd; Off to a Flying Start; York
- Student Hubs; Engage, Inspire, Act; Oxford
- SCDA Ltd (Sussex Community Development Association); Young Enterprise in Action; Newhaven
Thom Kenrick added: "As these organisation get to work on their programmes, they will help and support thousands of young people on their entrepreneurial journey. RBS is committed to unlocking, supporting and nurturing entrepreneurial talent and we believe these organisations will help us achieve that goal."
For more information about how RBS is helping to support entrepreneurs, visit inspiringenterprise.rbs.com.