Budget 2012: Enterprise loans for young people

Getting young people to start their own businesses is tough. Currently only a small percentage of graduates start their own businesses after leaving university. How can the government help? Here’s what Chancellor George Osborne had to say on enterprise loans for young people in his Budget speech.

The summary:

The government will consider loans for young people to start a new business, following a model promoted by Sir Richard Branson.

From the horse’s mouth:

Chancellor George Osborne said: “I can tell the House, we are also exploring the idea of enterprise loans. Young people get a loan to go to university or college. We now want to help them get a loan to start their own business.”

Our verdict:

This is a positive step towards tackling youth unemployment and stimulating entrepreneurship, but as ever, the devil is in the detail. How will the government set up this scheme? Will everyone be eligible – or just recent university graduates? How much will be available and how will it be funded? Who will decide whether to give a loan or not?

The number of young people not in training or education is signifiant – up to one in four in some towns and cities – so this funding could provide a much-needed opportunity, if handled correctly.

Your verdict:

Adam Soliman, the 24 year-old founder of Charbrew Tea: “The Youth Investment Fund needs to be implemented – it would be a great catalyst for increasing social mobility and giving young entrepreneurs the leg up they need to create their own businesses. With joblessness in 16 – 24 year olds hitting one million – the highest it’s been in 20 years, this is a ground-breaking opportunity to unlock the potential of our future wealth and job creators.”

Mark Pearson, founder of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk: “This could be the watershed moment the UK economy has been crying out for. Cameron has said that he wants the next Facebook to come from the UK, and it’s finally looking like they’re doing something about actually helping this to happen. Our economy’s future relies on the bright ideas of the young people of today, and it’s fantastic news that they’re actually going to be given a helping hand.”

Mark Hanington, director of operations at VC firm Find Invest Grow: “Although lots of people with business ideas are coming to job centres, not everyone has the right skill set to start their own business. But those that do should be given the best possible chance to flourish.”

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