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How can we support the next generation of entrepreneurs? Let's start with £160 million

5 min read

13 March 2019

We all acknowledge the power of a great idea. But how can you turn that promising idea into a successful business? If this question is something you ask yourself then the latest news coming from the Conservative Party should interest you. In conjunction with young people's charity, The Prince’s Trust, we're working together to make young entrepreneurial dreams a reality through lending and strategy support.

For many, the idea of appearing on Dragons Den is beyond their wildest dreams. But watching people pitch an idea they’re passionate about to potential investors shouldn’t just be the feature of a Sunday night in front of the TV; this should be an opportunity everyone can achieve.

– And we want to help more people realise this ambition.

In recent years we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in the number and success of young entrepreneurs, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet inspiring youngsters with bold ideas and passion who have turned their ideas into a reality.

I want the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit to result in even more success stories.

As Conservatives, we believe in creating the right conditions for entrepreneurs to thrive and create growth and jobs. This is why we’ve launched a new review led by The Prince’s Trust to help the next generation of young innovators see their ideas turned into a successful business proposition.

We will work directly with a wide range of young people with the potential to, or already in the process of running their own business to identify how we can go further in breaking down barriers many budding entrepreneurs face every day.

I know how terrifying it is to set up a business having done this myself in my twenties, and I know that I couldn’t have done this without the right support.

We know that acquiring the necessary investment is one of the greatest challenges entrepreneurs face, particularly when looking to grow their business.

This is why we’re investing heavily in those with ideas, including over £160 million being lent to entrepreneurs under 30 through British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme – helping thousands more people grow their business.

This is part of our wider strategy to help small businesses access the finance they need. Since setting up British Business Bank, we’ve already supported over 78,000 small businesses, providing them with more than £5.5 billion of finance.

We know that it’s not just about the money for young people thinking about starting a business

We understand that collaboration is integral to providing budding entrepreneurs with new skills, access to new networks, and the confidence to take the plunge and turn an idea into a business.

We now have a Local Growth Hub in every Local Enterprise Partnership Area across the country, supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs with new ideas by bringing together public and private partners to deliver tailored advice and support.

Our strategy is working, with more than 650,000 businesses launched in the UK last year, a record high, as more people are able to realise the dream of starting their own business. But we want to increase the number of young entrepreneurs, and we know that the right support is crucial to making this happen.

I saw first-hand the impact that tailored support can have when I visited The Prince’s Trust’s Morgan Stanley Centre.

The Trust is doing incredible work to support young entrepreneurs, helping people to develop the necessary skills and providing business mentors to guide people through the process of starting their own business.

This review will go further than ever before in identifying solutions for the challenges young people face so that we can build a diverse, dynamic and even more successful business community.

There is no successful country in the world that doesn’t have a thriving and energetic private sector.

Wealth created by businesses funds our vital public services – like schools, hospitals, and the welfare state to support people when they need it. You need one to have the other, a fact lost on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

We believe in business

As Conservatives, we value and respect the hard work that entrepreneurs do and the contribution they make to our society. Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are committed to providing the right environment to allow all young people to achieve the dream of running their own business.

This review will provide more young entrepreneurs than ever before with the opportunity to take a risk and to turn their bold ideas into successful businesses so that we can help even more people succeed in life.