Despite chancellor George Osborne’s claim that the UK is facing the “fastest fall in youth claimant count since 1997” during his Budget speech, British Chambers of Commerce report found that firms believe young people to be ill-prepared for the workplace.
On the back of the research, William Goodwin, the University of Bristol’s graduate entrepreneur in residence, explained that student enterprise “is starting to bloom” because there are not many “jobs out there so people are starting to make their own.”
But Goodwin suggested young people lack a funding source such as the EIS once they finish or quit university.
Since the EIS was launched in 1993, over 22,700 companies have received investment through the scheme and over £12.2bn of funds have been raised.
The organisation, however, is now targeting the young professionals by launching a junior branch entitled Green Shoots. The company said the initiative “provided them with the chance to independently develop their own networks, interest and awareness of the world of alternative investments.”
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The aim of the enterprise, EISA said, is “to create a space where members can meet and interact with early-stage companies, keep up to date on industry trends, as well as build early and lasting business relationships with each other”.
As well as holding regular networking events, Green Shoots will run bi-annual technical seminars to encourage members to come forward and share skills and knowledge.
There will also be an emphasis on reaching out to the entrepreneurial community, with the aim of building relationships with early stage companies, opening dialogue about EIS and SEIS and the role these schemes can play in early-stage investment.
Green Shoots is run by a committee of three: angel investor Sarah Abrahams of Grant Thornton UK; Fuchsia Curry of AngelNews; and Natasha Head of RW Blears.
Head said of the launch: “The EISA provides a fantastic space for professionals across the early stage alternative investment industry to come together and act as a single voice, and this has been our inspiration for Green Shoots.
“As the early stage company space evolves, so must the investment industry. With this in mind, we are excited to be launching Green Shoots, offering a new way for young professionals to connect with and support their trade body, build their own networks and learn from one another.”
Membership costs £100 a year.
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