Virgin Media Pioneers, a community created by Virgin Media to support young entrepreneurs to make their ideas happen, has marked its second birthday by celebrating governmental impact with an announcement in this year’s Budget.
Primarily an online resource for young entrepreneurs looking for support and inspiration, Virgin Media Pioneers combines networking opportunities, advice from guest entrepreneurs and chances to attend key events in the name of making ideas happen and reinforcing the importance of entrepreneurship.
Not just a resource, Virgin Media Pioneers is also a leading campaigning voice in the space. In 2011, Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, kicked of the Control Shift campaign asking young entrepreneurs themselves what changes they would like to see happen to allow them to thrive and proposer in the UK today.
Pioneers responded with an idea which they called the Youth Investment Fund, which aimed to financially support young entrepreneurs with business investment on the same favourable terms as Student Loans. Working as part of the National Youth Enterprise Working Group, Pioneers took their idea to Parliament to discuss how it would work with MPs at a roundtable event and won support from Boris Johnson and David Cameron.
Having achieved widespread backing, Virgin Media Pioneers were rewarded for their hard work in the 2012 Budget with the announcement of a £10 million nationwide pilot of a Youth Enterprise Loan. Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, emphasised that the Government believes “that everyone should have a chance to turn their idea for a business into reality” following the reveal and Sir Richard Branson said the scheme “has the potential to transform the prospects of thousands of young people [and] help prevent a lost generation of talent”.
The announcement of the scheme was the perfect way to celebrate 2 years of the Virgin Media Pioneer community and the successes of young Pioneers to date.
Sarah Hilleary, Pioneer and Founder of b-tempted agreed in reaction to the news:
“Congratulations! I was so pleased when I heard it [the Youth Enterprise Loan] announced and was delighted to have been involved! You’ve done excellent work since starting Virgin Media Pioneers only 2 years ago.”
To read more about their journey towards a Youth Enterprise Loan, visit the Virgin Media Pioneers storify page and check out their video below celebrating their 2 year anniversary..