Ever since her time as a finalist on The Apprentice, Claire Young has been working tirelessly at promoting enterprise and innovation amongst Britain’s young people. With initiatives like Girls Out Loud where she motivates and encourages teenage girls to make the most out of their lives and also School Speakers where she provides UK schools with leading inspirational and motivational speakers, Claire has been a true champion of youth enterprise. And she has no plans to stop there! Claire has this month just launched another exciting initiative aimed at the teenage market – Teenbiz.
So during Global Entrepreneurship Week, TheEmployable felt there was no better person to talk about entrepreneurship and our young people to than the lady herself.
As Claire explains: “Since leaving The Apprentice 3 years ago I’ve worked across a number of enterprise initiatives which go into schools to encourage students into the world of business which are brilliant. However, the main feedback from teachers and students is that campaigns come and go; we are guilty of gearing up students to be enterprising and start their own business yet don’t provide them with a pathway to do this. TeenBiz is a scheme where any teen 13-18 can apply for business support. It is the UK’s first business start up scheme for under 18s. Currently, you can be company director at 16 but cannot get funding or a business bank account until you are 18 – it’s crazy and doesn’t make sense!”
The inspiration for Teenbiz actually came when Claire had a 14 year old work experience student in her office, who had an excellent business idea but no capital to help realise his dream. She knew that making him wait around 4 years before he could apply for funding was somewhat ridiculous – especially at a time when youth unemployment figures are so high and increasing numbers of students are not wanting to go to college or university. Teenbiz therefore could not be happening at a better time, in order to help students find an alternative pathway.
Clarifying how Teenbiz will work, Claire continued : “Over the next 3 years TeenBiz’s basic aim is to start 100 young entrepreneurs in business. Each winner will receive up to £500 funding, a business mentor and a ‘Business in a Box’ start up kit . This will include everything from office space, a website and logo design, through to business cards and office stationery . There is even a virtual PA service! “
Student applications can be made at any time by clicking here and the first grants will be paid out from January 2012.
Claire realises of course that her most effective “sales force” for Teenbiz is the teaching profession. Her aim is for every teacher in the UK to know about Teenbiz and therefore let all their students know about this excellent opportunity. But we can all do our bit too, as Claire explained : “Please spread the word about TeenBiz, if you see the link or details pass it onto someone. If you see it on Twitter do a RT. Businesses can play their part by donating, sponsoring a student or by mentoring. In fact, anyone interested in helping out can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .”
So, go on then, what are you waiting for?