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Why not become self employed or start your own business?

Do you like the idea of being your own boss? Making your own decisions? Start your own business?

You are not alone! Over 800,000 people in the UK started their own business last year and in a 2022 report 70% of 16 - 25 year olds said they wanted to start their own business. The most popular areas for business start ups were in fashion, finance, food and drink and social media.

You could also decide to use your training, skills and qualifications to work for yourself and become self-employed. For example, you could set up on your own and provide services such as; dog grooming, hair and beauty, IT and the largest sector of all with over a million self-employed people is construction.

Do you want your business to be about more than just making profit? If you care about people and the planet too, you may also be interested in setting up a company that makes money and also makes positive changes by doing good for the community and the environment . This type of business is called a social enterprise and they cover a wide range of businesses, such as your local coffee shop, bike hire business or farm. Why not find  out more about social enterprise watch this film.

Getting Help

The 2022 report said that young people who want to run their own business, need specific advice and help to make it happen: 

  • Relevant business advice, mentoring and support with a business plan and strategy.
  • Help researching and raising the funds to get the business off the ground eg start up loans and grants
  • Ongoing support from the business community, mentoring and training eg with digital tools or tax returns.

Most of the help is targeted at over 18s. If you are under 18 there will be lots of additional challenges, such as setting up a business bank account, getting credit, and raising loans. 

Get your business off the ground with help from these organisations

Princes Trust - Get help with writing your business plan, support from a mentor and up to a £500 loan to get your business off the ground with their free Enterprise course for 18 - 30 year olds. They also offer useful online tools such as a business plan template, financial and marketing tools.

Government Start up Loans - Borrow up to £25,000 and also free business courses available with the Open University. 12 months of free mentoring.

Virgin Start Up - 18+ Apply for up to £25,000 loan and get matched with a business mentor to support you with decisions.

HMRC- Advice, videos, webinars to help you if you want to run your own business or go self employed.

BT - Is running free online courses eg setting up your business - such as digital marketing and also a small business support scheme to help businesses with finance such as  going cashless.

Amazon Small Business Accelerator  - Want to sell online? Try these free courses and 1:1 advice. From website building to selling online, managing social media and cash flow.

Enterprise Nation - Free to join - Connect with other people doing the same thing as you and get help and access to training, funding information and regular business boot camps.

Start up Donut- Lots of practical advice about what type of business do you want to set up and has over 180 guides to setting up a specific business for example car body repair!

Social Enterprise UK - One of the fastest growing business sectors they contribute £60bn to the economy and employ some two million people. Some banks like Barclays offer special deals for social enterprises. Examples of social enterprises include the Eden project, The Big Issue and Divine Chocolate. 

Other Opportunities

There is no one way of making it as an entrepreneur as it depends on your motivation and attitude to risk, as well as skills, hard work and your business idea!

You may find an apprenticeship with a business gives you skills and experience you need eg training as a chef so you can then open your own restaurant. 

The University of Bath has an Entrepreneurship programme for undergraduates who want to set up their own business, providing lots of help and support to get you up and running.

Depending on your business idea you may decide to study a degree in enterprise too. These degrees will help you set up your own business.

UWE - Business [ Team Entrepreneurship] - an innovative degree - bring your business idea and get help over three years to set it up, apply for funding and run it as a business, supported by the university and your fellow class mates.

Entrepreneurship and Enterprise help you to start off and scale up

Princes Trust helped Robyn transform a disused horse box into a coffee place.

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