Loans help young people kick-start their enterprises
YOUNG entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas can begin shaping their future with a new start-up loan set to be launched tomorrow.
The Acorn Fund, part of the Government's StartUp Loan initiative, will offer finance and support to young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 24.
It is the latest idea to kick-start more businesses and tackle youth unemployment.
Peter Sykes, who manages the Acorn Fund and is responsible for administering the Government's Start-Up Loans programme in the Humber region, said: "With more and more young people finding it difficult to find any job, never mind the right one, this represents a fantastic opportunity to translate an idea into a commercial enterprise, particularly now a specific fund has been created to help support set up costs together with free mentoring."
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Loans will typically be about £2,500, with flexible repayment terms to suit individual circumstances.
The Acorn Fund follows the success of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank, which offers practical support and grants of up to £1,000 for 13 to 21-year-olds who need finance to set up or develop their businesses.
This loan has enabled youngsters across the region to start-up their own business and it is hoped the new Acorn Fund will have the same effect.
Luke Hills, 18, and Jonny Cowing, 16, have shared their passion for cricket through their new business – the Core Cricket Academy. Their business idea, which provides high-quality cricket coaching for school-age children, was helped along with a loan from the Youth Enterprise Bank.
Luke said: "We came up with the idea for Core Cricket Academy because parents kept asking if any coaches could provide extra coaching sessions they could pay for.
"We were confident that offering one-to-one coaching with video analysis and fun days for the younger juniors would provide an attractive mix of options for parents to choose from.
"It would also appeal to local clubs, as they would have more juniors joining them."
The John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank provided £800 for the business, which meant Luke and Jonny could buy the equipment they needed as well as some branded clothing for them and their coaches to wear.
Luke has plenty of ideas about where to take the business next.
He said: "Our first season proved there's a demand for our services.
"We've already agreed to provide our services to six other clubs and two more are interested.
"We intend to increase the age range we cover, too, and are already talking to primary schools about the under-nines, and to secondary schools and colleges for pupils aged 14 and over."