We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded over £16,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation to help young people in West Cumbria develop their own business.
The funding includes £10,000 from the Beverley Trust Fund and £6,976 from the Live the Dream Fund and will support twenty 16 - 25 year olds, living in the Allerdale and Copeland areas, to access the online training programme and discover how to start their own business.
Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “It’s thanks to our fundholders and supporters that we are able to provide financial support charitable organisations like TEGVirtual. The past year has been particularly difficult for young people, with many seeing their plans for the future turned upside down. This funding will give them an opportunity to overcome some of the difficulties they might be facing right now by building confidence and gaining new skills that will stand them in good stead as they become young adults, while inspiring a new generation of young entrepreneurs.”
Those young people who gain a funded place on the course will learn about idea validation, accounting, marketing, sales, management, leadership and business development. They will be encouraged to think about starting their own business with the support of the TEGvirtual team and also have lifetime access to support through the peer-to-peer network.
The unique thing about TEGvirtual is that it is not just a grant to get people started or give a finite amount of support or backing. This is a lifetime support programme to ensure people set up a business in the right way and continue to grow and make it a success.
The impact of COVID19 is real and a worrying time for young people as exams are cancelled places at university in the balance and competition for jobs or apprenticeships on the rise. We want to show them that there is an alternative and that running a business could be for them. We want to inspire future entrepreneurs giving them hope for the future and helping the local Cumbrian economy! We are so grateful to have received this funding and know it will have a huge impact on those twenty young people’s lives.
TEGvirtual is for all aspiring entrepreneurs not just young people and we are applying for additional pots of funding to support other people. We want to help those who are unemployed, ex-services, ex-offenders and people affected by COVID-19 who may have sadly lost their jobs. We want to help as many people as we can start and grow their own business so are keen to access more funding to free up more places on the programme.
If you are aged 16-25, live in the Allerdale or Copeland area and have a business idea, we would like to hear from you.
In the first instance please fill out the application form to find out if you qualify for funding.
It is becoming the ‘norm’ across Cumbria that we are seeing people, entrepreneurs, going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. We see it every day on social media where communities have come together, usually lead by one individual, to take food to people who need it most and to organise drop offs etc needed in their community, usually for the elderly and the vulnerable. This has been mirrored across Cumbria throughout this pandemic.
Yet also across Cumbria we are not seeing or hearing much other than the odd email or link to a government website from our industry leaders other than to give more information for employers on how its intended to recover economically from this pandemic.
It was Sir Tom Hunter the Scottish businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who said, “The best social policy ever invented is a good job”.
We will need a greater emphasis on job creation if Cumbria is to come through this economic catastrophe ready for business.
Across Cumbria today boardrooms are alive with the chatter of ‘restructure’ and ‘how are we going to move forward’? It is without doubt that some of our larger organisations will be planning redundancies and job cuts.
Yet we do not have anything in place that sets out a plan for Cumbria’s youth and what they will do for a job going forward. There is no strategic plan in place to get us through this troubling time and beyond.
We already know that public sector finances will be under pressure for at least the next 10 years. We cannot borrow at these unprecedented levels and not have to pay it back. We will not find the new jobs here.
We know that we are unlikely to find new jobs created anytime soon in Cumbria as there is no pipeline for this to happen currently in place. That leaves two sources for these essential jobs.
We can import them from outside of Cumbria and internationally by attracting companies to move their offices and production operations to Cumbria, important as these jobs may prove to be, they can be precarious and at the whim of a distant head office.
It is staring us in the face, these vital new jobs will be created by people who want to start and grow a new business or social enterprise (the entrepreneurs) or those who have the ambition to drive growth from within (the intrepreneurs).
It is these people who will shape our future. These are the people we should celebrate, nurture and support. We should be putting entrepreneurs, the intrepreneurs and Cumbria’s entrepreneurial culture and spirit at the heart of any and all recovery planning. This will create our pipeline; this will help us recover. It’s not surprising, although a little sad, that very little or nothing of substance has been mentioned about entrepreneurs in any report or recovery plan for Cumbria in the last 3 months. If there is such a plan in existence.
Research by The Kauffman Foundation and the Enterprise Research Centre estimates that all net new jobs are created by new and young firms. Further still, growth companies and scale-ups create the most jobs of all, whilst representing only 5% of companies, they create 50% of new jobs.
The ScaleUp Institute’s research shows these firms not only create more jobs, they are also more productive, export more, generate tax revenue and do better for their communities. Is this not what we want for Cumbria?
It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs are Cumbria’s job creators. Entrepreneurs should be at the heart of our recovery strategy because they will create jobs. We know that they cannot do it alone, that is where the rest of us come in. They need our help, let us give it to them.
Keith McMean is MD and Founder of The Entrepreneurs Group Ltd
The article was inspired by Sandy Kennedy’s original article in the Herald.