Devon County Council funds programs for young entrepreneurs

09:32 July 14, 2022

A new project has been launched to help young people in Devon develop key employability skills and learn about entrepreneurship.

‘Young Entrepreneurs’ is being funded by Devon County Council’s (DCC) £6million recovery program in response to the pandemic.

Devon has a large number of SMEs and micro-enterprises. It is therefore essential to provide good quality entrepreneurship training to prepare young people for their future employment in the county if they plan to become self-employed or work in small businesses.

The Young Entrepreneurs project supports the delivery of entrepreneurship education across Devon, particularly in disadvantaged communities. It aims to enable young people to consider alternative routes to employment and will encourage them to pursue their ideas and aspirations to create new businesses and new products.

The initiative is implemented through these projects –

SETSquared and Volt Entrepreneurs Ltd:

The University of Exeter’s SETSquared works with students and graduates to come up with business ideas and create new products or innovations.

Devon County Council is supporting Volt Entrepreneurs Ltd to work in partnership with SETSquared to deliver an entrepreneurial program for young people aged 15-24 living and studying in Devon to expand opportunities in the county.

Participants will learn what it takes to launch a viable and sustainable business, and will include skills development workshops, mentoring, and small grants to turn their idea into a product.

Emily Davies, SETsquared Exeter Student Startup Manager, said: “The SETSquared Student Startup program at the University of Exeter has provided entrepreneurship education in higher education and beyond for many years, while the team at Volt Entrepreneurs primarily works with high school age groups. “

Dr Sawsan Khuri, co-founder and director of Volt Entrepreneurs Ltd, said: “The skills participants learn will equip them in whatever path to employment they pursue, challenge the limits they place on their own abilities and will provide them with hands-on experience to turn their ideas into businesses.

Youth Space Services:

Devon County Council is providing additional funding to Space Youth Services to expand the delivery of its creative workshops and incubation sessions with hard to reach 14-19 year olds.

Workshop participants learn about the steps needed to start a business. The program was designed in partnership with young people.

Richard Doak, Project Manager for Space Youth Services, said: “Space Youth Service’s innovative program has been co-designed with young people, to ensure that participants can adapt to their needs, level of competence and in their interest, keeping them engaged every step of the way.

“Devon County Council funding will help us bring our workshops and incubation sessions to a wider geography and help reach those who have fewer opportunities available to them or who do not see the creative and digital industries as a option.”

Young company:

Young Enterprise has been successfully providing employability and entrepreneurial education for nearly 60 years through workshops, challenges and its Enterprise Program.

With funding from Devon County Council, it is expanding its activities in Devon with a particular focus on schools with large numbers of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to enable a wider range of young people to develop skills, the skills and entrepreneurship acquired through participation in its programs. .

Young Enterprise offers shorter one-day challenges and programs, as well as a longer business program that gives participants the opportunity to start and run their own business with the support and guidance of local entrepreneurs.

Hannah Cook, Head of Partnerships, Young Enterprise, said: “Young Enterprise is delighted and proud to be working with Devon County Council to enable more young people to take part in our programmes.

“Meaningful opportunities and the support to maximize them are key to helping young people build their futures. Participants not only learn valuable skills to start and run their own business, but benefit from increased confidence, creativity and confidence. ‘an introduction to new possibilities for future employment.’

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