The Prince’s Trust partners with Innovate UK to launch #IdeasMeanBusiness

The Prince’s Trust has partnered with Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to not only find the next generation of UK innovators, but also provide them with much-needed support, advice and funding.

As part of the #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign, the organisations want to support 18-30 year olds from a wide range of backgrounds, who are simply looking to take their ideas to the next level. The initiative will enable applicants to quickly receive advice, guidance and the chance to get access to funding to help to turn their ideas into reality. The very best ideas will then be announced in March 2018.

Investor, entrepreneur and ambassador Deborah Meaden will meet a number of potential future innovators at the #IdeasMeanBusiness pop-up coffee shop in Angel, London, today, where the shop will give young people the chance to speak with Innovate UK business mentors and experts from The Prince’s Trust. They can also meet with successful young innovators with inspiring stories to share, including 19-year-old millionaire entrepreneur Ben Towers.

Dr. Ruth McKernan CBE and Chief Executive of Innovate UK says: “With our Women in Innovation initiative, the first of our infocus campaigns, we not only saw an 6% increase in applications from women, but women from across the country bringing amazing new innovations to life – from the optimisation of cancer treatments, to the creation of sustainable alternatives to animal products and even solutions to safer female solo traveling.

We aim to drive the same levels of success and positive impact with this new initiative, focusing on young people from diverse backgrounds and motivating them to see how their ideas mean business. We hope, in doing so, to unearth the UK’s future innovators.

Publishing a new report – Ideas mean business: Attitudes to innovation by young, disadvantaged adults – conducted by YouGov, Innovate UK reveals that unlike long-held social assumptions perpetuated by negative media articles, young people are far from uninspired. In fact:

  • Two in five young people (39%) have ideas for products and services they think they could sell
  • More than half (54%) young people would like to run their own company
  • But, just 8% describe themselves as entrepreneurial

Lindsay Owen, Director of Policy and Evaluation at The Prince’s Trust, adds: “For thousands of young people across the UK, starting their own business could be a viable route to success, and a sustainable income for themselves and their families. Although many of these young people are evidently brimming with ideas and entrepreneurial spirit, a lack of confidence they can succeed appears to be holding them back. While their concerns are understandable, in fact their worries are unfounded; funding and support are available to help get new business ideas off the ground.

The underlying problem appears to be a lack of knowledge about what support is out there. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Innovate UK because with the right support from organisations like ours and from Government, there is no limit to how much these young people can achieve.

Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust will also be taking the pop-up coffee shop to different regional locations by the end of the year, to continue inspiring the next generation of innovators that #IdeasMeanBusiness.


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