A fund that nurtures the next generation of entrepreneurial talent in Scotland is to receive a cash injection of £1 million to help more young people get businesses off the ground, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.
The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland (PTYBS) will receive the money to enhance its Revolving Loan Fund that offers grants of up to £5,000 to young people aged between 18 and 25 who wish to set up or grow their business.
Speaking at the Business in the Parliament conference at Holyrood, the First Minister announced that Scottish Enterprise, through the Scottish Investment Bank, would invest in the Revolving Loan Fund to increase the number of young people receiving help and stimulate yet further youth entrepreneurship in Scotland.
The new funding will allow The Prince’s Trust to expand its role in the Scottish microfinance market by helping it attract further investment and assisting the fund’s long term sustainability
The latest funding announcement builds on the Scottish Government ongoing work to tackle youth unemployment. Last month, ministers confirmed £25m of European structural funding would be focused on projects designed to get young people into work.
And this week, it was confirmed that a further £750,000 of European funding would be given to the Prince’s Trust to help more young people succeed in the jobs market through a mix of developmental support and vocational training.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The Princes Trust Youth Business Scotland helps disadvantaged young people who want to set up a business. It already assists approximately 600 new businesses each year across Scotland. Its Revolving Loan Fund, for example, gives access to a loan of up to £5,000 to help young people with the cost of setting up their business.
“I am pleased to announce that Scottish Enterprise, through the Scottish Investment Bank, will allocate £1 million of funding in 2012-13 to the Revolving Loan Fund. This investment will make a major difference to the impact of the fund.
“It will increase the number of loans the fund is able to make, and so open the fund up to more young entrepreneurs. And it will attract further private sector investment and boost the fund’s long-term sustainability.
“It will build on our ongoing work to tackle youth unemployment. It will provide access to finance to those who need it most – young people with dynamism and good ideas, who would struggle to get loans from the private sector.
“And we hope it will encourage more Tom Hunters, Alison Grieves and new entrepreneurs in the future.”
Scottish Enterprise chief executive and former PSYBT board member, Lena Wilson, said: "Providing companies with greater access to finance through a range of equity investment and loan funding to support their growth and competitiveness is our Scottish Investment Bank's key role.
"By providing this additional capital to the Prince's Trust Youth Business Scotland Revolving Loan Fund we are making a direct contribution to enhancing Scotland's youth entrepreneurship, providing real opportunities for young people who have traditionally struggled to secure start-up finance."
Heather Gray Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland added: “This landmark investment is fantastic news for young people who want to make their business ideas a reality. The Prince’s Trust, through its Youth Business Scotland programme will make sure young people in Scotland get the support and expertise to start, sustain and grow their own business.
“The timing of this award is excellent and in parallel with the recent European funding announcement will allow The Trust to reach over 7,000 young people in communities across Scotland, helping them into jobs, self-employment, training, education and volunteering.”
The Scottish Government appointed Angela Constance as Scotland's dedicated Youth Employment Minister on 14 December 2011 - the first ever such appointment in the UK.