With growing numbers of people choosing to go into business for themselves, there are now more sources of advice for entrepreneurs than ever before. While they range in quality and independence, whether as a friendly ear, shoulder to cry on, or as a mean to finding finance, it's worth considering what they've all go to offer.
The Prince's Trust
At 21 years old, The Prince's Trust scheme has come of age itself. It provides financial assistance and business support throughout the UK (with the exception of Scotland which has its own scheme) and focuses on young people who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.
The cash on offer comes in the form of startup loans of up to £5,000 at 3% per annum and as part of the deal you also receive assistance from a business mentor. To apply, approach your local area office where you'll be expected to prepare a business plan to pitch for the money. Those aged 18-30 years old can apply for the Business Programme.
http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/ or call 0800 842 842
Since 1982 Shell LiveWIRE has helped encourage enterprise amongst those aged between 16-30 by offering year round help and advice. The range of business publications and training packs covers all the topics budding entrepreneurs need to know, from managing people to marketing and HR.
Shell LiveWire runs a monthly award offering a no-strings-attached financial boost of £1,000 to the five entrepreneurs who come up with winning business ideas. They also run an annual award scheme where entrepreneurs compete for a £10,000 prize and the title of young business person of the year.
National Business Register
One of the key issues you'll likely to have to tackle when starting up a new business is coming up with a name for your venture not already in use, registering it and any associated logos, trademarks and websites.
It's a complicated process but the National Business Register can be a big help as it can offer everything under one roof and only charges for the cost of registration itself. In addition it will also help you set up all types of UK and offshore companies quickly, efficiently and hassle-free.
Young Enterprise UK
Founded in 1963, Young Enterprise runs a range of business education programmes for over 150,000 youngsters every year.
Participants get first-hand experience in running a company through Young Enterprise’s partnership with over 2,000 businesses across the UK. The organisation aims to improve entrepreneurial skills at an early age, giving young people a valuable introduction to the business world.
Although most of Young Enterprise’s schemes are run in schools, the organisation also has a Graduate Programme and offers runs programmes for those aged under 25 in custodial institutions.
Run by an army of 11,500 volunteers, Young Enterprise relies on the business community and the government for support.
London-based enterprise group offering free support and councelling to young people. Launchpad aims to help young people discover and develop their enterprising talents and holds free workshops and events in addition to its free one-to-one counselling services. Anyone aged 14-30 is welcome, whether they've already got a business idea or not.
Striding Out's aim is to inspire, connect, promote and support entrepreneurs to help them achieve ultimate success. The Striding Out community consists of young, like-minded individuals who actively learn, support and connect with each other, to develop essential entrepreneurial skills and supportive relationships.
Striding Out provides each member with a dedicated business coach, who understands the individual business, facilitates connections and co-ordinates the delivery of services tailored to meet their needs.
The services include:- One to one coaching, Inspiring speaker events and dinners, Interactive learning and development workshops, Expert advice and online resources.