If you’re aged 18 to 30 and seeking funding for your new startup idea (or you know a budding entrepreneur who is), the Prince’s Trust could provide the support you’re looking for.
Launching a startup is a big challenge to take on at any age, but working out how to start a business at a young age can be even harder.
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For starters, you don’t have that valuable life experience behind you, meaning you won’t have made – and learned from – the mistakes that many older new business owners will have made. You may also have less startup capital available.
But all’s not lost – you’ll have youthful optimism and possibly more willingness to take a risk on your side, especially if you don’t have dependents and other responsibilities to consider.
There are some great sources of funding and other support out there, too, like the Prince’s Trust, helping you take your first steps to your first million.
What is the Prince’s Trust?
Founded by HRH, The Prince of Wales, the Prince’s Trust was set up to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK. It’s come a long way since it was started back in 1976.
The Trust now offers a wide range of resources and support, including business grants, courses and qualifications to help young people get into work or get a business idea off the ground.
Its current 10-year strategy is focused on giving one million more young people the confidence and skills to learn and earn, giving them an increasing stake in our economy and society.
What support does the Prince’s Trust offer?
The Prince’s Trust website offers a range of tools and resources for young people, including business tools for young entrepreneurs looking to start a business. You’ll also find sections on support to:
- find a job
- build your confidence
- manage your money
Business tools and resources
You can get your ideas down on paper to get a clear picture of how it could all come together, using the Prince’s Trust business plan template.
You’ll also find helpful information on funding for your small business, including the business loans available, budgeting, tax and insurance.
Funding for young entrepreneurs and their self-employed startup
It’s free to join the Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise programme, which gives people with small business ideas the skills, training and mentoring they need to succeed. It also gives you the opportunity to apply for a low-interest loan of up to £5,000 to get your business going.
Provided by the Start Up Loans Company, these loans offer a relatively supportive way of borrowing money for a business – they let you speak to someone about a payment schedule that works for you.
In some circumstances, grants for self-employed startups may also be available.
How to get Prince’s Trust funding
You need to be aged between 18 and 30 to apply for funding through the Prince’s Trust, and the first step is to sign up to their Enterprise programme. There are four stages to setting up your business, with lots of support along the way.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme
The Enterprise programme is available both face to face and online, and gives you the chance to see if running a business would work for you.
- Step 1: Info session – find out about the support available and receive an invite to a four-day interactive workshop
- Step 2: Workshop – meet other young entrepreneurs and speak to a business adviser about business planning, marketing, sales, budgeting, tax and more
- Step 3: Build your business – work with a mentor to plan and test your ideas, and apply for funding
- Step 4: Launch – present your business plan to the Prince’s Trust’s Business Launch Group, who’ll help you make sure your idea is viable and sustainable
Other funding for self-employed startups
If you don’t meet the criteria for Prince’s Trust funding, there are a number of other sources of funding for young entrepreneurs. Self-employed startup grants include:
New Enterprise Allowance
Available for anyone aged 18 or over, this type of startup funding may be available if you or your partner get Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance, or if you get Income Support and you’re a lone parent, sick or disabled.
Get the public to fund your new business idea by asking them to pre-order your product, buy equity in your company or contribute towards a low-cost loan.
Find finance and support for your business on gov.uk. You may find some types of funding specific to your area of the country or your area of expertise.
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
As a small business, you can use the vouchers, along with your local community, to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. The scheme lets you claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection, either individually or as part of a group project.
Let us know about your experience of applying for new business funding in the comments below.