A new scheme has launched to get young people to think about being Blackpool’s entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
The Blackpool Young Enterprise Solutions project aims to get more teenagers interested in starting their own businesses or social enterprises.
The plan is to reach 130 young people aged between 16 and 24.
They will get training, including interactive workshop sessions to explore and learn about enterprise as a career pathway.
Then 52 of these will be given further one-to-one support from experienced business mentors to see if they can set up their own business.
They will get on-going support throughout and beyond the lifetime of the project through peer support networks and business mentors.
The project is being run by four social enterprises, One Blackpool Ltd, Social Enterprise Solutions, 3E Partnership and Think Forward and backed with £50,000 from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Inspiring Enterprise Initiative.
Heather Waters from RBS said: “We are committed to unlocking enterprise talent.
“The aim of this project is to inspire young people to explore getting into enterprise and not simply about creating businesses.”
Tony Carr chairman of One Blackpool said: “Unemployment is a profound problem in Blackpool, where the number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants is 50 per cent higher than the national average.
“The contribution from the RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise fund will provide significant benefits, allowing us to work with unemployed young people to promote business and social enterprise as a viable career pathway.”
Becky Wells of One Blackpool said the plan was to get the project up and running this time next year.
She said: “This grant enables us to give young people who would not normally think about enterprise or have the opportunity, to get involved and have a look at running a business or social enterprise.
“We have got mentors and advice from experts and we will be putting them through an accredited course.”
David Slater business growth manager for Blackpool Council, which will be supporting the scheme, said: “This is going to give them a proper grounding in what it mean to run a business.
“Blackpool has grown up though its enterprising culture in the tourism industry which has thrived on innovation so if we can get that sort of spirit into the conventional business sectors that could make a real difference.
“This course will help the young people if they want to run a business or at least help them become better employees with a brighter future.”