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Why Young Entrepreneurs are Good for Britain

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP
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We have all dreamed of becoming our own boss, but thousands of young people across the country have already put their business plans into action.

With youth unemployment just under a million, young people are turning their hand to gardening, graphic design, baking and beauty therapy to escape the dole queue and kick-start their careers.

In the last year, more than 6,000 unemployed young people have received support from The Prince's Trust to set up in business, bringing the total number of young entrepreneurs we've helped up to 80,000.

For many young people, the transformation from unemployed to entrepreneur is life changing; giving them back the skills, confidence and motivation that being out of work has taken away.

In a survey last year, almost half of self-employed young people said that starting their own business is the best decision they have ever made.

But helping young people into business is not just good for young people - it's good for Britain too.

Not only do young entrepreneurs provide an income for themselves and their family - saving the taxpayer money - they also create jobs for others and provide useful products and services that fulfil a local need.

A new analysis by nef consulting and supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) shows how, in just one year, The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme has created more than £49.1m in social value to the UK.

These figures take into account the value created from young people's increased skills, as well as their earnings once they've completed our Enterprise programme. They also include the money saved due to the number of young people who are no longer on benefits or in trouble with the law.

By teaching unemployed young people the basics of business, matching them with a business mentor and providing access to start-up grants and loans, we are making an investment that will reap rewards for young people, communities and the UK economy.

Christine Blakeburn from Darlington is a great example of the many young entrepreneurs we've supported over the last 30 years. At 21, she was struggling to find work in her local area when she approached The Prince's Trust and became the first young woman to join our Enterprise programme in the North East.

Twenty-four years and three recessions later, her beauty salon - Beauty at The Top - is still going strong, employing other local women.

This year, we are celebrating 30 years of helping young people like Christine to succeed in business after struggling to find work.

As part of the celebrations, we've launched an interactive High Street on our website called "Enterprise Avenue," which depicts the changes in business throughout the last three decades.

We're also encouraging Trust-supported businesses to sign up to our online directory, so people like you and me know where to find the young entrepreneurs in our area.

So next time you're looking for a hairdresser or plumber, perhaps you would consider choosing a Prince's Trust business. You will be supporting the next generation, helping them to succeed in life at a time when jobs are hard to find. And by investing in young people, you will also be helping to boost the UK economy, regenerate communities and secure a brighter future for us all.

We are calling on Prince's Trust businesses from the past 30 years to come forward and get involved in our anniversary celebrations. If you were supported by The Prince's Trust, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/30Enterprise to be part of the celebrations.

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