I’ve blogged here before about young entrepreneurs, and recently I became aware of Virgin Media’s Pioneers program for young entrepreneurs in the UK.
In collaboration with Enterprise UK, the Pioneers campaign is based on the theme of “disruption”. Kids who are described as disruptive, day dreamers, distracted and stubborn can often, with the right guidance, go on to become successful entrepreneurs. Dissatisfied with the world they live in, these potential entrepreneurs disrupt the status quo in an effort to change the world.
The program’s recently published Entrepreneur Report features interviews and advice eleven of the UK’s most prominent entrepreneurs including Sir Richard Branson, Lord Heseltine, Sarah Curran and Peter Jones.
Of the 270,000 businesses established each year it is estimated that just 9% are started by people under 35. But around a quarter (24%) of young Britons say their dream job would be to run their own business. The report claims that the number of successful young businesses could be significantly increased by active mentoring, better use of networking and networks and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. The UK needs a surge in confidence to convert entrepreneurial ambitions into action.
Sarah Curran of My-Wardrobe.com is one of the entrepreneurs featured in the Pioneers’ report. Her advice to upcoming entrepreneurs is to “don’t be scared to surround yourself with people who are better than you. You will learn more that way also. It should never be about ego, it should be about building a business that everyone shares in its success.”
Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, said:
“Owning a brilliant business should be an opportunity open to all, not just be a dream realised by a small few. Britain’s ‘net generation’, with its access to technology and the digital world, has a fantastic opportunity but they need action. With rising youth unemployment and concerns about graduate opportunities, entrepreneurs need to be encouraged to have a go and play their part in the economic recovery. We’ve created Virgin Media Pioneers to help young entrepreneurs do precisely that.”
Peter Jones, BBC Dragon, chairman of the National Enterprise Academy and Enterprise UK, said:
"For me, unlocking the potential of Britain’s young entrepreneurial talent is essential to the future success and competitiveness of our economy. Now more than ever we need entrepreneurs to stimulate the economy so it is important that budding entrepreneurs have a place to go for information and advice which is why initiatives such as Virgin Media Pioneers are so valuable.”
To find out more, you can watch the videos below or you can visit the program’s website, where you can register as a young pioneer, upload videos and interact with other young pioneers and entrepreneur mentors: