Investing in business support research projects helps us to develop tailor made services to support young people. This can open up new pathways for young people to explore enterprise and gain support to reach their aspirations in business. If you would like to see a copy of any of our research then please get in touch to find out more.
‘Doing More for More’ seeks to promote and inspire self-employment and business start-up as a viable career option. It seeks to impact on the career thinking of young people first, to inform and educate as to the opportunity and potential of self employment. Second, to facilitate the founding of small businesses and third to support and promote the growth of successful businesses.
Over recent years we have been working in close partnership with students/staff at the University of Greenwich to research, develop and design an entrepreneur profiling tool. The tool will be used as part of our business support services to young entrepreneurs and aspiring young business people. It will enable the measurement of a young person’s personality/entrepreneurial traits in relation to becoming an entrepreneur/business person.
The profiling tool is in the final stages of being validated and has been designed in the form of a multiple choice questionnaire. Individual responses will be analysed and a profile produced that relates to that particular individual.
The catalyst for Kent Foundation coming up with the idea for this business support research was a 17 year old that approached us in spring 2010 with a business income of around £8000. This was a great success but they now expressed a wish for some business support – something of which they were not able to find in Kent.
This project funded by Interreg researched a business network for young people who need support in starting a business but are under the age of 18. Mission Locale St Omer was our French partner on this project and we collaborated with them to share our business support research findings.
The Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs Business Mentoring service has been extensively researched and is now the flagship service of the charity.
This business support research included development of the Mentors handbook, how to recruit, the application process, matching a Mentor with an aspiring young entrepreneur and a pilot project. Further development into best practice of Business Mentoring service was conducted through the Netforce 2 project funded by Interreg in partnership with Business Support Kent and several French research partners.
An investigation into the support needs for young people embarking on or running their own business ventures. It covered a variety of topics including:
– What is required by young people to start a business?
– What motivates young people to start a business?
– How ambitions of a young person relate to their actions.
– What has been offered in the past, was it successful?
– Do young people value enterprise activities?
– Does business support to young people have to be significantly different because of their age and if so how?
– What actions are required to improve the situation?
The EmPower research has been conducted primarily with a Kent focus; however supportive information relating to other initiatives has been sought outside the area.
Young people fresh from the learning environment at secondary level are still fundamentally used to a nurturing system. They may have aspirations or ideals that point them towards setting up a business but from that point on, the “Unknown” creates perceived barriers. A particular focus in this study was to gain insight into the “restrictors” and “enablers” that influence young people’s decisions. The business suppport research focused on two groups of young people:
– Students leaving 6th form or college and not going to university;
– Recent or new graduates from Kent’s universities.
Although it is appreciated that the findings specifically relate to Kent, they will ultimately have a wider relevance in the South East of England and the UK generally.
This study has been commissioned by the Kent Foundation to map existing business support for young people to start and grow their own business. This can then form the basis to identify if and how it can add value to the existing range of support already available. The analysis focused towards identifying initiatives at four stages:
– Creating a positive business attitude and culture
– Preparation for business start up
– Business start up
– Business growth