60 businesses unite to fuel young entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland

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More than 60 Northern Irish businesses have joined forces in a major show of support for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Backing the enterprise education charity Young Enterprise, these companies are a crucial part of the newly launched Business Backers campaign.

The initiative, responding to the success of previous programmes, is all about giving young people the tools and confidence they need to succeed in business, and it's catching on fast across the country.

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Young Enterprise’s aim is for all young people to have the chance to explore their entrepreneurial abilities whilst simultaneously developing additional skills that will serve them for both work and life.

Over 60 Northern Irish businesses have joined forces for Young Enterprise. Picture: supplied by Young EnterpriseOver 60 Northern Irish businesses have joined forces for Young Enterprise. Picture: supplied by Young Enterprise
Over 60 Northern Irish businesses have joined forces for Young Enterprise. Picture: supplied by Young Enterprise

Speaking of the initiative Carol Fitzsimons MBE, chief executive of Young Enterprise said: “Business is pushing to further develop the Northern Ireland economy and needs a skilled future workforce. By becoming a Business Backer, these businesses support our mission to develop skills and publicly demonstrate their investment and belief in young people.”

By working in partnership with education and business bodies, Young Enterprise engages with over 90,000 young people every year.

Without the support of Young Enterprise’s Business Backers, this simply would not be able to happen.

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The Business Backers campaign involves businesses pledging support to young entrepreneurs on a monthly basis.

Jordan Graham of Sugar Snap is one Young Enterprise Business Backers who has experienced the benefits of joining the scheme.

He said: “Finding that philanthropic outlet would really suit anyone in the business world. Young Enterprise is a really good option for that because you can directly support young entrepreneurs in what they’re doing”

Jordan also believes that the Business Backer programme doesn’t just advantage the young people it involves. He said: “To teach entrepreneurship and enterprise skills is for the benefit of the whole business community.”

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For smaller businesses interested in becoming a Young Enterprise Backer there are three monthly packages to choose from, with all resulting in investment within the local community.

Businesses can choose from the YE5, YE10 or YE25 programmes supporting either 5, 10 or 25 future entrepreneurs, depending on how much they are able to pledge each month.

Larger companies hoping to make a big impact can choose from Big Business Packages. These include the YE Impact programme that allows businesses to support 50 entrepreneurs a month and influences the entrepreneurship programme run by Young Enterprise. It also allows businesses to have involvement in the running and judging of the Young Enterprise Big Market and celebrate young entrepreneurs at the Young Enterprise Awards 2024.

The YE ESG allows your business to support 100 future entrepreneurs each month. The impact of this investment will leave a lasting legacy for both the economy and for Northern Ireland’s young entrepreneurs.

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Rachel McMillan is another Young Enterprise Business Backer. Rachel’s Belfast based company, Clockwise Offices, has been volunteering with Young Enterprise for a number of years.

She said: “I have to say that the confidence that comes through from the young people, the enthusiasm, it’s just so amazing to see, and the work that Young Enterprise does is so valuable for young people’s futures.”

Rachel also encourages any business thinking about becoming a Business Backer to go ahead and make the decision to do so.

“It’s so important that companies get behind this campaign, to invest in young people’s futures because they will drive the economy forward in the future as well.”

To become a Young Enterprise Business Backer you can enquire or join at https://yeni.co.uk/business-backers/

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