Young entrepreneurs’ boost into business

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BUDDING young entrepreneurs are to be given a boost into the business world through an innovative new festival.

Business-savvy 16 to 30 year olds can learn how to launch their own enterprises, from ‘the very best of creative, quirky, unusual and mainstream business’, at the Fresh Festival.

The event, which is part of the Bury St Edmunds Business Festival, on September 14 at The Apex aims to inspire and explore hidden talents in the wake of record youth unemployment.

Simon Pickering, youth and community officer at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “It’s a really good opportunity.

“A lot of young people I work with don’t really know what to do with their future because university is too expensive and they don’t want to be stuck in a job they hate.

“We’re trying to promote the third option, which is starting their own business.

“It should be a really exciting event and we’re hoping to have a music festival kind of atmosphere.

“There will be some really interesting business people who will be on hand to give advice.”

As well as live performers, there will be a chance to connect with artisans and music entrepreneurs plus representatives from the creative media, fashion, food and digital applications sectors.

A Dragons Den-style challenge will give business candidates the chance to pitch their ideas and receive mentoring.

Other business minds on hand to share their wisdom will include graffiti and tattoo artists and the Theatre Royal.

There will also be workshops, seminars and hands-on creativity activities – showcasing the many employment opportunities and options available.

Sherry Fry, head of school of participation at West Suffolk College, said: “Many of the people coming along are established entrepreneurs and juggle a number of different jobs.

“It’s about getting people to think beyond the regular nine to five.”

When asked about the necessity of such initiatives when the young jobless rate stands at more than one million, she added: “It’s hugely important. The Government’s agenda is about raising the participation age and trying to get young people to stay in education, employment or training.

“We find when young people set up in business they’re very creative and their enthusiasm almost makes them fail-safes.”

The festival is organised by the borough council, the college, Menta and the Theatre Royal with support from the Prince’s Trust.

Any entrepreneurs who want to participate and share their knowledge with young people, should contact the organsiers on (01284) 716560.