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Young Enterprise gets £1.5 million Big Lottery backing

"Ten Towns" with high youth unemployment in line to benefit

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An enterprise education project designed to empower young people with confidence and ambition to succeed has been awarded £1.5m from the Big Lottery Fund.

Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise education charity will bring business volunteers together with young people from disadvantaged communities through a range of hands-on enterprise programmes.

The “Be Enterprising, Be Successful” project will create a life-changing journey for 16,000 young people from ten areas in England: Hackney, Bristol, Leeds, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Derby, Wolverhampton, Northampton, Liverpool and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

This investment comes after Young Enterprise last year launched their “Save a Lost Generation” campaign to reduce youth unemployment in each of the ten towns by encouraging local employers and volunteers to offer their time, expertise and money to support enterprise initiatives in local comprehensive schools.

Through the programme of demanding enterprise activities, led by inspirational volunteers from the business world, the initiative will improve the young peoples’ belief in what they can achieve, raise their aspirations and boost their employability skills.

Project leaders will monitor and evaluate the long-term impact by tracking the young people’s progress   both during, and beyond, the life of the project. This scheme is designed to show how sustained enterprise education can help young people in deprived areas boost their chances of staying in education or training and ultimately of landing a job.

Young Enterprise Chief Executive Michael Mercieca said: “We at Young Enterprise are grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for giving us the chance to launch this extraordinarily important project.

“We believe it has the potential to transform the lives of millions. Too many young people leave school without the softer ‘employability’ skills such as teamwork, communication, persistence and resilience that employers are crying out for.

“This is a major factor in the continued significant differential between youth unemployment and headline unemployment. The “Be Enterprising, Be Successful” project will provide a ground-breaking model for a long-term solution.

Michael Mercieca continued: “By working with schools for a sustained three year period and giving young people practical experience of business we will develop their employability skills and attitudes. In turn this will increase their chances of successfully entering the labour market or remaining in education and avoiding the terrible, lasting consequences of youth unemployment.”

Nat Sloane, the Big Lottery Fund England Chair added: “There are a great number of bright and talented young people, who are ready and willing to work hard in order to lead successful and fulfilling lives. Sometimes they just need a little help along the way and someone to believe in them. With the extensive experience and great support they receive from their business volunteers, the Young Enterprise project can inspire thousands of young people to succeed in the world of work.”

The young people who join the ‘Be Enterprising, Be Successful’ journey will take part in some or all of the following challenges:


  • An Entrepreneurship Masterclass under which real entrepreneurs share their experiences with students and challenge them to solve business problems.
  • The Tenner Competition where young people are encouraged to make as much money – and as big a difference as possible to their communities – in a month starting with just £10.
  • The Summer Activity Challenge, a programme of outward bound activities where young people will develop their confidence and team working skills.
  • The Young Enterprise Company Programme where young people set and run up a real business for a year with help from a business mentor.
  • Acting as mentors to their younger peers.




·     Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading enterprise education charity.

·     Every year we help 250,000 young people aged between 4 and 25 learn about business and the world of work in schools, colleges and universities. The students do this under the guidance of a network of 5,000 volunteers from 3,500 companies.This year more than 25,000 young people are taking part in our flagship Company Programme.

·     Young Enterprise campaigns to reduce youth unemployment, most recently through our “Save a Lost Generation” campaign and the linked “Ten Towns” campaign. This targeted Hackney, Bristol, Leeds, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Derby, Wolverhampton, Northampton, Liverpool and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where employers and volunteers were encouraged to offer the charity time, expertise and money.


For more information please contact:

Juliet Grant, PHA Media T: 020 74400 362, E:

Samantha Harris, PHA Media T: 020 74400 814

Kate Corry, Young Enterprise T: 020 7549 1980, E:


  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.
  • The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £30 billion has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.



The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.