Work and Money
Hackney is the first Bright Ideas Borough
An organisation set up to help young entrepreneurs has gone into partnership with the local council to give a boost to young people with a good idea and some business flair.
You may remember Tim Campbell, the first winner of The Apprentice, who went on to spend a year learning from Hackney-born entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar? Well Tim's moved on to other things now, spending a good deal of his time encouraging other young people to get into business.
Tim set up a social enterprise called The Bright Ideas Trust (BIT) which aims to help young people aged 16-30 create and run successful businesses. Now he's teamed up with Hackney, to create a 'Bright Ideas Borough', to boost business opportunities for the area's young people.
Not only was Jules Pipe, Hackney's Labour Mayor, on hand to launch the initiative, but Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, arrived to prove the scheme has support across the political divide. Also at the launch was Fabien Soazandry, who is now Chief Executive of V O Graphics Overview and the very first beneficiary of BIT .
Fabien Soazandry (left), the first helped by BIT.
Tim Campbell commented, "We want to help young people get involved in business, to see that it is fun and that through business they can achieve success no matter what their background. If they have a bright idea and the commitment to succeed we will help them achieve their goals."
The Bright Ideas Trust takes an approach to its support which is not dissimilar from another TV show, Dragons' Den. It invests money and expertise into the fledgling enterprise and in return takes an equity stake in the business.
Tim Campbell says, "My message to young people is this: Anyone who wants to work hard and pursue a good business idea can be successful, especially with the right type of support. If you put your hand up for assistance then Bright Ideas Trust can help achieve your goals but if you’re looking for a hand-out then we’re not for you."
Boris Johnson was enthusiastic about the scheme saying, "I fully support this new approach to business support with a model that moves away from handouts and grants and provides valuable bespoke support and mentoring.’
A number of partners are supporting the Bright Ideas Trust's work in London, notably Bank of America, which has made its involvement with the Trust a key part of its charitable work in the UK.
It's estimated that youth unemployment costs the UK some £70 million per week in lost productivity and one fifth of 16-24 year olds are neither working nor in education. Bright Ideas Trust aims to go some way to improving that situation. Perhaps Sir Alan Sugar would get special satisfaction from seeing its work take off in Hackney, where he started out.
last updated: 14/11/2008 at 15:19