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Innovate UK launches new 3-year programme for Young Innovators

Wednesday March 11th, 2020

New findings from Innovate UK show that a half of young people in the UK think their age is a barrier to business success with nearly a third lacking the confidenceTug of War Business they need to turn their idea into a reality.

The findings are released as Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announces a £2.2m Young Innovators Programme in partnership with The Prince’s Trust.

The national Young Innovators Awards will go to 18–30 year olds with a creative and ground-breaking business idea to support them in turning it into reality.

The programme will support up to 100 young people over 3 years with individuals benefitting from a £5,000 grant, one-on-one coaching and an allowance to cover living costs.

The Young Innovators Awards programme was launched in 2017 and has already engaged 12,000 young people through a high-profile communications campaign, Ideas Mean Business.

The new Awards were announced by Science Minister Amanda Solloway on 8 March 2020.

Innovate UK spoke to 2,000 adults across the UK in a survey that explored the nation’s opinions and experiences with entrepreneurialism and innovation.

Other key findings include:

in the South West, nearly 50% would like their business/product idea to have a positive impact on healthcare

in Wales, 68% realise that a university degree is not essential to become a credible entrepreneur

in Yorkshire and the Humber, 70% think money is the main barrier to launching their own innovative business, whilst 1 in 3 think education and confidence hold them back

in the North East, 50% see that local innovative businesses are important to the community

in the North West, nearly 40% would like their business/product idea to have a positive impact on the environment

Previous recipients of the Young Innovators Awards include Adam Root, founder of Inheriting Earth, who has developed a device that helps to accelerate the adoption of a circular economy and save over 100,000 lives per year in the UK and globally by capturing plastic heading towards the ocean and jeweller Claire Skelton who uses traditional skills to produce hand-made contemporary jewellery from reclaimed metal.

The funding commitment comes ahead of UKRI releasing its 5-year vision for its work across equality, diversity and inclusion.

If you are between 18 and 30 and are interested in engaging in the programme, please join us at one of our upcoming Ideas Mean Business roadshow events across the UK to get expert advice and find out what support is available to you.

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