New Entrepreneur Scholarship
(21 August 2003)
Durham Business School is taking part in a national programme to help potential Entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds into business.
The New Entrepreneur Scholarship (NES) is a national programme funded by the Learning and Skills Council and delivered at a regional level by University Business Schools and enterprise agencies working in partnership. Durham Business School is working with CDC enterprise agency in Chester-le-Street, alongside Teesside, Sunderland and Northumbria Universities.
People from disadvantaged areas and backgrounds often have the ideas and ambition to succeed in business, but find it hard to find support and finance to help them realise their ambitions. NES is aimed at supporting these individuals, through a 16-week-long programme of workshops and tutorials, to help them set up their own business ventures. The sessions provide the opportunity for people to improve their management skills and learn how to use these skills in their new business.
Scholars participate in a series of interactive workshops at Durham Business School which offer the opportunity to develop personal skills, together with a series of Business Planning sessions and one-to-one tutorials for individual support. Continued learning is supported through access to Business School IT and Library resources.
Rachel Orange, of Durham Business School said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds to access a learning environment that will support them in their entrepreneurial aspirations, and to obtain a substantial amount of start-up funding that may otherwise be unavailable to them. It’s a chance for many people to fulfil their dreams of turning a business idea into a real venture. The first group of scholars in 2003 have almost completed their course. They have been a joy to work with, learning from both the workshops and from each other, and are well on their way to success.”
Those who successfully complete the programme will benefit from a bursary of up to £3,500 to cover start-up costs. NES also gives the opportunity to study for an NVQ or University Certificate qualification allowing them to demonstrate to future employers, course leaders and customers the transferable skills learnt during the programme.
NES is funded by the Learning and Skills Council and managed by the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA), Association of Business Schools (ABS) and Prince’s Trust.
Rachel Orange, Durham Business School 0191 334 5130
Notes to Editors
- Following a small-scale pre-pilot in 2000, the programme was awarded funding as a national pilot by the Department for Education and Skills and the Learning and Skills Council between 2001 and 2002. The success of the national pilot programme exceeded all targets, with around 86% of 850 New Entrepreneur Scholars completing the full programme. So far NES recruits have set up more than 300 businesses, achieving around £3million turnover.
- More than 850 scholars have been accepted onto the programme since its national pilot in 2001 - creating over 300 new businesses. A large majority of the other scholars have gone onto full-time employment or have decided to return to education.