Sage teams up with Apprentice winner to create bright starts for young North East entrepreneurs

30 young people will get the chance to launch their business idea with expert mentoring from software giant Sage and other business leaders.

A programme providing a springboard to business success for young entrepreneurs has been rolled out in the North East, after software giant Sage teamed up with the first winner of BBC’s The Apprentice.

Aspiring entrepreneurs in the North East are being offered a brighter future through the launch of the Bright Ideas Trust charitable program, funded by Sage Foundation.

The trust – which has been highly successful in London – is the brainchild of Tim Campbell, the first to win BBC’s The Apprentice.

Now Bright Ideas Trust has unveiled its new, entrepreneurial programme Prosperitas in the region after receiving a £25,000 grant from Sage Foundation.

The new programme, which provides support to disadvantaged young people with the ambition to start their own business, will enlist 30 young people aged between 16 and 30 years with the aim of creating 10 new businesses by next June.

Catherine Marchant, CEO of Bright Ideas Trust, said: “The North East is an ideal location for young people to start a business and thanks to the funding provided by Sage Foundation we are excited to be launching Bright Ideas Trust in the region.

“Over the next few months, we will be working to identify ambitious young people from across the region who are interested in joining Prosperitas. We will also be reaching out to experienced entrepreneurs as we look to develop a network of mentors who will help to guide the programme’s young people through the start-up stage of business.”

Launched in 2007 as a registered charity, Bright Ideas Trust has the backing of proven entrepreneurs and business leaders who are passionate about helping young people to achieve success.

Mr Campbell said: “Bright Ideas Trust was created with the belief that every young person, no matter their background, should have the opportunity to participate in business and that socially excluded individuals should be supported to turn their Bright Idea into a commercially viable business.

“Since its launch, Bright Ideas Trust has already supported over 1,000 young people with business planning skills and have helped 250 entrepreneurs set up in business, assisting them to secure over £2m in start-up finance and creating over 300 additional jobs.

“Over the next five years we have ambitious plans to expand our activities across the UK, and as we move into our 10th year, what better way to mark this than by unveiling our first programme outside of London here in the North East.”

Leigh Thompson, Sage Foundation Manager, said: “We are delighted to support the expansion of Bright Ideas Trust.

“Sage Foundation is committed to taking action to build sustainable social, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities in our local communities and believe it’s simply the right way to do business.”

Young would-be entrepreneurs will be matched through Prosperitas with business ideas that are backed by research and data from local universities.

Each person will also be partnered with a mentor who will work with them for the first 12 months of the business operating. While they will also have access to up-to-date market intelligence and professional support with market research.

Staff from Sage will also act as mentors and volunteers to support the programme.

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