Headlines: January 10th, 2005

Self employment has a positive impact on those people that are socially excluded, offering a route to gainful economic activity, independence and self esteem. This is the conclusion of an assessment of the New Entrepreneur Scholarships, the innovative training and enterprise programme for people in disadvantaged areas.The assessment by Professor John Stanworth and David Purdy of the Westminster Business School, found that there were significant improvements in all the core business skills measured, and particularly marked improvements in the areas of financial management, marketing and business legislation. In the first year of the programme more than 60% of participants saw improved economic status and two thirds became self employed. The second year of the programme had only just finished when the research took place but even so a third of participants had already improved their economic status and a significant number expected to start businesses within three months.

The New Entrepreneur Scholarships programme is funded by the Learning and Skills Council and includes part-time management education to give the scholars the skills to develop a workable business plan and to see it through. The scholarships also provide support for various categories of start up cost, up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds, and a programme of on-going business mentoring providing access to support and advice at all times. The idea for the New Entrepreneur Scholarships came from the Treasury and was developed by the Department for Education and Skills through the LSC.