Bright Ideas Trust

Creating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

For some young people who haven’t had the benefit of a stable education or home life, self-employment can be one of the few paths to success.

The Bright Ideas Trust was set up to support 16 to 30 year-olds not in employment, education or training to start their own business. The charity provided a comprehensive package of advice and support from a network of experienced business mentors and expert advisors, as well as access to finance.

Since they started in 2007, the Bright Ideas Trust helped create more than 250 new businesses and arranged over £1m in financing. The new businesses, in turn, have helped create 300 new jobs.

“We wanted to support the Bright Ideas Trust to help create more young entrepreneurs,” says Soma, Kusma Trust’s Executive Trustee. “The grant, which is part of our Small Grants Programme, means 60 young people will get specialist help and support, and a rare opportunity to start a business and turn their life around.”

  • Our grant of £10,000 was to fund 60 disadvantaged young people to go through the Building Bright Ideas programme.
  • 30 young people in London and 30 in the North East were recruited to the programme.
  • 30 to 40 young people took 20 business ideas forward.

Building Bright Ideas programme

The 12-month Building Bright Ideas programme included a series of regular personal and business skills workshops, run by experienced Bright Ideas Trust staff and volunteers from the business world. The young people then formed small teams and were matched with a mentor.

Alongside this, universities researched local business trends and opportunities. They presented the young people with their findings and business ideas in Idea Generation Workshops. The teams pitched for their chosen business idea, and were fully supported to write a business plan and an investor pitch for that business.

“Building Bright Ideas addresses a gap in provision – ideas generation – through a unique collaboration between business, higher education and the charity sector. We want to be the first initiative to work with universities and businesses to align well-researched business ideas with young people who are not in education or employment to drive innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Joanne Kelly, Head of Partnerships at the Bright Ideas Trust

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