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Wales ‘the real Dragon’s Den’ say Welsh Government as they fund young entrepreneurs with £5m

21 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Poppi Kingsepp. Picture by the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government have said that Wales is the “real Dragon’s Den” as they announced that 1,200 young people will receive £5m to start their own business.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said that the aim was to foster a new culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Wales, after the UK Government “broke its promise” to replace EU money.

The aim he said was to make Wales a place where more young people feel confident in planning their future, and ensure there was no lost generation in Wales as a result of the Covid pandemic.

“Encouraging young adults to stay in Wales by building their careers and launching their own businesses here will be instrumental as we re-design our economy post-coronavirus,” Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said.

“We see this as the start of a new era, which is why we are taking bold action to build a vibrant economy that provides opportunities for all as we sustainability invest in the industries and services of the future.

“Our young people hold the key to Wales’ future success. Their talents, skills and creativity are essential to ensuring our economic success. I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve for them all to fulfil their potential.

“By working together towards the vision we have set out for a greener, fairer Wales we can pave a path to prosperity for all young people, regardless of background.”

‘Broken promise’

The £5 million funding will build on Big Ideas Wales, run by the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service, which provides learning through workshops led by entrepreneurs and a network of Champions to aide transition from Further and Higher Education into the world of work.

Specialist support will be provided via:

  • A new Young Person’s Start Up Grant of up to £2,000 per business. This will support 1,200 young people that are unemployed, left education or training in the early stage of business to become self-employed.
  • Pre and post start up support for one year, designed to help individuals overcome any barriers to starting a business, including one-to-one business advisory support, entrepreneur mentoring, business planning and financial management.

The Economy Minister added: “The UK Government broke its promise to replace in full the EU money Wales was set to receive. The Welsh Government cannot replace the missing £1.1 billion but we are determined to support young people with the funding we do have.

“Our support is a down payment on the future success of a modern Welsh economy, powered by skilled workers and ambitious businesses.

“We will continue to press the UK government to back a Team Wales vision where talent is supported and the £1 billion promised to Wales is restored.”


Twenty-year-old Neath Port Talbot entrepreneur Poppi Kingsepp recently launched her own catering business with help from Big Ideas Wales and a Barriers To Start Up Grant of £2,000 from Business Wales.

She said: “Launching a business in the post-pandemic hospitality sector proved to be a challenge, especially for someone like myself who knew absolutely nothing about business. But Big Ideas Wales had so much valuable advice to offer me as a young entrepreneur and supplied me with the tools I needed to navigate this industry.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my business advisor, who turned up to each and every one of our weekly progress meetings armed with useful advice, helpful resources and lots of assets to help grow my business.”

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

It is a no brainer to invest a little short-term cash in business start-ups for youngsters. I did a DWP sponsored course in 1996 and immediately stopped claiming out of work benefits, housing benefit etc and never looked back until retirement.
The savings to the taxpayer were significant as I had previously been declared unfit for work by a tribunal and could easily have stayed “on the sick” and not paid the tax I have for 25 years.
If one in four or five is encouraged to think in new ways it is worth the effort.

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