Young entrepreneur secures government funding for new enterprise qualification

Carly Ward’s '12 Steps to Success' programme to be taught in UK schools and colleges

A 22-year-old entrepreneur has received government backing for a new enterprise qualification, which aims to teach young people how to start their own businesses.

Carly Ward’s ’12 Steps to Success’ programme is now a recognised qualification, which will be taught in schools and colleges to young people aged between 16 and 18.

The government will grant funding to educational establishments offering the programme, to pay for course content, training and support from Carly’s business, the Young Entrepreneur Society.

Carly founded the Young Entrepreneur Society in 2009, at the age of 19, after leaving school and struggling to find a job. Spotting a gap in the market for an educational programme aimed at aspiring young entrepreneurs, she conducted interviews with some of the UK’s top business owners to find out what it takes to set up and run a successful company.

These interviews, with entrepreneurs including Levi Roots, founder of Reggae Reggae sauce; Mike Clare, founder of Dreams, and Adam Balon, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, form the basis of the ’12 Steps to Success’ programme.

Eight colleges have already signed up to offer the course, which Carly is now looking to roll out across the UK.

“This is a major breakthrough for Young Entrepreneur Society and is the most exciting event to happen to the business since I started the company in 2009,” said Carly. “It took a year to get this through but has been worth the wait. Young people at school and college can now learn how to be an entrepreneur, which is so important in today’s climate of unprecedented unemployment among young people. 

“They can use these skills with any course they are studying as an additional extra if they want to consider having their own business one day.”

Carly is now planning to expand the programme with additional content and resources, to cover areas such as financial education. The news also follows the recent launch of the YES Network, a community where young entrepreneurs, aged 35 and under, can network and support each other.

Mark Prisk, business and enterprise minister, added: “We want to grow the next generation of entrepreneurs by ensuring that young people get hands-on experience of enterprise at school and college. That is why we have approved the new ‘Understanding and Exploring Entrepreneurship’ qualification for 16-18-year-olds across the country.

“I thank the team at Young Entrepreneur Society for developing this programme, which will provide young people with valuable enterprise knowledge and experience that could help them set up their own business in the future.”

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