News story

PM welcomes scheme to help graduates start businesses

Entrepreneur First, a new programme to encourage entrepreneurship has been launched today, with recruitment of the first intake due to start this year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Launched on the same day as a series of measures to help enterpreneurs, Entrepreneur First will be a two-year programme, through which graduates with the most promising business ideas will get the opportunity to start their business, with the support of corporate mentoring, business training and networking.

After the two years, participants will have the option to continue building their own business or apply to graduate recruitment schemes in some of the sponsoring companies.

McKinsey & Company will join with Microsoft, Tesco, BNP Paribas, BT, Cisco, Qualcomm, Intel, Civil Service Faststream, L’Oreal, Allen & Overy, Diageo, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Shell, RBS, Silicon Valley Bank, City and Law, and Enternships to launch Entrepreneur First, a national scheme to encourage our most innovative graduates to start up their own business. This will be modelled on the pioneering charity Teach First which has successfully encouraged more talented graduates into teaching.

Welcoming the announcement, the Prime Minister said:

It’s great to see McKinsey and so many leading employers promoting enterprise and encouraging graduates that starting a business really could be for them.

Entrepreneur First will give graduates real support, unearth the entrepreneurs of the future and help them turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses.

The need for such a scheme is identified in a report on East London Tech City, published today by McKinsey with other corporate sponsors of the Tech City. The report highlights the importance of building capability and encouraging more people with entrepreneurial talent to set up start-ups. It sets out a range of options for developing the cluster, and maximising the opportunities for future growth.

Read more: StartUp Britain launched

Published 28 March 2011