Young Person's Start Up Grant

Following the pandemic, the Welsh Government is committed to helping young people in Wales under the age of 25, reach their potential with support to gain a place in education, training, help to get into work or become self-employed.

The Young Person's Start Up Grant has been developed as part of our commitment to the Young Person's Guarantee.  To make sure we understand the needs of young entrepreneurs, we have held conversations with young people through the Youth Voice and our Youth Agents who told us that accessing finance, business knowledge and confidence remain key constraints to starting a business.

Big Ideas Wales want to help you overcome these challenges and will play a key part in delivering support for young people to become self-employed.  This will help you learn about business, work with an adviser to prepare for self-employment and potentially access a financial grant to help you start up.

The Young Person’s Start Up Grant will be available up to 2025 to enable young people not in education, employment or training to start their own business, create a social enterprise, become self-employed, a freelancer or social entrepreneur in Wales.

A grant of up to £2,000 is available to help young people starting a business.  To ensure the business has the best possible chance to succeed, the grant will be available alongside a package of support that will include one-to-one advice, webinars to build confidence in business practices and develop plans for starting a business.

The package of support has defined learning phases so that young people can join at the stage best suited to their needs and allows them to progress at their own pace. So whether you need intensive support to get started or longer-term support to help think through and develop your business ideas, an adviser can talk through your needs and advise you on the best path; or a lighter touch that guides you through to launching your business.

Eligibility Criteria

A grant of up to £2,000 is available to help young people under the age of 25, living or returning to Wales to become self-employed. The business case will need to demonstrate that it has the potential to become the main source of income. 

Applicants need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • You must be unemployed and / or not in education or training
  • Currently working part time (under 16 hours) with the intention to become full time self-employed
  • Still in education but intend to become self-employed within 3 months of completing the course.

Sign up for our webinar!

The aim of the webinar is to help you in deciding if the grant is for you, and answer any questions you might have. Book your place here

Expressions of Interest

A link to the Expression of Interest (EOI) form is below

 Expression of Interest Form 

Following the EOI and prior to completing an application form, all applicants will be expected to undertake some pre start support with their business support provider.

Full Guidance Notes are available here

If you want to discover what it's like to run a business, you can join introductory sessions to meet our business advisors and experienced entrepreneur role models.  You can learn about the reality of running a business, talk through ideas, understand some business basics and help you make a decision whether starting up is right for you.  Access our Business Online Support Service (BOSS) and we can help you identify next steps to help you make an informed decision.

If you are interested in starting a business you may need support to develop your business knowledge, improve your financial awareness and budgeting skills.  You will be allocated an expert business adviser to provide one-to-one support to discuss the viability of the business idea and prepare a business plan, considering all aspects of business such as your customers and marketplace, legalities, employing people, costing and pricing, cash flow management, marketing and sales.  We'll also offer sector-specific workshops providing insights into the sector by experienced entrepreneur role models.

We also want to help you improve your business skills, such as problem solving, interpersonal skills and resilience and get advice from experts and good ideas from experienced mentors.

Depending on the complexity of your business model, we may refer you to our wider programme of support through Business Wales.

Once you have a robust business model and ready to start a business, Big Ideas Wales will provide ongoing one-to-one support, help you find a mentor and work with your to access financial support.  If eligible, this could include advice to help you make an application for the Young Person's Start Up Grant of up to £2,000 to help you with business costs.

As part of the Grant, we want to help you build a responsible business and advice will be available to consider approaches to equalities and sustainability.

Big Ideas Wales will also continue to work with you once your business is launched to support you through the crucial first year of trading.

This will allow us to check in and ensure you have a mentor with Big Ideas Wales, provide guidance on business essentials like HMRC Registration, employing people and further funding to develop and grow.  We will signpost you to further support through Business Wales to exploit digital developments, skills or employment, support to help you sustain or grow the business.

A business sustainability health check-in after 14 months of trade.

Building sustainable relationships are an essential component of entrepreneurship. Big Ideas Wales will create and facilitate opportunities for clients to build contacts, get help and share challenges with fellow young entrepreneurs so they never feel alone in their journey. Support could include access to networks of young people and young entrepreneurs through the Big Ideas Wales Bootcamp and other workshops as well as more informal opportunities.