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Increased funding enables disadvantaged youth in Dorset to start businesses

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Grants of up to £2,000 are now available to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Dorset start their own businesses.

Dorset Community Foundation partners with businessmen Nick Robinson and Giles Smallwood to provide grants to young entrepreneurs ages 18 to 30 to help them buy stock and equipment, pay business-related rent and bills Launched the South West Enterprise Fund to provide gold. Applicants who must reside in Dorset and intend to start a business within the next 6 months or have been in business for less than 2 years must present a business plan and answer a question about ambition at an interview. there is.

Despite a lot of support and advice for young people looking to launch their first venture, Robinson said after realizing there was virtually no place to get the cash infusion they often needed, the community I approached the Foundation with this idea.

he said:

“It gave me the confidence to start a business and buy the kit I needed. We are not going to support the next genius healthcare app. We just want to help young people who are doing it and buying equipment.”

The founders, whom we met while working in finance, say they were impressed with the breadth and variety of applications they have received so far.

The foundation has already supported many projects, including artist Lucy Burns, who received a grant to boost sustainable ceramics businesses.

The 24-year-old sells sustainable themed kitchen and home products at Bridport Market every Saturday.

“I want to promote sustainable ceramic alternatives to single-use plastic, such as coffee cups and bowls with silicone lids and loose-leaf tea strainers,” she said.

A year ago she started a small studio in Uplyme near Lyme Regis called The Pot Place. Her first year of trading was encouraging, but rising raw material prices clouded the venture.

After submitting her business plan and interviewing Mr Robinson and Mr Smallwood, she said she was delighted to hear that she had been awarded £1,500.

she said:

“I started wondering if I was going to be okay, but meeting Nick and Giles and hearing that they liked my idea was so refreshing and refreshing. He did.”

She’s using the grant to buy new inventory of silicone lids and raw materials, and is investing in a new website so she can sell them online. She also started selling her own merchandise at her festivals.

Grant Robson, Director of the Dorset Community Foundation, said: Dorset has a wealth of business talent and some lovely stories to show just waiting for the right nudge and infusion of belief.

“We are extremely proud that Nick and Giles have entrusted us with this fund.”

The South West Enterprise Fund is accepting applications. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit