Welsh fund boosts entrepreneurship

Ian Nash

Colleges in Wales have seen a four-fold rise in students learning to run their own businesses since the launch of a campaign to boost interest in private enterprise.

The Welsh scheme, which uses "entrepreneurship" mentors in further and higher education, is now being used as a benchmark for analysing the performance of entrepreneurship education in England and Scotland.

The scheme was introduced 18 months ago, with the creation of the Knowledge Exploitation Fund (KEF) to finance college and university-leavers in setting up their own businesses.

Since then, the number of students taking entrepreneurship lessons has mushroomed from 3,212 to 12,166, a survey by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde shows.

Pat Jones, Director of KEF said: "The findings of this survey are very encouraging and underscore the positive impact entrepreneurship training is having through FE and HE in Wales. However, it is clear we need to continue to do more.

"It is important in that it identifies areas where further work is needed and also, significantly, highlights where we have experienced the greatest successes in boosting entrepreneurship in education."

An earlier study showed more than 200 businesses have been created through the pound;34m KEF, which gives a pound;144-a-week subsidy to college graduates who start their own businesses.

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Ian Nash

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