The Welsh Government’s Big Ideas Wales (BIW) programme aimed to help 16 – 24 year olds set up businesses. It offers a variety of different services but focuses on 3 key tactics; role models, challenge events and a comprehensive online resource.
Recognising inspiration as one of the key problems in youth entrepreneurship, Big Ideas Wales uses a forever growing network of Role models to inspire and mentor the next generation of young entrepreneurs. Divided into 2 categories, Role Models and Young Ambassadors and funded by the Welsh Government, they travel around to Wales delivering talk, workshops and networking events. These are mainly booked by educational institutions and youth organisations. Speakers are selected depending on their relevant expertise or business sector. After graduating from the probationary young ambassadors programme, Role models can choose to become a BIW accredited trainer. there are currently only 2 BIW accredited workshops but the organisation is looking to expand this further.
BIW has had a significant effect on engaging young people from and early age. Role models will regularly visit secondary schools. They also boast the ‘Enterprise Troopers’ – a team of superheroes who travel to primary schools (children afed 5 -11 years) encouraging children to be entrepreneurial and develop enterprise skills. In both cases schools are encouraged to engage with national events such as Tenner and fiver challenge Where children try to multiply their seed capital (£10 for 11-14, £5 for 5 – 11) have a look on twitter for some of the entries – #tennerchallenge @
For older young people and for those looking to start their businesses BIW run a series of bootcamp events and the Big Ideas Wales Challenge. These intensive course are designed to help participants get their ideas off the ground. (find out more here)
- Young ambassador are able to engage and inspire other young people.
- Young people with a specific idea can speak to a variety of different people.
- A good sense of community and chances for networking.
- Comprehensive online content and links to further information
- Multi level approach depending on individuals age and business age.
- Fun and approachable branding
- Support helpline.