The only Welsh entry shortlisted at this year’s Enterprising Britain Awards – the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Inspiring the Vale Bursary Scheme – has been ‘highly commended’ in its category.
The bursary scheme, funded by the Waterloo Foundation, supported budding entrepreneurs in the Vale of Glamorgan, and was entered into the Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit category of the Enterprising Britain Awards following 49 recipients of the bursary launching their own successful businesses.
The Enterprising Britain Awards form part of the UK Government’s initiative to increase entrepreneurial activity, and is managed by Investment in Young People on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
One such example of ‘entrepreneurial activity’ is Monique Post, Joint Director of InAwe (International Autism Wales Education) and former recipient of the Vale Council’s bursary. She said:
“I always knew that running a business and working for myself would be something that would suit me best. I wanted to be independent, and found the Inspire the Vale bursary which gave me the ability to not only gain financial support, but also business support, which has been invaluable.
“The help and assistance I received from the Council meant that I could take the plunge already knowing the challenges I would face as a start-up. My business is doing really well, and I would recommend the bursary scheme to anyone who is thinking about starting their own business.”
The Inspiring the Vale Bursary Scheme is supported by the Waterloo Foundation and was created to provide bursaries for individuals and groups of young people aged 30 and under, who were intending to start a new business or community enterprise within the Vale of Glamorgan.
All funding has now been allocated and eligible applicants received up to £3000 to meet the costs of starting a business, following the submission of a 3 year business plan which was assessed by a panel for approval.
Additional support was given to applicants in the form of workshops, mentoring and boardroom sessions, to discuss the issues and challenges that might impact upon a business and the owner.
Applicants came from all walks of life and with different learning abilities, with extra support and time being provided to applicants with learning disabilities.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said:
“I am delighted that our Inspiring the Vale Bursary Scheme has gained recognition at the Enterprising Britain Awards.
“It is not just the financial support on offer that has benefitted the bursary recipients; they are supported by the skills and experience of our enthusiastic team to ensure that the proposed business launch is viable and ready to meet the challenges of their chosen market.”