Coutts & Co offer business bursary for social entrepreneurs

Nice to hear then that Coutts & Co, the private bank, has announced they will support the Cranfield School of Management with a bursary scheme to help ambitious social entrepreneurs take part in the world-renowned Business Growth and Development Programme (BGP) at Cranfield this year.

The BGP is the UK's leading programme for ambitious owners and managers and has run every year since 1988. It blends academic input, practical support and peer learning for those taking part.

With entrepreneurial activities and education for young people falling below par in the UK school system it's great to see funding provided for young businessmen and businesswomen by private companies, who don't necessarily have to participate.

For example, Enterprise UK polled 1,000 14-19 year olds across the UK during February to gauge attitudes to entrepreneurship amongst secondary school schools. Only one in five said they were encouraged to be entrepreneurial.

Last year, social entrepreneurs Ben Ramsden, founder of Pants to Poverty and Tim West, founder of Society Media both took part in the BGP thanks to the support from a Coutts bursary.

Ramsden says of the course: "I came on the BGP with a bursary from Coutts & Co when they suggested that we would benefit from some real hands-on and tailored support for our rapidly growing business. From the very first session I felt amongst friends who I could relate to in many ways.

"With BGP you get the theory, the tools, the practice, the support and the networks. Since the course, we have completely restructured the business, launched a new financing initiative, are implementing IT systems with support from another BGP participant and have a dynamic business plan to see us through to becoming the international underwear brand we need to be."

Andrew Haigh, a Managing Partner at Coutts, said: "We are very proud of our association with Cranfield and delighted to once again be supporting this excellent programme and through it, helping social enterprises grow."

The next BGP starts in May 2011. Three briefing events have been scheduled to introduce the programme and will take place as follows:

  • 15 March        London
  • 22 March        Birmingham
  • 29 March        Cranfield School of Management in Bedford.

Click here to book a place at one of the briefing events here or check out why 54% of entrepreneurs think enterprise education should start at school.

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