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British Prime Minister David Camero, talks to young entrepreneurs Lenique Louis at the Prince's Trust headquarters in London as part of the government's launch of StartUp loans initiative and publication of Lord Young's report on enterprise, Monday, May 28, 2012. (Sang Tan/AP)
British Prime Minister David Camero, talks to young entrepreneurs Lenique Louis at the Prince's Trust headquarters in London as part of the government's launch of StartUp loans initiative and publication of Lord Young's report on enterprise, Monday, May 28, 2012. (Sang Tan/AP)

Small Business Briefing

Britain targets young entrepreneurs with new startup loan program Add to ...

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PM hopes to tackle unemployment, create 'wave of enterprise'

Britain is pinning some of its hopes of economic recovery on young entrepreneurs, with the launch of a new startup loan program.

The "StartUp Loans" scheme announced today will lend up to £82.5-million over the next three years to youths aged 18 to 24. They'll get a typical £2,500 apiece to help start up new businesses; the money must be repaid within five years, with interest charged at the level of inflation plus 3 per cent.

They'll also get mentors to offer guidance, connections and networking. James Caan, a star of the British Dragons' Den TV series, has been appointed chairman of the program.

The government hopes the program will help create a more entrepreneurial culture as well as create jobs for the young, whose unemployment has hit record levels.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he hopes the program will unleash 30,000 new startups in a "wave of enterprise," according to a variety of reports, including this one in the Financial Times, this BBC report, this one in The Telegraph and this Sky News report.

A report by the prime minister's enterprise adviser, Lord Young of Graffham, calculated that Britain would have 900,000 more businesses if it had the same rate of entrepreneurship as the United States.

Dress shop 'likes' boost from Facebook marriage, but awaits payoff

There's nothing like the attention that can take a business from obscurity to fame when the rich and famous come shopping. The latest beneficiary is the Denver dress salon, Little White Dress Bridal Shop, where Priscilla Chan purchased the $4,700 gown she wore to marry Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, notes this Wall Street Journal photo gallery.

The locally owned and operated store saw a "dramatic increase" in traffic to its website and a jump in appointments for fittings following the wedding, the store's owner, Cate Malone, told the Journal.

And the dress's creator, Los Angeles designer Claire Pettibone, told the Journal she received a handful of orders for the dress from retailers within 48 hours of pictures of the dress making the media, and her website traffic also exploded.

But, Ms. Malone may have to be patient for the real payoff: Though traffic to its site was up 680 per cent since the nuptials, the store has not yet sold another of the same dress, reports this Daily Mail piece.



EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Challenge contest entry deadline today

Today marks the entry deadline for The Globe and Mail/Telus Challenge contest -- an opportunity to win a $100,000 grant from Telus for your business. Describe the biggest challenge your business faces -- and how the money would help to overcome it. For more details, click here.

Lean startup machine

Registration is open for Lean Startup Machine, a three -day workshop to help advance entrepreneurship which focuses on lean startup principles. The event starts June 8. For more information, click here.

International Stevies taking nominations

The ninth annual Stevie Awards' International Business Awards, open to nominees worldwide, has an entry deadline of June 27. There are many categories to cover different facets of the workplace. You can request an entry kit here. For more information on the awards, click here.



EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Surfboard designer finds buyout a rough ride

When Imagine Surf was acquired, the company expanded, but Corran Addison didn’t fit in to the corporate culture.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Winning corporate cultures: how three firms do it

Fostering a workplace environment that encourages and empowers employees not only can save a company the costs of recruiting new talent, but support values that help differentiate it from the competition, said a story that ran in May, 2011. Read about three companies' efforts to get it right.



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