A new Government start-up scheme is set to launch up to 30,000 young entrepreneurs towards starting their own companies.
The Start-Up Loans scheme is offering business finance and support from experienced mentors to young people in a bid to 'inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs'.
The first wave of money from the £83.5 million scheme is now open to applications in which aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-24 can bid for up to £2,500 to help get their business ideas off the ground.
Launching the scheme, business secretary Vince Cable said: "The scheme is not just about money. They will also get access to professional mentors who will pass on their knowledge and expertise about running successful enterprises."
Led by the newly formed Start-Up Loans Company and headed by entrepreneur and former Dragon's Den panellist James Caan, he said the scheme will encourage more young people to be 'more entrepreneurial' and to take their future into their own hands.
The scheme is propped up by a £10 million pilot scheme this financial year, with a further £32.5 million in 2013/14 and £40 million in 2014/15, providing there is enough demand from young people. It will also look to engage with commercial partners to grow the lending pot and scheme.
Around 1,200 people have already registered an interest in applying for a loan. Although available in England only, those who are unemployed, in full time education, starting a business or in the early stages of development are all eligible to apply.
A range of service providers including The Prince's Trust, Let's Do Business and North London Community Finance will work alongside the Start-Up Loans Company.
Vince Cable said: "Money is going out of the door now, so those who want to take advantage should apply today."