The UK's New Entrepreneurs Foundation and the Centre of Entrepreneurs have this morning revealed they will merge, to create a not-for-profit “entrepreneurial powerhouse”.
The new body will aim to train the next generation of social and business leaders, deliver research to identify gaps in current support, and provide input into UK government policy around entrepreneurship.
LetterOne, the investment business headed by Russia's Alfa-Group founder Mikhail Fridman, supported the merger with a £1m donation over three years.
“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the UK’s future economy. There is a need to support them as they continue to create jobs, boost economic growth and make a positive contribution to social well-being,” said Fridman.
The newly combined organisation, which will retain the New Entrepreneurs Foundation name, will scout the UK's most entrepreneurially minded young people and help them establish their businesses through mentorship programmes.
Almost 200 people have gone through the foundation's programme since its launch in 2011, and have since launched 92 businesses, raised a total of £27m in funding and created more than 1,000 jobs.
The foundation's chief executive, Neeta Patel, said:
We want to encourage more people, particularly women and students, to see entrepreneurialism as a natural career choice and enable them to realise their potential and start businesses.
The Centre for Entrepreneurs will maintain its research, the Founders Club and best practice networks including the Prison Entrepreneurship Network and the Incubator and Accelerator Network.
A new ISA for entrepreneurs
Meanwhile, challenger bank Aldermore has this morning called for the government to create a new ISA to allow retail investors to support entrepreneurs.
Aldermore has found that 77 per cent of the UK would support an Entrepreneur ISA, and 40 per cent of would-be entrepreneurs are interested in using one to establish their business.
It suggests that the government could follow the model of the Help to Buy ISA, providing a 25 per cent matched bonus to deposits between £50 and £200 per month.
Aldermore also floated the idea of a small business savings allowance, allowing entrepreneurial companies to earn up to £4,000 of tax-free income from savings per year.