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Youth Entrepreneurship Fund Proposal should be embraced

1st February 2013

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, has warmly welcomed a proposal by the Celbridge Youth Council to establish a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund to tackle chronic youth unemployment.

“Last night (Thursday) I attended the very successful launch by Celbridge Youth Council of their proposal to establish a fund directly aimed 18-25 year olds to encourage entrepreneurship. The Youth Council rightly highlight the high level of youth unemployment in the country and the obstacles which young people face in terms of setting up their own business. Although many funds and initiatives are now available to assist SMEs, because young people lack experience they encounter more obstacles in sourcing funds.

“I raised this issue in the Dáil last June and directly with Minister Richard Bruton through my membership of the Oireachtas Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. I encouraged the Minister to ring fence funding through the Microenterprise fund for people between the ages of 18-24 years. At that time I explained to the Minister how, despite the fact that the proportion of 18-24 year olds engaged in early stage entrepreneurial activity is higher in Ireland than across the EU and OECD countries, due to their non-existent credit rating Irish banks were more reluctant to grant loans to younger people. I was therefore delighted last July when the Minister announced he intended to allow enhanced access to the Microenterprise Fund by young entrepreneurs through a bonus points system.

“Minster Bruton is coming before the Oireachtas Committee again next Tuesday (5th February) to discuss National and Small Business Support Structures and I intend to once again press the need of tackling youth unemployment by encouraging entrepreneurship. I will be bringing the Celbridge Youth Council’s worthwhile proposal to his attention and will support them in any way I can”.