1st March 2013

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, has for some time been calling for the establishment of a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund which could enable young people to set up their own businesses. He is therefore hopeful that yesterday’s (Thursday) EU wide agreement on a Youth Guarantee Scheme could be used to establish such a fund, Next Monday (March 4th) in the Kilashee Hotel the Kildare County Enterprise Board are holding the Students Enterprise Awards 2013 and if a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund was in existence, these student’s dreams and hard work could become a reality.

“I was delighted to learn that an EU wide Youth Guarantee Scheme has been agreed upon and that €6 billion is to be ring fenced to tackle youth unemployment. It will be up to each individual Member State to operate the scheme as they see fit and I understand that €10 million per annum will be available to Ireland to implement the scheme. I have written to both Minister Joan Burton and Minister Richard Bruton in this context, and with access to such funding, to establish a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund. I feel very strongly about the need to encourage youth entrepreneurship and how, I believe, it could be an effective way of dealing with the curse of youth unemployment in our country. This is particularly important due to the fact that on an EU average Irish people under the age of 25 years are more likely to be entrepreneurs yet they are continually facing battles with lending institutions in terms of accessing funds due to the lack of a credit history.

“I am looking forward to meeting many enterprising and ambitious Kildare students at the Enterprise Awards next Monday. It is a shame that currently such potential from young people is being inhibited because of access to funds. I warmly welcome the efforts made by EU Ministers and governments to tackle youth unemployment and I will continue to press the need to encourage youth entrepreneurship”.