A UNIQUE programme has been developed to combat unemployment and encourage the next generation of Cumbrian entrepreneurs.

Covid-19 has severely impacted unemployment rates and business revenue across the nation, with 396,155 firms forced to close in 2020 as a result of the financial hardship.

But a North-West based community interest group is nurturing the growth of entrepreneurship to help combat this trend.

TEGvirtual is the brainchild of entrepreneur Keith McMean. He said: “Parts of Cumbria where we are based have a disproportionate number of disadvantaged young people who have always faced various barriers to employment. The job situation is concerning, and sadly will only get worse.

“The talent, skills and new ideas are out there, all we need to do is champion entrepreneurial young adults who are looking to take the reins on a self-started career by running their own business. We are putting the right people behind them to turn dreams into a reality.”

The Entrepreneurs Group’s latest programme has been developed for 16–25-year-olds who have a passion to succeed.

In return they will receive 12 weeks of mentoring and training with practical help, business validation as well as guidance in essential areas such as finance, tax and vat, marketing, new tech, company law and recruitment.

Students will be matched with experienced, credible entrepreneurs from a range of sectors who will ultimately look to invest in their business in the future. The courses are delivered through an online portal organised by TEGvirtual CiC, whilst we continue to have restrictions on face-to-face meetings and training.

The successful pilot was launched in Cumbria. Early adopter Jodie Morgan, 24, said: “It’s giving me a very positive insight. It’s so beneficial to see people locally who have started their own business because when I was a teenager it was something that seemed almost impossible around here because I hadn’t really met anyone who had done it.”

“TEGvirtual puts all the information you need into one place and makes the goal seem a lot more attainable.”

For more details visit: www.virtual.teguk.co.uk