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George and Dick Palmer join Sir Richard Branson to celebrate the Budget’s support for young entrepreneurs

27th March 2012

George and Norwich City College Principal, Dick Palmer, have joined forces with Sir Richard Branson to praise the creation of a £10 million nationwide Youth Enterprise Loan Scheme pilot to support entrepreneurship amongst young people through small, low interest loans, announced in the Budget last Wednesday.

Sir Richard Branson, who has recently met both men to discuss support measures for young entrepreneurs, has campaigned for this type of initiative on behalf of Virgin Media Pioneers, an online community of thousands of young entrepreneurs founded by Virgin Media. The Virgin Media Pioneers community wanted to challenge the convention that a young person could easily get a loan to study business, but not on equal terms to start one.

George pledged his support for the new Government initiative, saying, “Norfolk needs a vibrant, diverse, rural economy where businesses can get established and grow. It is great news that South Norfolk is one of the top ten areas in the country for the most number of start-up businesses. This new pilot scheme – and the Government’s wider Apprenticeship Programme - shows that the Government is really serious about helping to support school leavers to prepare for the world of work and develop the practical and entrepreneurial skills they will need to compete in the modern economy. I was delighted to have the chance to meet Sir Richard Branson and tell him about The Norfolk Way Young Enterprise Bursary scheme I set up for local school leavers who show a flair for business. We need to publicise Norfolk’s great potential as a small business county.”

Dick Palmer said “I welcome all efforts to encourage, support and, crucially, provide the finance for enterprising young people to start up their own businesses. City College Norwich is proud to be playing our part by leading the way, alongside the colleges in the Gazelle group, in the transformation of Further Education through entrepreneurship."

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, said: “This has the potential to transform the prospects of thousands of young people. The entrepreneurs of today will be the job creators of tomorrow so I’m delighted that the Government has listened to those at the very start of their careers. The country is full of gifted and enterprising people so this pilot, which crucially has business mentoring and support at its heart, will help prevent a lost generation of talent.”

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