8 Ways to Increase National Enterprise8 ways to Increase National Enterprise
The 15th of November marks the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week and two UK eco entrepreneur brothers from the Isle of Wight are calling for drastic change to the current level of support available to young entrepreneurs.
Fed up with their jobless post-grad status, Rob and Martin Drake-Knight took £200 each of their savings and set up Eco Fashion brand Rapanui, an eco fashion brand that has won national awards for their sustainable business model and employs 10 other young people previously out of work.
Mart continues “Entrepreneurs grow big business, create jobs and ultimately contribute to the growth of national economies, so support at a grass-roots level is essential if we as entrepreneurs are going to be able to contribute in a real sense to the recovery of the national economy. ”
The brothers are calling for 8 specific support measures to be introduced to improve national enterprise. They are calling for the government and specifically the new Local Enterprise Partnerships to:
1. Provide free or subsidised training for existing young business – knowledge transfer courses with top level consultants for specific market segments.
2. Provide funding support for job creation in growing businesses in their 2nd and 3rd year with solid financials, business plans and proposals.
3. Provide accessibly priced office space.
4. Promote Business networking events to younger entrepreneurs.
5. Provide soft loans for working capital requirement.
6. Provide business mentoring from experienced / retired business professionals.
7. Provide match funding for capital purchases.
8. Recognise the difference between the minor counties and larger counties when developing the new Local Enterprise Partnerships and take into consideration specific economic and social performance metrics such as GDP per capita and youth unemployment figures.
Rob and Mart, now 25 and 24, explain how these measures could create real positive change in the UK economy:
“With university costs soaring more young people may decide to go into the world of small business if they continue to struggle to find jobs; the kind of support we have suggested will aid their potential success. The government is right to promise to support enterprise in the near future and now is the time to act” said Rob
“Some of the strongest businesses are born in recessions, and many of them will thrive with just a little more support. We hope that our story will show other young people out there who dream of their own business that you can be a success whether you wear a suit or flip flops.”
For more information visit www.rapanuiclothing.com
Or view our Top Tips for Young Entrepreneurs
National Enterprise Week starts on the 15th of November.
Notes to Editor
For further information please contact Rob Drake-Knight, on 01983 873430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or for specific information on sustainability Martin Drake-Knight on 01983 873430 or email email@example.com
Rob and Martin Drake-Knight regularly run talks and workshops at local middle and high schools on enterprise and sustainable business on the Isle of Wight.
They took the remaining £200 of their student loan and created Rapanui, which is now a well-known Eco Fashion brand that has gained national recognition for its innovative approach to marketing that they call traceability – they say their customers can find out exactly how and where Rapanui products come from and how they’re made using interactive maps.
Rapanui is about making cool eco-fashion for young people; that means clothing that is eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable: Made from natural organic fabrics in a Fairwear Foundation audited, wind powered factory. Through surfing the brothers saw and experienced the changing environment and climate at their local beach and as inspired, unemployed graduates in a recession, they took a different path; if you can't find a job, make one.
Rapanui has held Seminars and Lectures at UK and EU universities and multinational companies such as Centrica PLC on Sustainable Business and sit on the Panel at Plymouth University's All our Future Conference.
Rapanui has made bespoke versions of its clothing for multinationals and charities including Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and the Marine Conservation Society.
Rapanui was set up by brothers Mart and Rob Drake-Knight in early 2008 with £200 of savings and was listed in the Top 100 Startups of 2008. Rob and Martin are listed on the Future 100 List of Top young Entrepreneurs and were recently finalists in Enterprise UK's Young Brits awards. Rapanui was the youngest company to win the Sustainable Business Awards in May 2010, won a highly commended award at the 2010 RSPCA Good Business Award and has recently been nominated for the internationally-recognised ISPO Brand New Award – click and vote for Rapanui at ISPO
Rapanui is about making cool eco-fashion for young people; that means clothing that is eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable: Made from natural organic fabrics in a Fairwear Foundation audited, wind powered factory.
7 Weavers Yard
Lane End Road
Isle of Wight
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