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TwinklHive offers £250k to help young people in South Yorkshire become tech entrepreneurs

A business accelerator that supports budding entrepreneurs is offering £250,000 to young people who want to start a digital business in South Yorkshire.

TwinklHive, based in Sheffield, has launched a scheme that provides grants and mentorship to people aged 18 to 22 so that they can pursue entrepreneurship as a career path and make their business dreams a reality.

The young entrepreneurs must have a clear, viable start-up business plan that will solve a pressing problem. Each successful applicant will receive a grant of up to £40,000. The scholarship is a full-time position which is set to run for six months, with the possibility of follow-on investment from TwinklHive at the end of this period.

The applicants are not required to pay back the grant, which also covers the founders’ salaries of up to £20,000 for the six month period.

Set up in 2019, TwinklHive was created by the entrepreneur Jonathan Seaton, who is the Co-Founder and CEO of the global educational publisher Twinkl. He started Twinkl with his wife Susie Seaton in their spare bedroom over ten years ago. The business now operates in 200 countries and regions and has 640 team members based at its offices in Sheffield and around the world.

Alongside the non-repayable grant, candidates will receive access to space in the TwinklHive office, alongside mentorship and support from Jonathan and the accelerator’s expanding business network.

Jonathan Seaton, co-founder and CEO at Twinkl and TwinklHive, said: “In August, many young people received their A-Level results and have since been weighing up their options as they prepare to take on their next venture.

“For some people, further education or employment are not desirable or viable options.TwinklHive is providing an alternative career path by supporting young adults on their entrepreneurial journey and they’ll gain experience which can be equally valuable to a qualification.

“When my wife, Susie and I founded Twinkl,  we experienced first hand the difficulties young entrepreneurs face when trying to get a business venture up and running. It can be difficult to get investment and having advice from people with experience is invaluable. We’re absolutely delighted to now be in a position to offer support and mentorship to others.”

In March 2020, Jonathan Seaton was also appointed Deputy Lieutenant of South Yorkshire by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Andrew Coombe.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe said: “Before the impact of COVID-19, there was a need for greater interaction between employers and young people to make them aware of the opportunities in the workplace, and to help those with a vocational or entrepreneurial streak to forge a successful career. Now the need is even greater.

“The TwinklHive Scholarship Fund is a wonderful initiative. It is the first, I hope of many, where established organisations work with young people and find ways to encourage them to seize opportunities and be involved in the digital revolution taking place in South Yorkshire.”

Young people aged between 18 to 22 years old and who have completed compulsory education can apply for the scholarship. The applicants must have a viable business plan for growing a technology-based company. Twinkl is proud to celebrate diversity within its team and is committed to continuing to build an inclusive workplace for all. Twinkl, therefore, is encouraging individuals with diverse characteristics to consider applying.

Amber Jardine, Hive Manager at Twinkl, said: “We are delighted to be offering this opportunity to young entrepreneurs in South Yorkshire. Since launching TwinklHive last year, we have been able to work with a diverse range of digital companies, putting us in a great position to provide a unique educational experience that will enable founders to go on and grow successful and sustainable businesses.”

The application closes on Friday, September 25, 2020. If you or someone you know would like to apply, please email hive@twinkl.co.uk referencing ‘TwinklHive Scholarship’ and further information and an application form will be provided.  Or visit the TwinklHive blog page to find out more.

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