A business accelerator that supports budding entrepreneurs is offering £250,000 to young people who want to grow a mission-led, digital business.
The opportunity has the potential to catapult young entrepreneurs into the startup ecosystem as they launch their business with the help of Sheffield’s TwinklHive.
The sought-after scheme provides grants and mentorship to people aged 18 to 24, allowing them to commit and pursue entrepreneurship as a career path and make their business dreams a reality.
Following on from the launch of the scholarship in summer 2020 across Yorkshire, the team at TwinklHive who are based in Sheffield, are looking for a second cohort for their scheme and are expanding their offer of support to young and aspiring entrepreneurs by rolling out the grant nationwide.
The combination of funding and dedicated support on offer will provide successful applicants with a unique educational experience that will help equip them to grow successful and sustainable businesses.
To apply, the young entrepreneurs must have a validated concept for a technology-enabled business and a clear vision. Their idea should also be focused on solving a real problem for their customers, as the scholarship is looking to develop the next mission driven founders and cultivate startups that will make a real difference to society.
Each successful applicant will receive a grant of up to £40,000. The scholarship is a full-time programme, which is set to run for six months, with the opportunity to apply for follow-on investment from the TwinklHive accelerator at the end of this period.
The applicants are not required to pay back the grant, which also covers the founding team’s 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 over 790 team members based at its offices in Sheffield and around the world. Since its launch, TwinklHive has supported a variety of missional founders from startups in the tech sector, including EdTech, FinTech and HealthTech.
Alongside the non-repayable grant, candidates will receive mentorship and support from Jonathan and the current startup founders from within the Hive. Candidates will also gain access to the accelerator’s expansive business network and there is the opportunity to take up work space in TwinklHive’s offices in Sheffield (covid restrictions and candidate location permitting).
Jonathan Seaton, co-founder and CEO at Twinkl and TwinklHive, said: “We have all been living in unprecedented circumstances due to the pandemic. Covid has undoubtedly impacted the job market, and people are looking to find new opportunities and explore new directions as a result.
“For young people who are looking for a new direction or to pursue their business ideas, it can be an exciting yet daunting time. Through the TwinklHive scholarship we endeavor to support those young entrepreneurs looking to take that leap and pursue and grow a business of their own.
“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 young individuals across the UK.”
Amber Jardine, hive manager at Twinkl, said: “The scholarship was created to support young people who are passionate about building a sustainable business. I am so pleased that this year we are able to open this opportunity nationwide and I am looking forward to the prospect of work alongside mission-driven entrepreneurs with innovative solutions.”
The scholarship is open to people across the UK. To apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org where further information will be provided. The closing date for applications is Friday 11 June.