A £100,000 seed fund for budding city entrepreneurs has been set up by Aberdeen City Council to support the city’s businessmen and women of the future.
It forms part of the Young Person Guarantee commitment to provide every 16-24-year-old a place in education, training or employment.
The City Council has partnered with Business Gateway City & Shire to provide a comprehensive package of business start-up support, mentoring and guidance called ABZWorks Seed Fund for young people wishing to start-up their own businesses.
Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council co-leader, said: “Young people are one of the groups hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. Aberdeen has to contend with the additional challenge of a downturn in the oil and gas sector and the impact on jobs and employment prospects is significant.
“Furlough is masking the true impact, but we are already seeing a drop in the number of apprenticeships available, a significant reduction in the number of job postings, and of course the city tops the redundancy notifications table by a significant margin.
“With increasing competition for jobs and a growing focus on supporting the local economy by shopping local and buying local services, now is a good time for young people with a creative spark and ambition to consider self-employment.
“Finding the money to set up a business can be a huge barrier to many people so I am really pleased that the city council is using the Young Person Guarantee to help our young entrepreneurs.
“Not all of these businesses will succeed, but it is incumbent on us to give our young people the opportunity to fly and support them on their journey, whether or not their venture takes off. And of course, some of the AbzWorks entrepreneurs could well be the employers of the future.”
The ABZWorks Seed Fund is open to city residents aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training. It forms part of the city’s response to the economic impacts of the Covid pandemic and oil and gas downturn, which are predicted to have long-term scarring effects on both the immediate and longer-term employment prospects of young people.