Youth services in Wales are to get a £4.4 million boost in a bid to nurture and develop entrepreneurs of the future.
The Welsh Government's new Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) launches this month and targets children and young people from primary school through to further and higher education, as well as those outside education and training, through the Big Ideas Wales campaign.
Delivering activities to increase awareness and aspirations for entrepreneurship, YES will also identify and nurture budding entrepreneurs, supporting the Government's commitment to promote economic growth and provide jobs for young people
Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "We need to support and nurture the innovators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow if we want a diverse, dynamic and sustainable economy in the future. Our Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy is credited with changing attitudes amongst young people and its success has been highlighted in a number of key independent surveys.
"One of the most recent shows that 55 per cent of young people under 25 in Wales now have aspirations to work for themselves and be their own boss.
"The launch of our new Youth Entrepreneurship Services will build on the excellent work undertaken to date and help develop a 'can do' attitude in youngsters with the aim of encouraging those under 25 to get involved, develop their ideas and consider starting their own business."
Businesses and entrepreneurs will also be drafted in to support the programme.
Two consortia led by Menter a Busnes and Prospects — in partnership with Cazbah — have been appointed to develop and lead on the Youth Entrepreneurship Services programme over the next three years.
Menter a Busnes is to deliver Youth Entrepreneurship Services targeted at 16-24-year-olds, and Prospects leads a consortium including Cazbah and Markit, introducing a new primary competition to work with secondary schools to bring inspirational role models to the classroom.
Director of Menter a Busnes, Elen Williams, said: "Wales is already leading the way in youth entrepreneurship and the new Youth Entrepreneurship Services will strengthen and enhance the opportunities for young people to take their first steps into enterprise. We're excited to be at the forefront of delivering a range of innovative and new services capable of inspiring and supporting budding entrepreneurs of the future."