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Young Enterprise kickstarts funding drive with launch of Business Backers campaign

Entrepreneurship education charity Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is looking to the future following the loss of over £500,000 in Department of Education funding. 

The charity’s Business Backers campaign has already had over 60 businesses pledge to ensure young people can access Young Enterprise school-based business programmes, but much more support is needed to plug the gap and reach a target of 100,000 young people.

Carol Fitzsimons MBE, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland commented:

“When we announced the cessation of government funding for our programmes, we had a significant number of local businesses reach out to offer their support.  In response, we developed our new Business Backers campaign to provide opportunities for large and small businesses to help.

“Our Business Backers invest in 5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 future entrepreneurs each month, while benefitting from volunteering and networking opportunities for their employees and demonstrating their corporate responsibility and ESG commitments.”

Aimée Clint is a Young Enterprise alumna and ambassador.  Her entrepreneurial endeavours saw her mentioned in US President Joe Biden’s speech in Belfast earlier this year. She added:

“Young Enterprise enabled me to launch my business, Books by Stellas, with my school classmates in 2017. Now I continue to operate our social enterprise, creating children’s books to educate neurotypical children on autism.

“As an ambassador for the charity I see many talented future entrepreneurs first-hand and realise without the support of our business community Young Enterprise simply will not be able to provide them with the same opportunities I had.

“I would like to thank all of the companies who have pledged so far and encourage all companies in Northern Ireland to follow their lead.”

Rachel McMillan is General Manager of Clockwise Offices in Belfast, one of the charity’s new Business Backers.

“Becoming a Business Backer was an easy decision for Clockwise Offices.  We’ve seen the benefits of what Young Enterprise brings to future entrepreneurs and what their volunteering opportunities have brought to me personally. The confidence and enthusiasm that we see from these young people sets them up for a successful future and we are delighted to continue to play a role in that.”

Young Enterprise has been educating and inspiring future entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland for over 30 years. Find out more about the Business Backers campaign at or contact

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