Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Strictly embargoed until 00:01 24 September 2009 - Graduates Given A Flying Start

Strictly embargoed until 00:01 24 September 2009 - Graduates Given A Flying Start

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 23 September 2009

Graduates thinking about starting their own business will get a flying start as successful entrepreneurs offer advice to help them make it happen, Minister for Higher Education, David Lammy announced today.

Building on the Success of the Flying Start scheme launched in 2004, the Government is investing an further £ 1 million so 5,000 graduates will get the opportunity to attend one of 50, one day rallies aimed at inspiring them to start up their own business.

The rallies will provide support, advice, guidance and information through practical workshops and inspirational speakers and business mentors. Graduates will also have the opportunity to network with like-minded people, giving them the motivation they need to take the first step.

Graduates will be contacted shortly with more information about how they can get involved with Flying Start - Make it Happen.

David Lammy said,

“The skills and talents of our young people are essential as we build a stronger Britain. It will be their enterprise and entrepreneurship which will give us and them the competitive edge we need.

“In the last downturn household hold names such as Green & Blacks chocolate and eBay were created by young entrepreneurs, which is why we are harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of our new generation of graduates, providing opportunities for 5000 to explore starting up their own business.

“Flying start - Make it Happen is a important addition to the range of options available to recent graduates including internships, further study and volunteering.”

Commenting on Flying Start – Make it Happen, Inventor of the I - Teddy and Dragons Den success, Imran Hakin said,

“I wish there were initiatives like The Flying Start – Make it Happen Programme available when I first started off in business which is why I’m keen to get involved. Today business is ultra competitive and Flying Start – Make it Happen gives you that invaluable edge over those that you are competing with - A must for any aspiring entrepreneur.”

Graduates will register a commitment to pursue a self employment programme, a business start up programme or pursue another option like an internship which will entitle them to support and guidance for the following 12 months.

Since July 2005 the Flying Start programme run by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship has been successful in starting up 432 businesses, holding 469 workshops and offering 816 hours of training/support.

Notes to Editors

1. For more info log onto

2. Launched in 2004 by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE), Flying Start aims to inspire final year, university students to think seriously about starting a business. Flying Start comprises a one-day "inspirational rally" followed by a three day training programme for those students demonstrating commitment to start a business. The NCGE is funded by BIS, and has recently received additional funding from the Department to introduce a new initiative, "Flying Start - Make It Happen". Based on 'traditional' Flying Start, Make It Happen targets graduates seeking to encourage them to become self-employed.

3. Entrepreneurial activity is significantly higher among those with a graduate or post-graduate qualification, and while entrepreneurial activity for those in full-time education is lower than for the population as a whole, there appears to be a greater desire amongst those in full-time education to start a business in the future.

4. The Flying Start – Make it Happen Scheme sits alongside the thousands of other opportunities available to new graduates that will help them improve their chances to get a long term and well paid career. These include:

· Thousands of internships delivered through the Graduate Talent Pool matching service and the Low Carbon Future Leaders placement scheme;

· Around 24,000 additional postgraduate places - supported by extra Professional and Career Development Loans next year;

· 250 short term placements through Mini Knowledge Transfer partnerships, rising to 500 in 2010/11;

· Thousands of existing volunteering options available through “V”, an organisation aimed at young people between 16-25, and other voluntary organisations;

· 500 teach first opportunities in 2009, up 130 from 2008.

5. For more information please contact Emma Griffiths in the BIS Press office on 020 7215 5982

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.


BIS Press Office

Emma Griffiths
Phone: 020 7215 5982