The wider scheme will effectively work by offering a start-up loan to support credible business plans submitted by 18-24 year olds only, with those firms that go on to thrive paying back at peppercorn rates.
The Forum, a not-for-profit small business support group, will be offering successful applicants free access to its online Credit Control Guide and discounted membership as part of the project, which is the latest attempt by the Government to encourage more people to start up in business – the sector on which it is pinning hopes of economic recovery.
The Forum's Senior Policy Adviser, Phil McCabe, said: "We think this new Government initiative is a fantastic opportunity to get the young Richard Branson's and Mark Zuckerberg's of the UK to have a go.
"This is why we are absolutely behind this project and are adding weight to it."
He added: "With bank lending still scarce this initiative is a viable alternative for entrepreneurs who might be having problems accessing finance from a high street lender, or unaffordable.
"We need to see more young go-getters here in Britain bringing their ideas to market. You only have to look to the US to see this happens much more frequently and there are some amazing success stories over there.
"To encourage that kind of entrepreneurship there has to be these kinds of initiatives in place, so this is most definitely a step down the right path. Of course the beauty of this scheme is that for those firms that don't do well, they won't have to pay the loan back," he added.
The Forum's contribution will be free access to its Credit Control Guide and discounted membership.
McCabe added: "Smart credit control is essential for all businesses, especially first-timers who will find our guide particularly useful. And, with 1 in 4 businesses declared insolvent due to late payment of invoices, taking control of your debtors – especially in the current climate – is something anybody new to business should be doing.
"Chasing unpaid invoices is a colossal drain on time and morale, but it's something we know is happening more and more. Our latest research shows more than half of all small businesses feel late payment is now a serious problem."
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