For further information:
Wendy Guillies, Kauffman Foundation, 816.932.1046, email@example.com
Tom Phillips, Communication Partners, 212.935.4655, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicky Jones / Elaine Cole, Twelve Consultancy, 020 7631 0737, Vicky@twelvepr.co.uk
Gordon Brown backs NCGE-Kauffman fellowships, aims to create "Rhodes Scholar of entrepreneurship" for Britain’s brightest sparks
LONDON, UK and KANSAS CITY, MO., April 20, 2006 -- The UK’s National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) is joining forces with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States to create a scholarship program for 15-20 of Britain’s most promising young entrepreneurs in a move backed by the UK’s Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and its Small Business Service (SBS).
The NCGE-Kauffman Entrepreneurship Fellows, highlighted in Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown’s budget speech and due to start in September, will help Britain’s future business hopefuls develop their entrepreneurial skills and ideas for starting a business by spending six months in the United States with some of America’s most innovative entrepreneurial thinkers, experts and business leaders.
Building on the government’s aim to improve innovation in the UK, the program will focus on students who have excelled in engineering, science or technology, and is designed to help them better understand how they can move their ideas and innovations into the marketplace, turning their technical skills and knowledge into new innovative high impact start-up companies back in the UK. More entrepreneurial activity in the UK, in turn, creates new potential for collaboration between U.S. and UK businesses, ultimately strengthening the global economy.
"The government’s support for this scheme is crucial and symbolic of a broader understanding of the steps we need to take to bring Britain up the entrepreneurship ladder," said Ian Robertson, chief executive of NCGE. "Our higher education institutions are breeding grounds for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and we need to do more to ensure that these dynamic individuals are not only encouraged themselves but become the ambassadors for change across the UK."
With some 550,000 new businesses started every month in the U.S., the NCGE-Kauffman Entrepreneurship Fellows will offer UK students a chance to benefit from America’s undeniably entrepreneurial environment.
The target will be any student who is genuinely interested in starting a high-impact business in the UK, who would return after the program not only with the skills to set up but willing to share the benefits of their experience with others in their higher education institution, with a view to engendering a similarly dynamic culture of entrepreneurship in the UK.
The students, selected by the NCGE, will spend the first three months in the UK in preparation for their period in the States where, hosted by the Kauffman Foundation, they will spend time both in an entrepreneurial university setting and at entrepreneurial companies.
In the next few months, the NCGE will be calling on higher education institutions across the country to nominate candidates for the program with a keen interest in starting and growing a business relevant to their area of study.
"This innovative program is a prime example of entrepreneurial best practice in the States. And it fits in exactly with our ongoing mission to foster links between employers and academia," said Bill Rammell, UK Minister for Higher Education, "I am sure the young people who are chosen will gain immeasurably from this experience and help to pass on what they learn to the wider academic community."
Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, added:
"Entrepreneurial business activity in the U.S. and the UK is becoming increasingly interdependent, and nurturing that benefits both countries. For nations to survive and thrive today, knowledge-sharing and transfer must occur across boundaries. We look forward to facilitating a program that benefits not only British students and their universities, but the UK as a whole. In doing so, we know that our American universities and entrepreneurial companies will derive equal value from the experience."
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Information about the Kauffman Foundation is available at www.kauffman.org.
The National Council for Entrepreneurship (NCGE) is an independent organisation in the UK supported by the SBS, DfES and DTI, whose aim is to raise the profile of entrepreneurship and increase the number of students and graduates (within five years of graduation) seriously considering and engaging in business start-up in all its forms, including self employment.