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New grant for inspiring bursaries scheme announced

14 August 2015

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s business breakfast event at this year’s Vale Show was billed as a celebration of some of the county’s most innovative young entrepreneurs.

 

It became a double celebration, however, when Heather Stevens CBE used her opening remarks to announce that the Waterloo Foundation would continue to support the Council’s ‘Inspiring the Vale’ bursaries scheme for another year.

 

Inspiring bursary awards

 

Funded by The Waterloo Foundation and The Vale of Glamorgan Council, the Inspiring the Vale scheme provides bursaries of up to £3000 for young people aged 16-30 years old intending to start a new business or social enterprise in the Vale of Glamorgan. The innovative scheme which also provides local young people with the advice and support required to turn their ideas into businesses. Since the scheme was launched last year 25 bursaries have been awarded and thanks to this new injection of funding it will now continue to run until the end of 2016.


Heather Stevens CBE said: “Hearing the bursary recipients speak about the impact that the Inspiring the Vale scheme has had on their lives and of the challenges that they have overcome as a result reinforced to everyone in the room what a valuable project this is. I am delighted that the Waterloo Foundation can continue to support such important work.”


Guests at this year’s event heard from three successful bursary applicants of how the scheme had enabled them to turn their bright ideas into small businesses.


Jonathan Hanna and Monique Post, founders of INAWE (International Autism Wales Education) which provides a translation of the newest international findings on autism into bespoke lectures, workshops and training, said: “The bursary has enabled us to create a brand and logo, which embodies what InAwe is about; the changing of perspectives.

 

“We were delighted to announce we’d reached our latest business milestone by launching www.inawe.org.uk during the business breakfast.”


The pair had not considered going into business until seeing a tweet from Creative Rural Communities and praised the support that they have received: “Since obtaining the bursary, the door has always been open for our questions or worries and that safety net has been invaluable.


“We could not have achieved this without the generosity of The Waterloo Foundation, or the support of the Council’s Creative Rural Communities team.”


Helmanas Lik, the Barry based founder of Noble Lion, an e-commerce business selling steampunk accessories and home décor items, said: “Thanks to the bursary around half a year ago I was finally able to purchase all of the equipment that I needed to get my business idea to the next level.


“To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure whether I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone but taking part in the scheme was probably one of the best decisions I have made so far.


“The team are still helping me in every step that I make and professional advice is always just a phone call away.


“Not only do I get to work every day on the things that fascinate me but I am my own boss as well. Even if that means working for 14-16 hours a day to meet deadlines, the smile never seems to leave my face. And that’s what I love the most about it. Not the money and not the freedom of getting to make your own decisions but the general feeling of happiness and fulfilment that you get when you do what you love doing the most.”


Young entrepreneurs who would like to know more about the scheme can find information online at www.creativeruralcommunities.co.uk or via create@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk. Up to £3000 is available to support eligible applicants in meeting the cost of setting up a new business. Applicants receive support to produce a 3 year business plan which will then be assessed by a panel for approval.