CAVENDISH PICTURE

LtoR: BFS Chairman Ron Mason, BFS Director Paul Breen, Lord Young at a recent reception in Buckingham Palace. Tom McCann and Start-up Loans BDM Natalie Tuer

Partnership with University of Manchester kick starts region-wide ambassador recruitment programme. The University of Manchester has been named as one of the first Campus’ in the UK to have Start-Up Loans Ambassador. Tom McCann, 18, was chosen as the North West’s first student an ambassador by Start-Up Loans Company Chairman, James Caan and Business Finance Solutions (BFS), who are delivering the programme in the North West.

Tom is in his first year studying BA Economics and Development at the University of Manchester and, along with members of the BFS team including Vice Chair Ron Mason, BFS Director Paul Breen and Natalie Tuer, met other student ambassadors, as well as HRH The Duke of York KG, James Caan and

Tom’s role as an Ambassador will be to represent Start-Up Loans at Manchester University. Tapped into all the right networks from Start-Up Loans and their Partners, he will be on hand to guide budding entrepreneurs to securing funding and turning their idea into a business. The £112m Loans scheme is open to 18-30 year olds who want to set up or grow their own business and aims to set up 25,000 businesses by 2015. In addition to the funds, the recipients also receive support and mentoring from business leaders to develop their plans. Applicants can email info@BFSstartuploans.co.uk for more information and how to apply.

Tom, who is originally from Bedfordshire and now lives in University Halls in Manchester, hopes to start up his own business when he graduates and says: “The student ambassador role will give me a great opportunity to promote the scheme within the University and to build on Manchester’s exciting entrepreneurial culture. I’m really looking forward to using the role, along with my position on the Manchester Entrepreneurs committee, to create some interesting and exciting events on campus and promote as many new start ups on campus as possible.”

Tom already has plans in place to market the scheme within Manchester, ranging from social media engagement and live events with guest speakers to using departments and organisations already in place at the University such as the Manchester Enterprise Centre and Careers Service.

James Caan said: “Student entrepreneurship is a vibrant community and through Start-Up Loans, we can help foster the amazing innovation that is evident in Universities across the country by helping start successful businesses. Through the Ambassadors who have all been selected, we will be able to catalyse enterprise amongst students.”

The Start-Up Loans Company is backed by the Prime Minister, is the brainchild of Lord Young and is chaired by former Dragon and entrepreneur James Caan.

Paul Breen, Director of BFS, said: “We’ve already awarded over 250 loans in the North West to some really exciting young businesses and the ambassador programme now enables us to reach those thousands of students who already have plans in place for their own businesses. The expertise, imagination and commitment that these young people have in building their own businesses is really inspiring and we are here with the financial and business support that they need to make their dream a reality.”