Business Support for Young People, The Farmer Network

Business Support for Young People, The Farmer Network

For the past six years, we have supported the Business Support for Young People scheme run by The Farmer Network through our grant programme, helping young people to improve their skills and confidence which improves the prospects and viability of farm businesses.

The programme is offered to 18-30 year olds in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales who have a farm-related business idea, but are limited by the resources and opportunities available to them.

Graham Smith was working full-time for a motorsport fabrication company, and using his welding skills to maintain and repair farmers’ equipment in the evenings and on weekends. The Business Support for Young People Scheme provided Graham with a business adviser to help him produce a business plan, as well as a loan to help kickstart his idea.

Graham said of his experience: “After attending the weekend workshops, I worked with a business adviser – John was a tremendous help, and I still use and reflect on his comments to guide me. In many respects, the advice I had was more valuable than the loan I received. I used the business plan to apply for funding and was offered a loan and a grant to help me develop the business, allowing me to invest in new products, ideas, and promote myself more than I could have done without it.”

Another participant, James, wanted to use some buildings on his family farm to develop a livestock rearing enterprise, build some stock and develop his farm business skills. He said: “The scheme gave me general information about running a business, and my adviser really helped me to plan out my ideas, and now I’ve been able to rear 40 calves a year for the past two years, as well as doing self-employed work for other farmers to help me pay off the loan.”

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is committed to supporting young people like Graham and James in their careers. Please help us continue this by considering a donation to support our work.