Young European Entrepreneurs E-Learning Suite

few tips




As the usage of the site increases we will add/replace these FAQs with the FAQs of YENTELS website users.


Q. Can young people really run successful businesses?

A. Yes Many young people run successful businesses. But setting up in business and sustaining it, especially in its early stages, is a real challenge. Young people can find it particularly hard to translate business ideas into a working reality. However, with the right approach, guidance and support, young entrepreneurs can succeed.


Q. What sort of a business could I run?

A. Consider your skills, interests and hobbies to see if any have the potential to be the basis of a profitable business. It is also important to think about your goals in the short, medium and long term.


Q. Where can I find advice on how to turn my “idea” into a viable business?

A. There are many sources of advice about starting a business - including the training materials in our YENTELS website. See the LINKS section of YENTELS for a wide range of support (including financial backing) from organisations such as the Prince’s Trust and Shell Live Wire and also make sure that you check out the Business Link Guide on “how to research and develop your business ideas” at


Q. Do I have what it takes to run a successful business?

A. There are no hard and fast rules about what it takes to run a successful business. Many successful entrepreneurs start businesses based on their hobbies or particular skills. Already knowing your product and understanding your customers can also be a big advantage. However, the typical characteristics of an entrepreneur are often said to include persistence, enthusiasm, creativity, single-mindedness, ambition, risk taking, commitment, self-belief and talent. A tall order but you can do it!



You need to think about your idea carefully and be sure that it either satisfies or creates a market need and has potential customers. If it has then you need to be sure that it will outlive passing trends or that you will be able to capitalise on the trend before it dies away. In addition is what you plan to offer unique, distinct or superior to what is offered by competitors. Increase your chances of success by investing time in some market research before you invest your money.


the opinion of friends and colleagues. After that you might need to get a little more sophisticated and survey the general public about whether they would use your product/service or even ask customers of competing products what improvements they would like to see happen. Monitor your competitors' activities and look at what has and hasn't worked in your industry or market niche. If you can afford it think about hiring a market research agency


Securing adequate funding is one of the biggest obstacles many entrepreneurs face. Your funding needs may also change during the course of product development as it may take longer or cost more than you first expected. Loans and overdrafts are the most common ways to raise money for a new business. However, tThere are plenty of other ways to raise the finance you need, especially when setting up a new business. Grants and government schemes offering support to new businesses are widely available. Read about support for innovation in the Business Link guide on government support: the basics.  There are also specific funding schemes for entrepreneurs under the age of 30. For further information about these funds and how to apply for them, see the Business Link guide on starting a business when you are young.


As a young entrepreneur, you may not have a lot of your own money to invest in your business and wtrack record and with few assets to use as security for a loan, it can be difficult to raise money. Similarly, if you are under the age of 18, you will not be able to use traditional forms of credit. So you will need to think very carefully about how you are going to finance your business, especially how you are going to manage the risks involved in borrowing money. There is probably less financial risk in earning your start-up capital or borrowing off friends and family than in borrowing from a commercial lender – so it makes sense to look to those sources of finance first. The main finance options available to you include loans, overdrafts, shares, grants and joint ventures


Th the Prince's Trust, Shell LiveWIRE and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs provide loans and support to businesses and individuals who have had trouble getting finance from sources such as banks and building societies see the Community Development Finance Association finding finance page at )




Depending on the type of business you may need to:

·         Choose a name for your business.

·         Prepare a business plan.

·         Think about how to finance your business.

·         Try to understand your customers and markets.

·         Check whether you need a licence for your business.

·         Find out what regulatory issues apply to your business.

It is a good idea to seek professional advice to help deal with some of these issues. Business advice is available at your local Business Link office or through local accountants, insurance brokers, lawyers and bankers who can advise and help you overcome any obstacles. The Prince's Trust can support you to see if your business idea will work. They can help you test your idea, write a business plan, access mentoring and even provide money to start your business. If entrepreneurship and self-employment turns out not to be the right option for you, they can also support you to secure other employment and achievement goals.


Q. What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document that sets out the vision for your business. In it you can define the purpose of the business and set goals for it. It then becomes a helpful framework for developing your business and for monitoring progress. Your business plan will also be the basis for marketing your company, either to raise money or attract business partners. Be honest, but also try to put yourself and your business idea in the best possible light. See Business Link or the Connexions website for help on preparing you business plans.<



A. Yes! Once you have an idea for starting a business that you want to pursue, writing a business plan should be one of the first things you do. People think of writing a business plan as something that’s only necessary if you’re trying to get a business loan or persuade investors that your business is worth their money, but actually, writing a business plan is necessary no matter how you intend to finance your new business. The main purpose of writing a business plan when you’re starting a business is to test the viability of your business idea. Writing a business plan will tell you if the business you’re thinking of starting has a chance of becoming a successful business.

Writing a business plan when you start a business forces you to do the research and get the information that you’ll need to turn your idea into a successful venture. And if writing your business plan shows you that that particular business idea won’t work? Abandon it and try another idea.

If you don’t write a business plan when you’re thinking of starting a business, in the best case scenario, you’ll be floundering around squandering time and resources. In the worst case scenario, your new business will fail – because of things you didn’t but should have known. The bottom line is that if you invest some time and energy into writing a business plan, you’ve got a much better chance of avoiding business failure.


Q. What's the best time for starting a business?

A. Starting a business is similar to starting a relationship; the best time to start a business is when you have the time to devote your attention to it. This isn’t to say that there's anything wrong with starting a part-time business or starting a business when you are still working at a job. People have different energy levels and different capabilities. It’s just to say that to give yourself the best shot at starting a business, you have to be able to focus on it.



Q. How do most small business find start up money?

A. For small business start up money, most people starting their own businesses reach into their own pockets first – even if they also intend to get a small business loan from a financial institution. This is because almost all lenders expect the person seeking a business loan to make a personal financial contribution. What can you do about finding small business start up money if your own pockets are empty? You might turn to the second most popular source of small business start up money - family and/or friends. This kind of small business financing often takes the form of a personal loan. And the third most popular source of small business start up money is the previously mentioned traditional financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions and caisse populaires. To access this kind of small business financing, you will need to have a solid business plan, a good credit rating and collateral.


Q. When does my business start?

A. You would think that when a business starts would be obvious, but that’s not always the case. You might think that a business starts when it first opens its doors, but that’s not a very good definition because of all the things that had to happen before that happened – some of which you’ll want to claim as business expenses. In practice, a business starts when the activities related to the business’s operation start. If you start a tailoring business, for example, your business starts when you buy the supplies you need rather than when you alter that first customer’s garment.


Q. Do I need a business bank account?

A. Officially no, but in practice yes – in fact opening a business bank account is one of the first things you should do when starting a business. That is because a business bank account is crucial for keeping your business and personal expenses and income separate and getting your new business's recordkeeping off to a good start. Also having a business bank account provides your new business with credibility (with both customers and potential creditors), which is especially important when you're starting a business. However, don't just run out and open a business bank account anywhere. Take the time to shop around, because there is quite a variance in the fees attached to business accounts - and they often cost more than personal bank accounts!


Access their website to check out whether you are eligible