HC Deb 01 April 2004 vol 419 cc1592-3W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to promote entrepreneurship as a career option for graduates. [163315]

Nigel Griffiths

The Small Business Service and the Department for Education and Skills have collaborated to help establish the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE), as a private company limited by guarantee. The NCGE will promote the idea of starting a business as a viable career option for students and graduates. Six Directors have so far been appointed to the Board of the NCGE, with David Frost (Director General, British Chambers of Commerce) acting as interim Chairman and Karan Bilimoria (Founder and Chief Executive, Cobra Beer) recruited as the Council's Graduate Entrepreneur Champion.

The establishment of the Council builds upon support already provided by Government to help promote Entrepreneurship as a viable career option to students and graduates. The Small Business Service provides support of around £1 million per annum to support organisations such as Enterprise Insight, Young Enterprise, Shell LiveWIRE and Graduate Prospects in undertaking enterprise awareness and enterprise education activities aimed at young people. Each has a focus within their activities of providing practical advice and information to graduates.