Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 - Cambridge Elevator
A Cambridge project to encourage startups is having such resounding results it has been named a European leader and earned praise from Business Secretary Vince Cable.

YTKO's Outset Project has engaged with over 6,000 people. Of those, 1200 have started a business, together creating 1400 jobs.

Outset supports disadvantaged clients in inner cities, coastal, rural and other deprived communities to be self-employed. The programme's pre-start, startup, investment readiness, post-start sustainability and peer group support has created more than £2.3m GVA, unlocked more than £1m of business finance - and saved more than £1.2 million on unemployment benefits alone in the last three years.

Many of the Outset programmes are funded by Europe, helping to create social and economic inclusion for under-represented and disadvantaged groups. More than half of the new businesses created via Outset are led by women, and 17 per cent of Outset clients are from black, minority or ethnic groups.

Outset reaches more than twice the national average of young people in enterprise, at 15 per cent, with nearly a third of its clients previously unemployed. 21 per cent of the new businesses started with Outset's support go on to create additional jobs within the first year of trading.

The project won the Grand Jury prize at the European Commission's European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012.

YTKO CEO Bev Hurley was in Cyprus to collect the award. She said: "I am so proud to accept this award on behalf of my dedicated team and all the exceptional individuals who have participated in the Outset programme and created thriving new businesses.

"Their entrepreneurial spirit is inspiring, and shows that much can be achieved with the right attitude and the right support. Outset is creating a significant legacy of new jobs, new enterprises, and new entrepreneurs, all making a real contribution to economic recovery in the UK."

Vince Cable said: "It is great news for YTKO that its approach in promoting enterprise to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the UK has been recognised.

"They have shown that if you have the passion to start a business you can make it a success. Their achievements will ultimately help to boost jobs and growth across the country and they are to be congratulated."

Outset won against 420 project nominations from all 27 EU Member States, as well as three participating countries, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey, who have opted into the EEPA.

For more information on YTKO's Outset programme, visit

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