Start a business: support for young entrepreneurs

Do you have the qualities to be a young entrepreneur?


Before starting a business it is good to look at your personal qualities. Personal qualities such as persistence, energy, ambition, creativity and the ability to plan are important.

Entrepreneurial skills

As well as personal qualities you need a range of practical skills to run a business. This includes skills in:

  • business planning
  • finance and accounts
  • administrative tasks
  • marketing
  • product or service development 

You don't need to have all these skills before you start. Nor should you set out to be an expert in everything. However, you do need a basic understanding of the key business areas.

  • If you identify gaps in your skills you can sign up to one of the many courses available from your local college of further education. nidirect provides a list of all local colleges.
  • Young Enterprise Northern Ireland (YENI) runs programmes to help young people develop entrepreneurial skills.
  • The Department for the Economy (DfE) provides Skills to Succeed courses that provide essential skills training, training programmes, apprenticeships, further education and foundation degrees. Find out more about Skills to Succeed.

Business experience and mentoring support

You might feel a bit nervous about setting up a business if you have no previous experience of working. If so you can get mentoring help from organisations like The Prince's Trust. Their business mentors will work with you to help get your enterprise going, giving you both business and personal support. This will help you develop skills and self-confidence. See advice and support for young entrepreneurs.

For further research and support when starting a business, see the following guidance:

Watch a short video that looks at the reasons why starting a business might be right for you.