Young people across Northern Ireland are to get the chance to have a generously paid summer internship - in their own start-up business - thanks to a new initiative from the Northern Ireland Science Park.
The Science Park’s Generation Innovation programme has announced places for six interns this summer, each worth £2,000.
Through the Generation Innovation Internship Prize, young entrepreneurs will have a unique opportunity to progress their own start-up business throughout July and August.
At the end of the summer, they will then pitch-off against each other to secure a £10,000 prize to develop their business further.
Whilst developing their projects, the six teenage entrepreneurs will receive eight weeks of business coaching with modules including marketing, finance, legal and pitch training in order to maximise the full potential of their idea.
In September, the six interns will pitch to a panel of judges and the teenager with the idea which is deemed to have the greatest commercial potential will receive an additional £10,000 prize fund to be used to accelerate the growth of their company.
“We reckon the opportunity to get paid to run your own business is as good as it gets for a teenager with entrepreneurial ambition,” said Dr Joanne Stuart of the Science Park.
“One of the biggest challenges faced by any entrepreneur is how to access the expertise and finance to develop a great business idea.
“This is also an incredible networking and mentoring opportunity which gives the young entrepreneurs access to the innovation network the Science Park has developed over the last four years.
“Each student will receive one to one mentoring from one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), who are highly skilled and have a proven track record in business and innovation.
“They will provide honest and open advice to the young people, as well as challenging and helping them to refine their business models.”
The internship is open to anyone across the province aged between 15-18 at the time of entry.
Students must be available over July and August and the idea must be innovative with a potential commercial application.
The overall winner will not only receive the award of £10,000 to invest in their business, but an additional year of mentoring.
The prize is supported by two successful local entrepreneurs Tom O’Gorman and Jim Finnegan.
Further details on the competition and the application form are available at www.generationinnovation.co.
The closing date for applications is 29th May 2015.
For more information on Generation Innovation visit Facebook.com/geninnovators or Twitter @geninnovators.