Twinkl to offer South Yorkshire digital entrepreneurs £40,000 to get started

Digital start-ups in South Yorkshire are to be offered £250,000 thanks to a scheme from the founders of Twinkl.

TwinklHive, based in Sheffield, has launched a scheme that provides grants and mentorship to people aged 18 to 22 so that they can pursue entrepreneurship as a career path and make their business dreams a reality.

The scheme is looking for young entrepreneurs with a clear, viable start-up business plan that will solve a pressing problem.

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Each successful applicant will receive a grant of up to £40,000.

John Seaton

The scholarship programme itself is a full-time position which is set to run for six months, with the possibility of follow-on investment from TwinklHive at the end of this period.

The applicants are not required to pay back the grant, which also covers the founders’ salaries of up to £20,000 for the six month period.

Set up in 2019, TwinklHive was created by Twinkl founder and chief executive Jonathan Seaton,

He started Twinkl with his wife Susie Seaton in their spare bedroom more than 10 years ago as physical and digital distributor of educational resources.

TwinklHive team

The business now operates in 200 countries and regions and has 640 team members based at its offices in Sheffield and around the world.

It was named Best Company Turning over between £10m and £50m at the 2018 Excellence in Business Awards. Enter here Mr Seaton said: said: “In August, many young people received their A-Level results and have since been weighing up their options as they prepare to take on their next venture. For some people, further education or employment are not desirable or viable options. TwinklHive is providing an alternative career path by supporting young adults on their entrepreneurial journey and they’ll gain experience which can be equally valuable to a qualification.

“When my wife, Susie and I founded Twinkl, we experienced first hand the difficulties young entrepreneurs face when trying to get a business venture up and running. It can be difficult to get investment and having advice from people with experience is invaluable.

“We’re absolutely delighted to now be in a position to offer support and mentorship to others.”

Alongside the non-repayable grant, candidates will receive access to space in the TwinklHive office, alongside mentorship and support from Jonathan and the accelerator’s expanding business network.

In March of this year Mr Seaton was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of South Yorkshire by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Andrew Coombe.

In response to the announcement of the TwinklHive Scholarship, Mr Coombe said: “Before the impact of COVID-19, there was a need for greater interaction between employers and young people to make them aware of the opportunities in the workplace, and to help those with a vocational or entrepreneurial streak to forge a successful career. Now the need is even greater.

“The TwinklHive Scholarship Fund is a wonderful initiative. It is the first, I hope of many, where established organisations work with young people and find ways to encourage them to seize opportunities and be involved in the digital revolution taking place in South Yorkshire.”

Amber Jardine, Hive Manager at Twinkl, said: “We are delighted to be offering this opportunity to young entrepreneurs in South Yorkshire. Since launching TwinklHive last year, we have been able to work with a diverse range of digital companies, putting us in a great position to provide a unique educational experience that will enable founders to go on and grow successful and sustainable businesses.”

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James Mitchinson