Groups need to back £112m bid

Jonathan Pfahl from Rockstar Youth
Jonathan Pfahl from Rockstar Youth
Share this article
Have your say

The entrepreneur behind a body leading the way in handing out £112m of start-up cash has urged Britain’s biggest business bodies to unite.

Jonathan Pfahl, the founder of Rockstar Youth, said he wanted bodies like the British Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and Institute of Directors to get involved in the Start Up Loans.

The body is one of the ‘delivery agents’ which are handing out the money which is being handed out £10,000 at a time.

The group was at the University of Central Lancashire on Saturday to hold a workshop attended by a dozen aspiring businesses wishing to bid for money from the cash pot.

Mr Pfahl, a former investment advisor at Goldman Sachs, said: “This is something universities can get behind as can Chambers of Commerce, the FSB, the IoD and all sorts of other business organisations.

“Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we can look to work in partnership with groups like this to get the most finance and the best support to young people.”

Rockstar has secured 300 loans in its three-and-a-half months as a delivery partner for the initiative which Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was topping up from £70m to £112m during a visit to UCLan in January.

The Prince’s Trust had made 160 loans in nine months on the scheme.

Mr Pfahl said his body had a “no rejection” policy to applicants bidding for the cash, instead giving “not yet” answers to some aspiring entrepreneurs.

He said: “We will tell those people that they need to do ‘a, b and c’ to get to a stage where we can consider them for a loan and invite them back for another workshop.

“It is not all about lending money, it is as much about providing mentoring support.

“Throughout my own career, I have had mentors without whom I could not have achieved what I have achieved.”