Watford Young Entrepreneurs

Calling all 18 to 35 year olds based in Watford!

Are you running a small business, have a side hustle to pursue your passion, or are just buzzing with a big idea you would love to bring to life?

We have the perfect opportunity to take you to the next level. With a chance to receive up to £5,000 funding to accelerate your business venture and a wide range of support to turn your dreams into reality, The Watford Young Entrepreneurs Programme is the helping hand you need.

The best thing about it? It is completely free to join.

Start. Build. Grow.

Watford Borough Council LogoAbout the programme

The Watford Young Entrepreneurs Programme (WYEP) is an exciting programme funded by Watford Borough Council and delivered by the University of Hertfordshire. The programme is designed to provide free expert tailored advice, support, and grant funding to young entrepreneurs and those interested in becoming entrepreneurs in Watford.

The support from the programme with learning, funding, and mentoring has helped me get the direction and knowledge I needed. Now I can confidently launch my rebranded business and can't recommend the Watford Young Entrepreneurs Programme enough!

Kristiana Ivanova

Cohort 1 Participant, Watford Young Entrepreneurs Programme

Programme structure, dates, and location

Phase 1: Bootcamp - Hear from successful entrepreneurs and access a dynamic programme of workshops and expert-led sessions on entrepreneurship, business venture development, sustainable business strategies, and market trends.

Phase 2: Bespoke 1-2-1 support - If you are successfully selected for the second part of the programme, you’ll benefit from access to an expert business mentor, further opportunities to grow your skillset through interactive workshops and the opportunity to apply for up to £5,000 of grant funding.

Location: Online and at the University of Hertfordshire.

Please note that applications to join our current cohort have now closed.

Programme features

Here are some of the reasons why you should apply to WYEP:

  • Expert Start-up Support: you will have access to Herts’ start-up know-how, networks, and specialist entrepreneurial facilities such as the Business Incubator Centre for the full duration of the programme to work and have a professional setting to hold your business and mentoring meetings
  • Local Focus: WYEP has been specially designed to support young entrepreneurs in Watford
  • Funding: you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to get your entrepreneurial venture off to a great start
  • Green: the programme offers a range of resources with a focus on sustainable business
  • Flexible Format: the programme offers a flexible blended delivery format, with opportunities to meet face to face as well as content delivered online for ease of access, so you can fit it around other activities.

We particularly encourage applications from women, disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as these groups are currently underrepresented in the business sector.

Who is eligible to apply?

Up to two entrepreneurs per business will be eligible to be part of the programme and at least one of them will need to fulfill the following criteria:

You have a business idea, OR:

  • have already launched your business
  • You are based in the Watford Borough Council area1
  • You are between 18 – 35 years old2
  • You want to improve your business knowledge and confidence
  • You can commit to attending all the workshops3

We are particularly interested in hearing from aspiring or existing entrepreneurs with a digital, creative, social or sustainable business focus.

For full details please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

1 - For aspiring entrepreneurs that have not yet set up a business, we will require their home address as proof of meeting the eligibility criteria. For existing companies, we will require that either the entrepreneur’s home address is based in Watford or that their registered business address is in one of the qualifying Watford postcodes.

2  - Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and not more than 35 years of age by the 01 May 2022. If the start-up applying has more than one owner, at least one of the applicants needs to meet the criteria set above.

3 - Workshops will be normally held on weekdays in the evening after 17.00 or on Saturday mornings.

Deadline and applying

Please note that applications to join our current cohort have now closed.