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Charity launches initiative for young people to boost British high-streets

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A UK charity is hoping to attract young entrepreneurs to set up their own retail business.

The Carnegie UK Trust is aiming to attract thousands of 16-30 year-olds to open their own shops and help Britain’s flagging high-streets and city districts.

TestTown will run this summer in Manchester, Middlesbrough, Kirkinilloch, Rhyl, Coleraine, Perth and Bury St Edmunds. The national winner of the competition will receive £10,000 to invest in their business, while regional winners will get £500 in start-up funds.

“The time has come to offer young people the opportunity to bring a new perspective to our high streets,” said Jim Metcalfe of the Carnegie UK Trust. “In the age of online shopping and social media, town centres need to adapt to woo local people back into them.”

David Rimmer, Chief Operating Officer at Rakuten’s Play.com commented: “Our local shops are faced with the reality that personalised customer service only isn’t enough anymore to differentiate them from big brands and they need new ways to add value 3D printed products, social media sales and even smart glasses enabling consumers to see products in their own home are just some of the innovations that could shake up the high street.”

The North-East has overtaken Wales with the lowest wages in the UK but both regions have continued to fall behind the British average, according to official government figures. In October- December 2013, 917,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed – equivalent to 19.9 per cent of all young people.

Published on Tuesday 11 March by Editorial Assistant

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