TransferWise has announced two major initiatives to support Britain’s youngest entrepreneurs and inspire them to do business internationally.
The FinTech company is making up to £70 million of fee-free international money transfers available to UK founders aged between 16 and 19 years old.
It has also brought together a star panel of leading entrepreneurs, investors and advisors to select 20 of the UK’s most promising young entrepreneurs who will receive additional support.
Entrepreneurs including Deliveroo CEO and co-founder Will Shu and Secret Escapes co-founder and COO Tom Valentine join renowned investor and entrepreneur Robin Klein and others to select the cohort of youngsters.
Winners will receive £1 million of fee-free international payments for their business through TransferWise’s borderless account.
In addition, the 20 young entrepreneurs will get mentorship opportunities with the judges and a chance to pitch to TransferWise chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus for £10,000 of no-strings attached investment, during a special trip to Estonia – one of the world’s most successful start-up nations and home to TransferWise’s largest office.
Hinrikus will lead the panel of judges selecting the 20 Under 20.
“Today’s young Brits have an incredible opportunity to start businesses and help drive the UK’s presence on a global stage,” he said.
“Entrepreneurialism, challenging the status quo and thinking internationally are all at the heart of TransferWise’s purpose.
“Young, business-minded Brits have always been part of our customer base, but with this initiative we want to do even more to help them take their businesses out to the rest of the world.
“The younger you are the less likely you are to have a ready-made network to support that journey.
“We’re starting with the youngest, providing world class mentoring support which can then be spread onwards through their networks over a lifetime.”
Will Shu, CEO and founder of Deliveroo, said: “Turning a great idea into a successful business can be one of the toughest, yet most rewarding things a person can do.
“It’s not always easy or obvious how to take the next step, even when growing a company of one to a company of twenty, but the lessons you learn are invaluable.
“I’ve been so lucky with the support and advice we have had as we have made Deliveroo what it is today and I want to help others do the same.
“I’m delighted to work with TransferWise to help find the next 20 Under 20 who can do big things to shape the future.”
The 20 Under 20 will include entrepreneurs currently doing business across borders and those who are aspiring to go international.
Young entrepreneurs can put themselves forward for the 20 Under 20 by filming a 90-second ‘elevator pitch’ about themselves, their business and why they should be chosen.
Videos can be shared on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #TeenWiser or submitted on email to [email protected].
All qualifying young entrepreneurs can take advantage of the fee-free offer through TransferWise’s website.