One hundred drivers and couriers from the Uber app will be offered the chance to apply for business grants worth up to £10,000 to kick-start their small business ideas through the pandemic.
Partnering with Enterprise Nation, the global ride-hailing operator will be delivering three support programmes over the coming weeks and months – one for drivers and couriers who use the Uber or Uber Eats apps, another for small businesses on Uber Eats, and another for aspiring food entrepreneurs.
Participants will receive support, from specialist training sessions and start-up grants to access to commercial co-working kitchens. Everyone who takes part will also receive 12 months’ free access to Enterprise Nation.
As part of the ‘Business Builder’ programme, one hundred drivers and couriers who use the Uber or Uber Eats apps will be given the training and funding they need to turn their business idea into a reality. After completing nine weekly training sessions and a graduation day, participants will receive a start-up grant of between £2,000 and £10,000.
Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation founder, said: “We’re excited to be offering this programme to drivers, couriers, restaurants and food entrepreneurs across the country.
“Enterprise Nation firmly believes that up-and-coming entrepreneurs should be given every tool and resource to succeed – our partnership with Uber will help expand this opportunity to entrepreneurs across the UK.”
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s northern and eastern Europe regional manager, said: “We are proud to team up with Enterprise Nation and offer this programme to drivers, couriers and restaurants.”
He added: “We know that many drivers and couriers who use the Uber app to earn have aspirations beyond Uber, and we want to help support them achieve their goals.”
Small business minister Paul Scully MP also welcomed the programme to drivers, saying: “Initiatives like this, which support people running small businesses to branch out and innovate, are more important than ever at a time when many are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19.”
He continued: “We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, and backing business owners, creators and doers regardless of their background is essential to that goal.”