By Marcus Leach

Three of Britain’s most innovative and recognised entrepreneurs have pledged their support to the next generation of business owners by signing up to the Virgin Media Pioneers mentoring scheme.

The scheme will launch its second phase on 15 November during Global Entrepreneurship Week (14-20 November).

Three budding entrepreneurs now have the chance to be matched with a high profile entrepreneur who will help accelerate their business growth.

The three entrepreneurs that have signed up to become mentors are:

Vincent Mckevitt, founder of Tossed, the healthier eating place, which serves over 5,000 meals a day across its eight venues.

Marcus Waley-Cohen, founder of natural drinks company, Firefly Tonics, who sells his products in more than 40 countries from his London base

Tristram Mayhew, founder of forest adventure company Go Ape!, who now runs 27 activity courses around the UK

Young entrepreneurs can apply for a place on the mentoring scheme by registering at: http://www.virginmediapioneers.com/

The mentor programme is part of a broader campaign from Virgin Media Pioneers, called Control Shift: The Rise of Young Entrepreneurs, which launched in September at MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival in Sheffield.

The first phase saw three young entrepreneurs — Zoe Jackson, Ronke Ige and Abdul Khan, matched with three established entrepreneurs, Priya Lakhani, founder of Indian cooking sauce company Masala Masala, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, founder of The Black Farmer and Joe Cohen, founder of fan-to-fan ticketing website Seatwave.

Virgin Media Pioneers will announce the three young entrepreneurs who have been chosen for the second phase of the mentoring scheme at a high profile event on November 15. The event will take place at The Hub Westminster, during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

At the event Virgin Media Pioneers will also launch a new report that reveals the practical solutions that Government and business can take to encourage more young people to become self-starters.

“The UK is full of talent, ambition and ideas, but there are many barriers to unlocking that potential. With 1 in 5 young people currently unemployed and a dearth of graduate openings, it is vital that the next generation are shown that starting their own business can be a viable career path," Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group said.

“The Virgin Media Pioneers mentoring scheme aims to encourage young people to set up on their own by providing valuable advice and support from well-established entrepreneurs. Through the campaign, we hope to inspire the country’s brightest minds to realise their ambitions and become the successful entrepreneurs of the future.”

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