Owner of Arcadia, Sir Philip Green, announced at the annual Fashion Retail Academy Awards that he is setting up a 100,000 pound seed fund to assist FRA students set up their own businesses.
The announcement was made as the FRA celebrated its 10th anniversary, a retail organisation supported not only by Green and Arcadia, but also by Marks and Spencer, Next, F&F at Tesco and Experian.
Since its launch it has helped train more than 5,000 students in fields such as fashion retail, merchandising, buying and graphic design, as well as assist them in finding work placements.
Commenting on the seed fund, Green said: “So many people come up to me with ideas. I’m going to put up 100,000 pounds as a kitty, which will offer some students the opportunity for a start-up. 10,000 to 20,000 pounds may be the catalyst that helps them to succeed.”
Details of how the students apply hasn’t been confirmed, just that Green was open to “all ideas," so whether they are looking to set up a shop, their own label, or even a technology start-up.
The FRA has also announced that it plans to double its intake of students from 800 to 1600 over the next three years, and that next year will see the introduction of its new digital qualifications, Level 4 Digital Skills for Retail and Levels 3 and 4 Digital Marketing.