A YOGA business owner was helped to expand by a grant scheme that has seen more than £45,000 awarded to young entrepreneurs since 2021.

Amy Morgan received £1,500 from Dorset Community Foundation and South West Enterprise Fund's Enterprise and Business Fund which allowed her to purchase a laptop, microphones and yoga mats and blocks.

The money has helped the 28-year-old run innovative classes aimed at men from her Kaiako studio in Ashley Road, Poole.

“Getting the grant was amazing, it allowed me to start making good content for Instagram and that's where all of my audience is pretty much from,” Amy said.

“The grant has been a great help and opened a whole world out there for me and it's forced me into networking a bit more, understanding what business is about a little bit more. I'm obviously still learning a hell of a lot but it's been really, really good.”

Bournemouth Echo: Amy runs her business from Ashley Road, Poole

Applicants are required to fill out a form with their business plan and then discuss their idea over a video call with a grant panel.

“I think it's really easy when you get into something like this to be rolling with what you're physically doing and not really be thinking about the business side of things,” she said.

“I think applying for the grants did make me think about things differently.”

The fund awards up to £2,000 to help young people develop a business idea or to help them progress if they have been running a business for less than two years.

Since the grant’s launch in 2021, almost 50 young people aged between 18 and 30 have benefitted from funds helping them with rent, equipment and bills.

So far, the fund has helped businesses ranging from market gardening to making furniture and clothing to camping vans.

Dorset Community Foundation chief executive Grant Robson said: “No matter what the business, whether it is capable of growing to employ 20 people or a self-employed worker providing a brilliant service to their community, we see the value in it.

“We’ve loved working with the SWEF team and it has been truly inspiring to see young people making the most of the opportunity. Now as we go into 2024 we want to see more.”

To find out more about the fund and how to apply, visit the Dorset Community Foundation website.