Networks First is offering to bankroll the entrepreneurial dreams of its senior staff by handing them £50,000 to set up an IT reseller.
The new perk, inspired by BBC show The Apprentice, is open to new starters who join the third-party services firm as business development managers and remain on board for three years.
The incentive is designed to lure experienced, high-calibre staff with an entrepreneurial flair, said Sallie-Ann Allen, head of operations at Networks First.
Although they can use the £50,000 as they see fit, they will avoid being taxed on it if they set up a business that is "complementary" to Networks First and accept the lump sum in the form of a 10 per cent equity investment, she explained.
"The ideal scenario is that people applying for this take that entrepreneurial passion and become a partner of Networks First," Allen (pictured) said.
The idea was partly inspired by The Apprentice, where candidates compete for a £250,000 start-up investment from Alan Sugar, but is also a recognition that "Generation Y" workers don't want to be shackled to one firm or industry for too long, Allen said.
"Studies show the workforce is far more mobile now," she said. "Sometimes people who have experience get to a point in life where they want a change in direction. They have a dream about opening a B&B or restaurant but it's difficult to accumulate the kind of equity needed to make that choice. If they want to stay in IT that would be great for us, as they will have created a partner for us."
Networks First is initially looking to hire two people under the scheme, which is contingent on staff hitting their new-business targets over the three years.
"The whole point of this is to enable us to continue growing," said Allen. "We laid down the foundation with our Sale Academy, which brings in talent at a graduate level. This is a similar scheme but aimed at attracting people with more experience."
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