Staff at Deloitte are being offered time and funding to develop their own business ideas while being paid their full salary.
The business advisory firm has established a £25m fund to help employees create and run start-ups that will be held in a newly formed business unit within Deloitte, called Innovation Investments Ltd.
Workers will submit business plans and demonstrate the viability of their idea, and if successful, will earn themselves a funded “incubation” period where they step away from the day job to develop their business.
Employees will retain a stake in their businesses while Deloitte will maintain overall ownership.
David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte, said: “This is a first for our firm and a first for our industry. We know that an increasing number of people are attracted to the idea of setting up their own business and trying something different.
“We believe this initiative offers a unique opportunity to pursue those entrepreneurial ambitions whilst remaining an employee of Deloitte and benefiting from the strength of our brand, experience and expertise.”
Those successful entrepreneurial employees will be given the opportunity draw on Deloitte’s internal expertise, across legal, risk, technology, brand, marketing, but will have the freedom to spend their funding on internal or external resource, as they see fit.
Each start-up founder will be able to identify and appoint an operational team and leadership board to help develop their business.
Paul Feechan, office senior partner for Deloitte in the North East, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity. Innovation Investments gives every Deloitte employee the chance to become CEO of their own company. Our aim is to develop new, standalone businesses that create future solutions for our clients in a world of rapidly changing technologies and shifting consumer demands.
“We have some of the most entrepreneurial minds in the country right here in our organisation and we want to give them the opportunity to develop in unique ways.
“Combining Innovation Investments with our existing external investment programmes should create something really powerful for our people, our clients and the wider market.”
He added: “Whilst the businesses developed will initially remain owned by Deloitte, we will adopt a model to ensure the originator is rewarded appropriately.
“In addition to being paid their full salary, they will also receive a bonus based upon the performance of their business and a share in the profit from any sale of the company.
“This scheme is very different to anything that we have done in the past. We are prepared to develop the concept as we roll it out and will undoubtedly have lessons to learn along the way, but we see this as a fantastic opportunity to grow and support Britain’s future business leaders.”
More than 50 new business ideas have already been submitted since the launch at the end of October.