Young entrepreneurs who beat unemployment with help from youth charity The Prince’s Trust set up shop in Cardiff’s St David’s Shopping Centre last weekend (4th – 6th March) to showcase their successful businesses to the general public. The businesses on show included a prom dress boutique, a graphic designer, a musician and a chocolate maker.
All of the young entrepreneurs have taken part in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, which provides practical advice, financial support and mentoring to unemployed 18-30 year olds interested in self-employment.
Currently, more than one in six young people (18%) in Wales are struggling to find work. With support from the Welsh Government, The Queen’s Trust the Waterloo Foundation, The Prince’s Trust has been able to help young people with a business idea to create their own jobs.
Twenty-nine-year-old Yousra Elsadig from Cardiff is one of more than 500 young people to have received help from The Prince’s Trust to become an entrepreneur in the last 10 years. Yousra had a passion for fashion from a young age, and had always dreamed of setting up her own business. During a break from her studies, she decided to set out on her own, though she had little idea where to start.
She approached The Prince’s Trust and received advice, start-up funding and the support of a mentor to get her idea off the ground. Boutique de Nana (boutiquedenana.co.uk) specialises in modest clothing designs and produces one-of-a-kind garments made with carefully selected fabrics. Last year, her business was shortlisted for the Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year at the Entrepreneur Wales Awards 2015.
“There are so many young people out there with ideas and aspirations but often they lack the confidence to take that first step. I was in the same boat. But with the support of a dedicated mentor, young people can overcome all kinds of barriers to become established, successful business owners. By encouraging more young people to set up in business, whole communities benefit.”
Thirty year old Ben Clifford who set up Surfability which provides surfing experiences for people with disabilities said, “There are so many young people with good ideas and visions, but it can be daunting to take that first step. The Prince’s Trust Enterprise course, particularly the support of a mentor, instils confidence and provides budding entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge they need to set out on their own – I encourage other young people to get in touch.
Rhian Mathias, Head of Enterprise at The Prince’s Trust Cymru said,
‘We all know young people who are struggling to find a job here in Wales – especially if they have struggled at school or faced other barriers like homelessness or health problems. With the right support, we know that self-employment can be a viable option for these young people, giving them the chance to beat unemployment and create jobs for themselves and others.”
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:
‘Starting a business is never easy, and it is inspirational to hear of young people battling against the odds to succeed in life. The variety of support available at The Prince’s Trust plays a key role in enabling young people today to get their foot on the career ladder.’
Since 1976, The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme has supported over 80,000 young people across the UK to set up in business. The programme is delivered across Wales.
The entrepreneurs showcasing their businesses were:
Yousra Eladig, 29, Cardiff – ‘Boutique de Nana’ (clothing line)
John Nicholas, 24, Cardiff – John Nicholas music
Alex Lewis, Swansea, Surviva Wear (Outdoor pursuits and survival products)
Carly Thompsett, 26, Cardiff – ‘Anaphase Clothing’
Jade Fisher, 26, Hengoed – ‘Illustrated Home ware and Gifts’
Natasha Graves, 31, Cwmbran – ‘Ngraves’ (gift and homeware design)
Kyle Rowbotham, 29, Penarth – Aquaprojects (swimming pool services)
Ben Clifford, 30, Swansea – Surfability (surfing experiences for people with disabilities)
Liam Burgess (represented by Lily Woollacott) 22, Camarthenshire – Nom Nom chocolate
Jade F Rees, 30, Swansea – Nest (Homeware Boutique)
Kylie Hearne, 29, Swansea – Stardust Boutique (prom & bridal dress boutique)
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976, this year the charity is celebrating 40 years of supporting 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.