The Prince's Trust09 August 2008
A few months ago I got involved with the Prince’s Trust. I’ve been hearing about them for years from various sources, then one day I visited their website, just to find a bit more about them, and the next thing I knew I was being showered with help and support with my business!
Essentially they’re a charity that help young people start up their own businesses, through courses, mentoring, loans and general all-round niceness. To begin with you attend some courses, create a business plan, meet other people in the same boat as you, figure out how much loan you will need and then present your plan in front of a panel. I didn’t have to do the ‘panel’ bit because I’m not borrowing enough money (probably none actually), but I’ve done everything else. One of the most helpful aspects is just meeting other’s like yourself, being self-employed or starting up your business is not like working in an office, it can be pretty lonely and there’s generally not that much information out there about it. I think a lot of people never even consider working for themselves, as they think it’s only really clever, or rich, or entrepreneurial types that do that kind of thing. But that’s absolutely not the case, it’s actually very straightforward and lot more accessible than most would imagine – and there is a lot of support for it, both from organisations like the Prince’s Trust and in fact the government (well the British one anyway). So just having the information at hand and friendly voices to listen and advise just makes the whole thing incredibly easy and exciting.
So I’m now formally registered as self-employed, I have a business bank account, I’ll be getting a one-to-one mentor for the next two years, whom I’ll have regular contact with, the option to borrow up to £1000, should the need arise, plus I’ve already got some business through other Prince’s Trust folk wanting websites for their new businesses. So now I feel a lot more confident about my business, which in turn has effected the quality of my work and attitude and overall I’ve just been really surprised and impressed by what the Prince’s Trust has to offer. I would heartedly recommend it to any other young folk thinking of setting up their own businesses.
So here’s a big thank you to everyone at the Prince’s Trust, and to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for kicking it off ;)