Milksok and the Princes Trust: What is the enterprise programme?

I mentioned the Princes Trust on my last blog and wanted to take the opportunity to explain a little bit about the Trust and how they have helped us at Milksok. 

For those that do not know about the Princes Trust and what they can offer then this blog will be of interest to you. 

I signed up with the Princes Trust at the start of 2016 with a basic idea and a strong vision of what I wanted for my future. The enterprise scheme is open to 18 - 30 year olds and the pre-requisite is that you need an idea, hopefully a fair bit of drive and are working less than 16 hours a week. 

For the last 4 years I have been a stay at home mum; I love being with my little tribe but I have always known that I would need to have something just for me. I knew that ultimately this would make me a better mum because to work and create something is deeply ingrained in my personality.

So I knew I had the idea and the drive but I had just turned 30 so I really needed to get a move on. Luckily despite being over that particular hill they still accepted me (phew) and I joined a 4 day enterprise course where I met some fellow young (ahem) people. All of us wanted to become entrepreneurs and we met several people working for and with the trust. I started my journey in Brighton and then moved my family to the New Forest. I was swiftly transferred to the Hampshire department of the trust and haven't looked back since. 

I was given a mentor, standard practice for the enterprise program. All the mentors have tons of experience and varying skills in the business world. These wonderful people give up their precious time and advice for absolutely nothing and I really would have been quite lost without my mentor. The enterprise program also offers you various courses and workshops which are run by experts, so you are always learning and expanding your knowledge.

I meet with Doug, my own personal mentor, once a month to discuss my business and the direction that I am moving in. The sole purpose of this is to build a strong enough business plan to take to launch group. From the time you sign up with the Princes Trust you have a year to launch a business, and if along the way you decide that self employment is not for you then they will even help you with getting back into work. I am approaching the end of my year and I have just submitted my plan for a December launch group.

Now in my head Launch Group is not dissimilar to the dragons den, I put myself out there and get ripped to shreds…In reality I know this will not be the case! I will sit down with a panel of people, yes; I will discuss the pros and cons of my website and sales forecasts, yes. However, the fundamental difference is that everyone within the trust wants you to succeed. They want to ensure that you have a viable business and that you can achieve your dream. Some people at launch group will be applying for funding/ loans through the trust others, like myself will be applying for the mentorship. Regardless of what you ask for, if you are successful and become a Trust supported business, then you obtain up to 4 years help and advise with a mentor. They will be on hand to help you take your business to the next level and answer any questions that will inevitably crop up with the day to day running of your business. You are also eligible for the varying courses and workshops that they put on. I have already gained several amazing contacts and advisors on so many aspect of my business. I simply would not have had access to them were it not for the Princes Trust!

So there you have it by next month I, with any luck, will be able to say that is a Princes Trust supported business. And seeng as statistically most businesses fail within their first year, I am hopeful for a more successful future.

I’ll be sure to let you know what happens at the launch and beyond so keep a look out for a future piece about this. 

If you are interested or know someone that could benefit from the Princes Trust, just click on the link below. There is actually so much more to the Trust than the enterprise course that I am a part of, so you really should check them out and see what excellent work that they do every single day.   Also if you would like to ask me any questions about my own experiences then please leave a comment below and i’ll do my best to answer them for you! 

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