The Prince’s Trust, The Start Up Ecosystem & Mentoring
I’d heard of The Prince’s Trust but it wasn’t until I was at university that I was introduced properly to the charity and found out what the Enterprise programme involved. I was nearing the end of my degree and just finished a lecture in the The University of Birmingham, Business School Atrium, Dave Lewis was promoting how The Prince’s Trust helps support young people & their business ideas. I was looking for an initial start-up loan to get the idea off the ground and had been rejected by the bank. So, to discover The Prince’s Trust at this point was fantastic.
A few weeks later we were in the Custard Factory offices to explore further how they could help. A few weeks after that I was pitching to 3 people who formed a business panel who would be responsible for decided if studentbeans.com would benefit from the £3000 loan. Akin to a Dragon’s Den pitch or that’s how it felt at least before going in — I left the room thinking I’d done the best I can.
Shortly after I discovered I had been accepted, aside from the loan we got some amazing ongoing support from Mark Beardmore & Emily Allen and some additional pro-bono legal support from DLA Piper.
It’s mentors and people like Mark & Emily who take the time from their day jobs to invest with founders and early stage businesses that really make the ecosystem thrive.
The whole Enterprise programme was invaluable, it provided me with the support and structure I needed to succeed. Monthly meetings with my mentors also provided an amazing opportunity to review the numbers, share the challenges and excitement of what was happening in the business. It was a chance to reflect, celebrate, be challenged and helped me focus on what needed to be done. They were always at the end of the phone and I often think if it wasn’t for The Prince’s Trust and their support I might not have put the right foundations in place to grow and scale the business. It’s great to see the growth of the wider Startup-Loans programme. The Prince’s Trust have been supporting young people like this over the last 40 years and I believe should be given more credit for their contribution to the early stage startup Ecosystem.
Since we repaid the loan Student Beans had gone from strength to strength. It’s been humbling to sit on the panel, speaking at events and mentoring others in The Prince’s Trust ecosystem.
Just recently I was introduced to a friend’s family; it turned out the father was involved with The Prince’s Trust which was an instant conversation starter and continued as we explored about how we’re both connected with the charity.
That is at the heart what Causr is all about; giving people context of who people are nearby and enabling a connection that would otherwise be missed. Whether I’m travelling for work, at an event, on a train or delayed at an airport if I knew someone nearby was a Prince’s Trust supporter it would give me a reason to start a conversation and who knows where it could go.
From simply an interesting connection, to a business contact, sports buddy, business deal or helping you find a new dream job, the possibilities are endless.
- Download Causr from the Apple store here
- Once you’ve downloaded the app make sure you join The Prince’s Trust group
We’ve also created a group to help connect Mentors with each other and let Causr users know if you are willing to be a mentor you once you’ve downloaded the app you can join the group directly here.