East Anglia: Prince’s Trust launches scheme to encourage self-employment

THE Prince’s Trust charity is urging more young people without a job to consider running their own business, amid signs of growing disillusionment over employment prospects.

One in five young people currently out of work in the eastern region regard finding a job in the next year as “unachievable” while half of those aged under 30 in employment feel “disposable”, according to a study by The Prince’s Trust charity and Royal Bank of Scotland.

However, nearly half of the self-employed young people questioned across the UK said starting their own business was the best decision they have ever made.

The trust is now seeking to encourage more young people to consider self-employment through a new A-Z of Young Businesses, supported by RBS, which celebrates young people from who have set up on their own.

“It is clear that it’s a difficult time for young people in the East of England as they’re becoming increasingly disillusioned with their lives,” said Matt McBryde, head of enterprise for the Prince’s Trust in the East of England.

“Setting up in business can be an escape route out of the dole queue for these young people and a route to success. Many of the disadvantaged young people we have helped through our Enterprise programme have gone from joblessness to being their own boss and employing others too.”

Chris Sullivan, chief executive for corporate banking at RBS, said: “RBS is proud to continue to support the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme which is proven to help young people set up business. This is particularly important in the current economic climate and I hope this will inspire any young unemployed person to consider self employment.”

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Among those who the Prince’s Trust has worked with the eastern region is David White, now 32, who was struggling on benefits following depression, redundancy and the loss of his home but with, the help of the trust, went on to set up his own jewellery design and repair business, White Designs..

David had a long history of clinical depression and in 2008 was made redundant and lost his home. He reached an all-time low when his brother took his own life and David spent eight months on incapacity benefit and medication, with debts mounting up and his confidence evaporating.

However, the Prince’s Trust offered him a �4,000 loan and a business mentor to help get his jewellery design and repair business off the ground.

He specialises in making bespoke jewellery using gem stones and precious metals. The business provides a jewellery recycling service where customers can have their jewellery modified and completely remodelled into new pieces.

Not only has he built up a following of happy customers, he now provides work and income to a number of small businesses including setters, engravers and wax model makers.

David is now engaged and looking forward to supporting a family. He says: “The Prince’s Trust quite simply saved my life.

“They gave me a chance when no-one else would and they’ve enabled me to create my own job and a better life for myself. Without the support of the Prince’s Trust and my mentor, I don’t think my business idea would have ever been a reality.”

: : For details of the A-Z of Young Businesses, visit facebook.com/princestrust or princes-trust.org.uk .