Croydon invests in entrepreneurs of the future

By - Monday 2nd June, 2014

Prince’s Trust and Croydon Council unite to encourage unemployed young people to explore their inner entrepreneur

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Members of Croydon Council, The Mayor of London and The Prince’s Trust united in Croydon last month (Thursday 1st May) to celebrate the success of two local entrepreneurs and discuss how they can encourage more unemployed young people to turn their business dream into a reality.

The event formed part of the ‘Entrepreneurs of the Future’ programme, which was established by Croydon Council and the Mayor of London in late 2012 to improve outcomes for young people, particularly in West Croydon, following the riots. These agencies are now collaborating with youth charity The Prince’s Trust to support young people to be their own boss.

Michael Jarrett, 25, from Thornton Heath, attended the event to present his business idea and inspire other young people to become self-employed. Having completed The Prince’s Trust Explore Enterprise programme last year, he is now working with a mentor to finalise his plans for Art á Ray – an online outlet which develops, exposes and sells work on behalf of young handmade artists and crafters.

“The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme has not only given me the confidence I need to run my own business, but has also motivated me to realise and achieve my goals in helping people. I can’t wait to launch Art á Ray – it’ll definitely be my proudest moment.”

Michael was joined by Natalie Pencille, 29, from Croydon, who’s in the process of setting up an online haberdashery shop.

Dermot Finch, Prince’s Trust regional director for the South of England, says: “Setting up in business may seem daunting but The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme has three decades of experience helping disadvantaged young people succeed in self-employment.

“Thanks to supporters like The Mayor of London and Croydon Council, The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme is proven to boost the economy despite the recession as well as transforming thousands of young lives.

“By helping our young unemployed into jobs and business, whole communities stand to reap the rewards of their success. Giving young people, with little hope for the future, a reason to get up in the morning will help regenerate the region’s economy following what has proved to be a very tough economic climate.”

Jivko Hristov, Croydon Council’s Economic Strategy Manager, says: “I was delighted to meet these talented entrepreneurs who have overcome a range of obstacles to get to where they are today – and it’s great to see them running their businesses in the local area. It was incredibly inspiring to hear how The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise programme had helped them, but it was even better to hear their personal stories about how they didn’t give up on what they believed in.”

The Prince’s Trust’s free Enterprise programme not only gives 18-30 year olds in Croydon practical business advice through a series of workshops that cover everything from marketing and selling to tax advice and pricing, but also the opportunity to apply for funding. The young person is then matched with a business mentor who will support them throughout their journey.

The next Enterprise courses are running Tuesday 24 to Friday 27 June, and Tuesday 22 to Friday 25 July at the Croydon Voluntary Action Centre and travel will be paid for.

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Contact: To find out more about the course, discuss eligibility and get yourself booked on, please contact Felicity Hosking on 07415 611 638 or



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