The Prince’s Trust is the UK's leading youth charity, offering a range of opportunities including training, personal development, business start-up support, mentoring and advice.
Founded in 1976 by the Prince of Wales, the Trust is aimed at young people in need of practical and financial support, and helps around 40,000 people a year. It is funded in a variety of ways, from individual donations through to local and national government and the EU.
Its business programme is aimed at people aged 18-30, unemployed or working under 16 hours a week, and living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, offering money and support to help applicants start up in business.
The Trust’s mentoring scheme works in three parts:
Part one: The trust works with the young person to help them develop their ideas and put together a business plan.
Part two: This is the funding stage where the applicant goes through a ‘friendly’ Dragons’ Den type process.
Part three: If the applicant successfully gets funding for their business they are then assigned to a mentor. The Trust matches the young person with a mentor most suited to where they are geographically and what sector or industry their business is in.
The mentoring process is a one-to-one relationship between the mentor and the mentee. The Trust encourages them to meet at least once a month but generally takes a back seat to the actual proceedings unless the mentor asks for them to have further involvement. They report back to the Trust each month and let them know if the mentee needs any specialist advice they are not able to provide.
The Trust helped 2,400 new businesses form last year and at any one time provides ongoing support for nearly 7,000 young people.
More information is available at www.princes-trust.org.uk or by calling 0800 842 842