The NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is all about supporting local entrepreneurs. The team popped down to the St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff to take a look around the Prince’s Trust Pop Up Shop, an initiative that showcases entrepreneurs and businesses that have taken part in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, and speak to some of the entrepreneurs about their businesses and experience with the Prince’s Trust.
Kelly-Marie Howlett, Kactiboom
Kactiboom offer a service that represents the ideal union of fine art and interior design. Whether you are seeking style advice, artwork to match a specific interior or simply would like to explore ideas about a design project.
Approaching thirty, Kelly wanted to pursue a career within art and design, after taking some time out in between graduating and having a son. Kelly thought that she would be too old for the Prince’s Trust programme, but she got in touch just in time! She felt that it was a real opportunity to follow her passion.
“I like the whole concept of producing a commission piece based on someone’s preferences and the style of their room, trying to match it. I prefer to work knowing that I’ve got a brief and to tailor something to someone’s home, space, or commercial property.”
“The Prince’s Trust has helped me so much! It gave me valuable business acumen that I never had before. I’m quite a creative person, so give me a paintbrush and I’m fine. Having a young son after I graduated made me even more determined because I really wanted to seize the opportunity, and my Prince’s Trust mentor Leigh was amazing to work with, and really inspiring.”
Carly Thompsett, Anaphase Store
Based in Cardiff, Anaphase Store is an online company selling a handful of products including clothing, footwear, homeware, cosmetics, accessories and holiday season items.
Carly first moved to Cardiff in 2013 to pursue her dream of setting up her own business, something she had wished for her whole life. Uncertain of how to begin the process, Carly came across the Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise Programme after searching online, and began the scheme in 2015.
“When I first heard of Prince’s Trust, I didn’t think it would be anything of interest. I thought it would be four days, I can get some funding and I can leave, but they taught me everything; taxes, how to work out my name, how much things cost and adding profit on top! I still use the skills I learned on the Enterprise Programme to help me when applying for funding – it’s literally amazing.
“I don’t think I would be anywhere near where I am or even got as far as I am without any of their help, or anything they’ve given me. I’d tell everyone to do it.”
Amy Brown, Mister Berwyn
Mister Berwyn create cheerful and playful homeware and gifts for happy homes. Illustrated and designed by Amy, all of their proudly British products were inspired by her love of colour, nature and interiors.
Amy completed the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, after she realised that she needed help putting together a business plan, and how to deal with the financial side of the business.
“The main takeaway I have from working with the Prince’s Trust is that they have helped me to tap into my inner entrepreneur, rather than just my inner creative. It made me focus on cash flow, and all the not so fun things you’d rather not be doing. It’s made me appreciate the importance of all of the aspects that come with running a business.
“Their support has been very valuable – my products would just be drawings if I hadn’t signed up!”
Liz Ponting, LP Designs
Owned and run by Liz Ponting, LP Designs is a graphic design, fine art and web design business based in South Wales. Liz left her job to look after her girlfriend as her full-time carer, when she decided to set up her own business, and turned to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise scheme to help her start LP Designs.
“The biggest value for me was that the Prince’s Trust gave me the confidence to set up my own business. I didn’t think it would work, and without their support starting out and the continued mentor support over the past eighteen months, I don’t think I would have been able to do it.”
Asher Flowers, Rogue Preserves
Rogue Preserves is a chutneys, jams and marmalades company based in the Rhondda. Asher moved back from London to set up the business last July, with a real emphasis on quality produce, making jars and flavours that can be used in cooking, and that people really enjoyed.
“I’d always had the idea of making these chutneys and jams that I’d learnt from my mum, and I thought if I don’t do this now I’d look back and always regret. That is where the name ‘rogue’ came from, no one expects a 24 year old, mixed-race guy with tattoos from Wales to want to make chutneys.
“I would say for anyone who is looking to work with the Prince’s Trust to just go for it – it is a fantastic opportunity! The devil is in the details, and it’s really about looking at yourself and thinking; what are my capabilities, what if it goes wrong, what is the reality? The Prince’s Trust really gave me, the opportunity to take ownership of something, and have someone root for me whilst I go out and do it!”
Alia Qamber, Capture the Moment by Alia
Capture the Moment by Alia is a mobile photography business working across South Wales offering outdoor and indoor shoots.
Alia was unemployed for three years before she was recommended to the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. Once made aware that she could get the help she needed to pursue her dream of starting her own photography business, Alia jumped at the chance to join the programme.
“The Prince’s Trust are brilliant! I didn’t think I could start a business, but they have built my confidence and have encouraged me to go out and do it. They have given me all the advice I needed.
“My biggest value was building my knowledge base around starting a business. I never knew about where to go to find certain things – like taxes or managing money – and in four days, they taught me everything I needed to know.”
Layton Jones, Salvaged Creations Wales
Salvaged Creations Wales produce handmade crafts and gifts from salvaged materials. Layton attended a meet and greet session with the Prince’s Trust after being recommended by his local council run scheme, Community for Work.
“I was unemployed around a year ago, and the Prince’s Trust has supported me to launch my business through the ‘Will it Work’ programme.
“The greatest benefit of the Trust is that the staff really believe in you. I was left at a loose end after being diagnosed with stomach problems, so working normal nine to five jobs had been difficult, so this has worked out really well. It’s about finding the support, and the Trust has been there to do that.”
Katriona Shrives, Adastra Adventures
Adastra Adventures is a luxury adventure travel company, specialising in group and bespoke adventures to the weird and wonderful places in the world. Their aim is to try and get people off the beaten track and into the culture of that country. After leaving her job in London, Katriona moved to Columbia unsure of what she wanted to do.
“I loved showing people new places, so I decided that I’d quite like to start a travel company. I didn’t know where to start, so my Mum suggested that I get in touch with the Prince’s Trust”.
Following a conversation with the Prince’s Trust, Katriona attended an introductory session for their enterprise scheme, and soon realised that they could help support and set up her travel business.
“The support I’ve received from the Prince’s Trust has been amazing. I did get financial support which was of course useful, but the most beneficial thing the Trust gives your is a mentor. No matter how much money you’ve got, if you don’t have the right direction for your company, you’re never going to be successful. That was the best thing they gave me, I had a brilliant mentor.”
After her success with the Prince’s Trust, Katriona has set up a second business, Polo Factory UK.