Back in October 2019, The Prince's Trust decided to support the launch of Wiseup, after I presented my business plan to the Launch Panel.
Since then, I’ve not been able to speak highly enough of The Trust and the support they offer to any young person with a business idea.
If anything, I was unfortunate to only hear of The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme late on in the development of my business. Wiseup was 1-2 months away from going live, when I was told by a friend that I should check the Enterprise Programme out. Even at this late stage, it was incredibly eye-opening.
If you have a business idea or have started to set up your own enterprise, it’s a no-brainer to investigate how The Prince's Trust could support you.
See our story below!
All that was needed to do to get the ball rolling was to fill out a short contact form here. A few days later, I was told when I could meet for an introductory session.
At the introductory session, I could see what a welcoming and positive environment it was. A representative sat me down, along with two other young entrepreneurs, and we had a chat about our ideas. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I turned up in a full suit. I soon realised I got the wrong end of the stick. It was a friendly and informal chat, not an interview!
After the introductory session, it was time for the business workshop a week later. Over 4 days, I learnt all about setting up a business. With the help of impressive guest-speakers, the workshop covered key areas like marketing, finance, pitching and writing a business plan. After the workshop, businesses usually then go on to begin planning and testing their ideas. All of that is with the support of The Trust and an assigned mentor. As I was a bit further down the line, I began writing my business plan.
A representative worked with me to check my drafts. A business plan isn’t as difficult to write as it may seem! It’s made particularly manageable with the knowledge from the workshop and support of The Trust.
It was time for the Launch Panel. This is where businesses present their business plans to a few Prince's Trust representatives with the business experience to decide whether your proposal is viable. But that’s where the similarities to Dragons’ Den end! It’s a friendly and supportive experience. The Launch Panel simply want to hear more about you and the business. If you make it this far, your business is most likely viable or very close, so there isn’t anything to worry about!
Businesses can be approved for a start-up loan and a business mentor. I chose not to apply for the loan, as many of my start-up costs were completed. The business mentor alone was enough of an incentive to get involved with The Trust. Considering what Wiseup is, I am well aware of the benefits of having a mentor!
Aside from that, I immediately recognised the benefits of being involved with The Prince's Trust. I explained that I was struggling to finalise my Terms & Conditions without paying for a Solicitor. My representative in The Trust pointed me to a volunteer who has a passion for helping businesses with the legal and contractual side of things.
This volunteer met with me in person and went through my Terms & Conditions. After understanding the business and relevant legal areas, we continued contact over email and phone to get my documentation redrafted. I mentioned a particular go-live date I needed to hit, and I could not believe the attentiveness, time and effort that was put into hitting it. I would receive emails late at night with an incredible level of detailed updates to my documents. We would redraft these documents together numerous times until they were finalised and ready-to-go the night before I wanted to go-live.
We are now live and have the support of The Trust going forward. I wish to thank everybody involved. It’s a truly remarkable organisation and I look forward to growing Wiseup alongside them in the future.