Activism

Young entrepreneurs get £10,000 cash boost

Enterprise charity gets funding to expand hubs supporting young business talent

Anyone watching the new series of Dragons’ Den will know entrepreneurs are seldom short of ideas or confidence. Yet start-up funding often remains difficult to come by.

The enterprise charity London Youth Support Trust (LYST) has received a £10,000 cash boost to help more young people in the capital set up their own businesses.

The grant – from UBS and the City of London Corporation’s charitable arm, City Bridge Trust – will be used to increase the number of business incubators for budding young entrepreneurs.

London Youth Support Trust currently runs four centres, having transforming underused buildings into thriving enterprise hubs.

Over 1,000 unemployed young people have been helped to start businesses, with 120 currently being helped through the early process of turning their ideas into reality.

A lot of my customers are like me, we listen to the same music and like the same things

Tafadzwa Murdock (pictured above) set up his business We Print Express with vital support from the charity. The 21-year-old started out by seeking advice from the hub on the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark last September.

“I got in to the wrong crowd in my area, living in Brixton – there’s a lot of negative influences,” Murdock explained. “This business has changed my life because I have got away from all that.

“I have learned to be disciplined and understand how to budget now. When I started I wasn’t able to do anything – now I can provide for myself as well. I live with my mum and now I pay her rent and money for bills.”

Murdock, better know as Taffy, says his printing business caters to a lot of other young people in the creative industries.

“A lot of my customers are like me, we listen to the same music and like the same things,” he said.

“They are music artists, YouTubers, celebrities who want to start a clothing brand but don’t have the skills or content so I can help them develop it. I also offer a design service so can create the kind of designs they like.”

City Bridge Trust and UBS launched the Stepping Stones Fund over two years ago, giving £2 million to support charities and social enterprises.

Alison Gowman, chair of City Bridge Trust, said the organisation was “committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”

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