In early 2020, Enterprise Junction launched a new training programme to support young people across East Sussex with an opportunity to start their own business. The participants, aged between 16 and 25, completed a programme of eight days training on topics ranging from “how enterprise helps the local community” to “what skills are needed to become self-employed”. In addition, participants had the opportunity to attend a one to one mentoring/coaching session with a trained business facilitator to develop their strategy and set realistic goals and targets.
As well as increasing their levels of confidence and self-esteem, participants gained a clear focus and direction which helped them to develop ideas for a start-up business. One participant said she had “Learnt more about setting up and running my own business and the pros and cons of being self-employed”.
Enterprise Junction, in association with The People’s Postcode were intending to roll out the scheme across East Sussex with particular emphasis on working with young people not in education, employment or training but unfortunately the programme was halted at the end of March due to Covid-19. Like many charities, Enterprise Junction faced an uncertain future as the longer term impact of the pandemic started to become more apparent. Luckily for them, The People’s Postcode showed remarkable perspicacity when, towards the end of May, they informed grant holders that any funds that remained unspent from their original grants could be “unrestricted” and used for whatever was needed most.
Benna McCartney, director of Enterprise Junction said, “The forward thinking and generosity of The Postcode Lottery has been a lifeline to small charities like ourselves. Thanks to them we have been able to retain key members of staff and develop new ways of delivering our programmes that will benefit future participants”.