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How to get funding: The Prince’s Trust

If you’ve got a great business idea but are finding out the hard way that it can be a royal pain to get funding, The Prince’s Trust could be the answer.

If you’ve got a great business idea but are finding out the hard way that it can be a royal pain to get funding, The Prince’s Trust could be the answer.

The Prince’s Trust Business Programme has been running for 24 years and is open to 18- to 30-year-olds who are unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours a week. In addition to business training schemes, the programme provides funding of up to £4,000 (or £5,000 for partnerships), along with support for your business idea.

Sophie Beesley, head of the Business Programme, says: ‘We’re very flexible about the time it takes to develop a viable business idea. There’s basically a window of 12 months to work the idea through [before you can secure funding]. Although, if someone came to us with, for example, a lot of plumbing experience and wanted to set up their own plumbing company, they could get a loan in as little as three to four weeks.’

Simon Prynn used a £1,000 loan from The Prince’s Trust to set up his own drum classes and says the funding and support he received changed his life. ‘I was so sick of having jobs I didn’t like and going back to college wasn’t for me. This was something I knew I could succeed in doing,’ he says.

‘I think the key thing the Trust is looking for is commitment and passion to go that extra mile. My advice to anyone with a business idea is: go for it! Everyone told me I couldn’t do it, even my mum and dad, but The Prince’s Trust helped to prove them wrong. Before I was just drifting, now I have purpose and direction.’

Craig Smith and his partner Lisa Kennedy received a £2,000 loan from the Trust to start their business, The Printed Bag Shop, after they were made redundant. The company has since gone on to win several awards.

Smith says: ‘It’s hard work being self-employed because you can feel quite lonely, but they’ve really helped. We have since got further loans, but we wouldn’t have been in a position to get them without the help the Trust initially provided.’

The business has supplied the likes of The Royal Bank of Scotland and Coca-Cola, and is expected to achieve a turnover of £250,000 next year. ‘We are over the moon with the success of the company, mostly because it means we are providing a better future for our daughter, Ellie. Not only in terms of money, but I also hope we can encourage her to have a “can do” attitude throughout life,’ adds Smith.

The typical amount of funding businesses usually receive from the Trust is £2,500. Interest on the loan is three per cent (to cover administration charges) and the repayment scheme requires that you only pay £20 for the first six months with the remainder spread out over a period of two to five years.

With such favourable terms, it is little wonder that the charity has seen enquiries rocket by 65 per cent since last year.

‘Because it’s such a comprehensive programme we need around £1 million a month and are always looking for donations,’ adds Beesley.

Last year The Prince’s Trust helped nearly 2,500 people start their own business.

See also: Prince’s Trust gets women working

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13 comments

Susan Twizell

Hi im wondering if there is any funding to start my own business im 43 and work part time at the moment , i have spoke to lady at local jobcentre she advised me to try here , thankyou

Stewart Watkins

hi, iam a fully qualified electrician looking for funding for part P iam 63 years of age next month fit willing to work on JSA at this moment any help please

Vince Drury

Hi I'm looking at starting my own business doing PDR Paintless Dent Removali am currently receiving ESA since October last year having worked all my life I've ended up being out of work due to bipolar disorder and want to set up my own business but need funding for tools and training can you help Regards Vince

Debbie Houghton

Hi, Im a married 46yr old female. I have been trying to get the right job since moving to Gloucestershire 2yrs ago. I have severe arthritis and struggle to stand for long periods of time which is why i would love to start my own business as a mobile jacket potato van. I work for greggs at the moment and have told a number of customers about my idea and everyone agrees that its what they need around my area as most of the mobiles are breakfast vans. I am a very independent person who has previously ran a public house, im not asking for too much just a bit of a start as my husband wants to fit out a van for me so i can get started. I have been in touch with my local council and licensing and they also think its a good idea. Many Thanks

Florence Loning

please i am Disability student I study in final year Business Enterprise University I want to start my business im unemployed is there any funding I can get to buy equipment and help me get started my Business thank FLORENCE .

Huong Nguyen

I am a women and live in Vietnam. I am running my business in making & selling leather products. I have a store in Hochiminh city and some agency in Tan Son Nhat air port. We are also distribute for some online shop such as: www.Zalora.com and they are selling our products well at this time. I want to set up a chain store in other cities of my country .... But I really need more fund or cash for that project. Could you please advice if we can enter to line and have your fund or borrow your money with interest??? This is my web.... Just for reference: www.wildcatgenuineleather.com

Paul Masterson

I want to start my own window cleaning business im unemployed is there any funding I can get to buy equipment and help me get started thanku

Angeline Ntumazah

Hi Am 57years and unemployed, l have been trying to got a job for the last 4year but unsuccessful l have a diploma in bakery and confectionary and an N V Q 3 as a pastry chef. Am also a qualified cake decorator, l make cakes for all occasion. l have been trying to open my own cake shop but unable as l can not afford the rent deposit I have all the equipment to star the business but I need help to pay for the deposit. Please l need help to start my own business thanks.

Frank Wellington

has anyone tried www.cleartwo.co.uk for new business rebranding. They often do free Business cards and website designs for new start ups, its worth a try

Janine Brogan

Great idea but what about those who are older than 30, is there any help out there? i'm 34 and would love to start my own business.

Gemma Anderson

hi me and my partner was both considering going for one but both with two different ideas. would we be able to apply even tho we both have the same address?

Terrence Bennett

does the princes trust help with franchises?

Lewis Munyasia

I really like the way The Prince's Trust is working. This quite inspiring.its the perfect way of helping people achieve their dreams in life and thus making their great ideas a real thing. How can I access this great program? I am from Kenya.

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