City’s young entrepreneurs to benefit from experienced business mentors

Making Changes for Careers, Hull
Making Changes for Careers, Hull.

Experienced business owners are being encouraged to volunteer to support the city’s young entrepreneurs.

Business is really difficult for many enterprises just now. Some businesses cannot operate due to lockdown and social distancing measures, others are seeing greatly reduced revenue as households review their outgoings during a time of financial insecurity. Few business plans will have prepared for the impact of a global pandemic.

Young entrepreneurs, without their own business experience to guide them, are in particular need of support.

Charles Cracknell, Hull City Council’s Youth Enterprise Manager, says: “We are now into our eighth week of the current Covid-19 lockdown. We are working with 225 young people aged 16 to 29 who are current and past participants of the ‘Making Changes for Careers’ programme, and/or the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank.

“Many of the young people we are supporting have only just come off Universal Credit and other benefits to set up in business or find work. They now find themselves, for a wide number of reasons, unable to trade or work, and unable to access the various schemes at the moment.

“We have now set up two schemes to support them. We’ve established a mentoring scheme with volunteers from across the UK, all willing to give help and support to our young entrepreneurs. So far 70 mentors have volunteered to give advice and support on aspects of how to run a business, help to find a job, or just be someone knowledgeable to chat to.”

Sue Cade, who runs a PR agency in Devon, has volunteered as a mentor.

Sue says: “I’ve run my own business for almost 30 years, and I am well aware of the vulnerability of working this way. When I found out that so many young people have missed out on Government help during the Covid-19 pandemic I was happy to offer my services as a mentor, specifically to give advice to some of the young entrepreneurs with making the best use of social media accounts for sales.

“Not helping young people who have shown a willingness to set up and run their own business has a long term cost to society. Though I live in Devon I am proud to be a mentor to support young people in Hull.”

Valerie Dwyer, Founder of My Wonderful Life Coach, is also offering her experience as a mentor.

Valerie says: “What could be more rewarding than bringing along a new generation of entrepreneurs? 30 years experience, 10 businesses, and three recessions behind me, I learned a thing or two about how to start, scale, survive and thrive.

“I am now delighted to be mentoring Jennifer, a young photographer in Hull, thanks to Hull City Council reaching out. A relative start-up, Jennifer’s natural talent ranks with the best! She will be a name to be reckoned with, now she is finding her direction! It’s a thrill to watch someone’s confidence and ability grow when you encourage them, and empower them to go for whatever they want to on their own terms!”

Complementing the valuable experience offered by business mentors, a Young Entrepreneurs Emergency Fund has been started, with initial financial support from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank, to help provide some financial stability to the city’s young start-up enterprises.

Donations to the grant fund are being collected via a GoFundMe page:

GoFundMe: JCYEB – Young Entrepreneurs Emergency Fund

The emergency fund has already received donations from businesses, trade unions and charities, as well as individuals and young people who have previously been involved in youth enterprise activities in Hull.

To chat about how you can contribute your skills to these initiatives, contact Charles Cracknell, Youth Enterprise Manager at Hull City Council, on tel. 01482 505427, or email

[Jerome Whittingham – editor HULL IS THIS]

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