Young people struggling to find work are turning their bright ideas into businesses with the help of a social enterprise.
Five people in their 20s who left university to find that they cannot get started in their chosen career due to the financial climate spent all Saturday advertising their wares at Walthamstow market.
They became stallholders for the day as part of a scheme with Waltham Forest-based Raise Your Game, an organisation dedicated to helping young people up onto their feet.
Director of the enterprise, Nicky Torode, encouraged people to apply at graduate recruitment fairs and then took time to pick the applications which looked most promising.
She said: “We wanted people who seemed really serious about their ideas, and wanted to find out how much they had developed them.
“Raise Your Game then just helps them to take that idea further, it’s basically about believing you can do it, and just absolutely not giving up.”
The organisation is grant-funded and the lifecoach often runs classes out of The Mill, the community centre in Coppermill Lane.
The organisation also works with young people who have been to prison but who want to turn their lives around as well as those in trouble at school.
But Ms Torode said this project was designed to help those with bright ideas walk their own path in life, and to be confident enough to try their hand at a business despite the state of the economy.
Stacey Taylor, 22, of Hoe Street in Walthamstow, designs handmade cards for LGBT people who find they are not represented in major gift shops.
She has now turned it into a business project with Ms Torode’s help, and has founded a company called Liberation Designs.
She said: “Being a member of the community myself it’s so hard to find cards that are appropriate, that’s why I started to do it.
“It’s going surprisingly well. Raise Your Game’s been amazing. I don’t have experience of the business side but Nicky has really helped me market them and develop the initial idea.”
Modesar Mehmood, 29, of Norlington Road in Leytonstone, creates new twists on herbal and traditional teas with his company Tea Sips.
He said: “The project’s helped bring on my idea a lot. I didn’t know anything about business and this has given me a platform and identifying places to sell and promote my products.
“It was more of a hobby at first but the experience has made me get very serious about how I can grow my business.”
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