Local business mentor helps teen entrepreneur to realise ambition of becoming his own boss

Mark Brammar News

An 18-year-old budding entrepreneur is receiving a leg-up in the world of business thanks to an enterprise programme on offer from The Prince’s Trust.

After signing up to The Trust’s Enterprise programme, Ethan Lemon from Biddulph has been meeting regularly with one of the youth charity’s volunteer business mentors, chartered accountant Jed Eatough, co-director of Growth4Businesses Ltd Group, which has four offices including LSGK Accountants in Leek.

Following his GCSEs at Biddulph High School, Ethan enrolled on to a BTEC Art course but soon found it wasn’t for him. Two apprenticeship placements followed, but neither employer was willing to pay following the free trial, and neither led to permanent jobs.

Ethan spent much of 2017 printing his own graffiti style t-shirts and selling them online through his business, Original Criminal Clothing.

It was a friend who recommended the Prince’s Trust Enterprise scheme to Ethan and he enrolled in January 2018. The programme equips young people with the training, tools and mentoring support needed to start their own business. In addition, there is the opportunity to apply for a low-interest loan.

Jed Eatough had been keen to offer his services as a Prince’s Trust mentor and was particularly keen to link up with a Staffordshire Moorlands mentee.

“I’d mentored for the Trust several years ago and was keen to mentor a start-up business in the Moorlands, having been involved here since buying the Leek practice in 2014.

“I’ve been really impressed with Ethan’s drive and determination. He has an obvious artistic talent but translating that to a successful business takes special qualities which he has.

Ethan added: “I’ve certainly learnt a lot in the last six months. Meeting with Jed and gives me a real focus and he always makes sure I’ve carried out the tasks agreed at the previous meeting. His experience and contacts are invaluable.”

“I’m still working from home, selling via my website and other sites such as Depop and eBay whilst also building my presence on social media. Hopefully, somewhere in the future I can have my own premises”.

Prince’s Trust programme manager for enterprise, Andrew Henderson commented: “It’s fantastic to see the mentoring working so well. There must be solid commitment from both sides and Ethan and Jed are both demonstrating what it takes to succeed.”

Anyone interested in enrolling on The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme or becoming a mentor can contact Andrew at the Prince’s Trust: andrew.henderson@princes-trust.org.uk