Running the streets to running their own business – young people given a second chance with First Class and The Prince's Trust
An initiative conceived by First Class, aimed at giving young people with an entrepreneurial spirit a second chance, is about to launch in Birmingham. Working in partnership and supported by The Prince’s Trust, First Class Legacy’s, Street Smart to Business Start programme will help to broaden the support offered by The Trust, while offering additional opportunities via its business Enterprise programme
It is hoped that the partnership will enable The Prince’s Trust to engage a wider range of young people, in particular, those from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. The ‘Street Smart to Business Start Programme’ commissioned by The Prince’s Trust will launch on February 7, 2019 starting at 6.30pm at The Prince’s Trust Birmingham Centre, The Cold Store, Beorma Quarter, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6DR.
First Class is a Birmingham based company, that works with service providers to help them to engage, connect with and build lasting relationships with those in the community deemed traditionally hard to reach. Youth culture in Britain is fast changing and First Class recognises issues such as Child Criminal Exploitation are becoming more prevalent, where children as young as 10 or 11 are being groomed to enter gangs and commit crimes such as drug trafficking on behalf of older criminals.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme helps 18 to 30-year-olds turn their ideas into a business reality. With advice, guidance and support on offer for budding entrepreneurs, individuals can access the programme online or in person.
Founder of First Class, Nathan Dennis said,
“The survival skills that many of these young people pick up on the streets are in essence, the fundamentals of running a business. We want to capture those transferable skills and train these young people to use them to grow a business idea of their own from conception to launch and beyond. Many of them may have never considered that they could become an entrepreneur. If we can show them how to use their skills in a productive way, this could lead to less of our young people heading down the wrong path and will instead enable them to make positive contributions to society.”
“The Prince’s Trust helped me to get into the best shape of my life. My day job is now about transforming lives in the way that my own was transformed thanks to The Prince’s Trust. Knowing how to run the streets isn’t as rewarding as knowing how to run your own legitimate business. The ‘Street Smart to Business Start Programme’ will help to instil the same sense of pride in our young people that I feel everyday as an entrepreneur.
Antonio Henry of Muscle Tone Fitness
Role models on hand to help launch First Class’ ‘Street Smart to Business Start Business Programme’ include Prince’s Trust alumni, Antonio Henry of MuscleTone Fitness.
Antonio said about the programme, “The Prince’s Trust helped me to get into the best shape of my life. My day job is now about transforming lives in the way that my own was transformed thanks to The Prince’s Trust. Knowing how to run the streets isn’t as rewarding as knowing how to run your own legitimate business. The ‘Street Smart to Business Start Programme’ will help to instil the same sense of pride in our young people that I feel everyday as an entrepreneur.”
Nathan Dennis also said, “We are excited to be working with such a fantastic organisation who deliver such inspiring work with young people and offer them a wide range of opportunities. It’s the start of what we hope will be a long term relationship with The Prince’s Trust. We are pleased that they see the value in partnering with smaller organisations like ourselves.”
Emma Southern, Head of Community Engagement, Central Region, at The Prince’s Trust said: ‘At The Prince’s Trust we encourage young people to develop the skills they need to realise their ambitions, while also encouraging their entrepreneurism, self-confidence and resilience. We’re really looking forward to working with First Class and increasing our reach with young people through their innovative programme.’
About The Prince’s Trust
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to realise their ambitions, so that they can live, learn and earn. Founded by The Prince of Wales in 1976, the charity supports 11 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed, struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.
Many of the young people helped by The Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law. The programmes offered by the charity give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.
The Trust has helped over 950,000 young people to date and supports over 100 more each day.
Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available at princes-trust.org.uk or on 0800 842 842.