Two New Businesses in Sandwich

Sandwich Enterprise initiative Final 043
Vicky a young business owner with Paul Barron Director of Kent Foundation, plus Marcie Boyer Business Mentor

We have spent the last few weeks working with students from Sandwich Technology School to help them understand business. As a direct response to the workshops we are pleased to announce that two new businesses will be launched in the local area.

Paul Barron, Director of Kent Foundation was only too pleased with the results of the programme and the efforts of the students from the school to make it happen. He had this to say about it:

“Partnership with the school commenced when I was invited by the Head Boy, Simon Malhomme, to work with the school. Simon was keen to manage a programme with us and it seemed logical to target students who were keen and entrepreneurial. We soon attracted another volunteer to work alongside Simon. Marcie Boyer a recently trained Kent Foundation Business Mentor and employee at Pfizer who will her offering ongoing support to one of the fledgling businesses to increase their chances of success. I really didn’t expect such a fantastic impact… we only worked with a dozen students and now three of them are launching two businesses”

Sandwich Enterprise Initiative Final
Students from Sandwich Technology School: Shannon, Michael and Amelia

Students attended four 1-hour workshops covering entrepreneurialism, networking, communication, business planning and presentation skills. Students joined the group because they were keen to take control of their own lives and learn the basics about business which is becoming increasingly popular as a career choice.

The Final event was held at The Bell Hotel Sandwich, and only took place thanks to support from the Samuel Butler Foundation and Revd Canon Mark Roberts, Vicar of St Clements, Sandwich who was only too happy to support the funding application.

The programme was also supported by Steve Laslett representing the Sandwich Town Chamber of Commerce, Leyland Ridings KCC Member for Sandwich and Kimberley Anderson from Discovery Park who are all avid supporters of encouraging young business.

Beth and Joanne are looking to start up J & E Furnishings an extremely resourceful business utilising pre-loved fabrics and recycling them into bespoke furnishings such as cushions. This summer after their exams the two students are planning to attend numerous craft fairs. They have expressed that this will provide them with a real insight in to what their customers want and enable them to tailor their products to suit.

Vicky who already runs a dog training business in the area has ambitious plans to set up an animal rescue service. Vicky has a real passion for animals which is reflected in the business idea. She has already completed extensive market research, providing her with a real vision of where the business will be in the future.

Both start-up businesses will receive ongoing monthly support from a fully trained Kent Foundation Business Mentor to ensure they have every possible chance of success.

“Sandwich is a great community to work in, we garnered support from all quarters and the programme was a huge success. If we can gather the same support again we would be more than happy to run another programme next year.”

For more photos head over to our Facebook Page:

Beth and Joanne with products from their business start up J&E Furnishings
Beth and Joanne with products from their business start up J&E Furnishings

Happy 10th Birthday to KAYE

On Wednesday 12th March we joined the Kent Association of Young Entrepreneurs at their 10th birthday party and celebrated in true style with a bit of speed networking at Fruitworks Coworking space in Canterbury. It is a junior branch of the IoD and primarily offers a support network to young professionals and entrepreneurs.

First up Guest Speakers…

Paul Andrews a local Kent business celebrity kicked the evening off by telling us about his journey in business as CEO of and as a keen investor in local business. He referred to the  County of Kent currently being home to over 50,000 small businesses and with figures like that you really can see why it is the lifeblood of the County. With young people realising that starting a business is a career option it is important to give them every chance of success with the appropriate business support.

Young entrepreneur Ben Bartlett of Bush Grub was up next. An extremely quirky business that sells edible insects and promotes them as a sustainable food source for the future. Ben captured the audience well, although he did have a helping hand in the form of ‘Keith the Chameleon’ see below.  Bush Grub has been fortunate enough to secure a branding licence with ITV to use the ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ brand on their products. We were proud to recently feature Bush Grub as a Star Business on our blog and you can catch the full story here… 

Keith the Chameleon







Let The Speed Networking Commence…

For those of you who do not know what speed networking is, it goes a little like this…

      1. First you need two rows of people seated opposite each other
      2. Set a time limit
      3. Start the timer
      4. Tell the other person as much as you can about your business
      5. Get them to tell you as much as they can about their business
      6. Swap business cards
      7. Time’s up – swap seats and start it over again with a new person
      8. Networking ends once you have spoken to every person
      9. Remember to follow up on any potential leads

It is an awesome way to get to speak to everyone in the room without having to gatecrash other people’s conversations, which can sometimes seem like the case at the more traditional networking event. It’s a great way to start a conversation and find out if there are any potential business leads in the room. The joy of it, is that it allows you to pinpoint a lead and extend the conversation further. All in all, it is a great way to boost business contacts and for any first timers it’s a great platform to be introduced to more traditional networking.

Speed Networking Kent

Happy 10th Birthday KAYE

If you don’t get a Business mentor from these guys you’ve got to be absolutely mad…

_MMP0596Kevin Byrne CEO and Founder of visited Medway in order to deliver an inspiring presentation to over 50 people. Kevin attended the IGNITE event which was jointly hosted by business support charity Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs and Kent Association of Young Entrepreneurs, a junior branch of the IoD.

The two organisations hosted the IGNITE event in order to promote, encourage and boost enterprise amongst Kent’s young people. And with Kevin’s support this was a roaring success.

Kevin opened up to the audience providing them with honest and sincere views on his secrets of business success. By providing many real life examples and putting them in to context really got people thinking. His business has not always been this big and he has had to go through many struggles in order to reach the successful position he is in now. Money is a secondary business objective for him with the main motivation to deliver grade A customer service.

Paul Barron, Director of Kent Foundation spoke about the success of their Business Mentoring service, which was endorsed by Kevin who said:

“If you don’t get a Business Mentor from these guys you’ve got to be absolutely mad”

Kevin took the time to network with the young audience members and gave them the chance to ask any of those niggling questions on a one to one basis. vets and monitors trades, companies and services to help people avoid cowboy builders. It has become a monumental success in the UK and over the last 12 months has generated in excess of £1.4billion worth of work for its trade members and now employs around 120 people.

Why Business Mentoring is Crucial!

We saw the launch of The Ramsgate Enterprise Programme on Friday 22nd November. So beforehand in preparation for this we have been working hard, networking, recruiting and training some very enthusiastic Business Mentors. A fantastic response was received and 15 people have volunteered their time in order to support enterprise amongst Thanet’s young people.

If a young person decides to take the route of self employment as a career option we believe that it is crucial to have a business support network in place to increase their chances of success. Through plenty of research and three years of running a Business Mentoring service for young entrepreneurs we have found this to be a fantastic business support tool.

Figures for 2012 show that new business formation amongst 16-29 year-olds has leapt forward to 9.5% compared to 4.9% in 2010. In light of this who wouldn’t want a chance to talk through your business ideas with a Mentor who has ‘been there and done that’ who can eliminate some mistakes that could be costly to a start up business.

If a young person has the passion, drive and determination to bring their business ideas to life let’s reflect this and give them the support they need.

Our Volunteer Business Mentors all go through a 1.5 day training course to help them recognise their own potential but more importantly their potential to help young entrepreneurs.

Over on Facebook we have some great snaps of our latest Business Mentor training in action!

Get yourself a Business Mentor – Click here!

Become a Volunteer Business Mentor – Click here!

Launch of the Sandwich Enterprise Initiative

Enterprising Students in Sandwich

While many students worry about the future job market, sixth-formers from Sandwich Technology School are taking matters into their own hands by participating in the Sandwich Enterprise Initiative. The programme, innovated by Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs and supported by Sandwich Chamber of Commerce, is targeting students who want to explore careers in self-employment or becoming business owners.

The first session, held at Sandwich Technology School on 16 January, created opportunities for hands-on experience at business networking with guests from the local business community.  The programme also explored the essential attributes of an entrepreneur and a workshop on Creative Thinking (just one of the attributes business people have to develop).

Paul Barron, Director of Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs said:

“Working with dynamic, creative and enthusiastic young people just make my job easy and all the more enjoyable. There’s a huge amount of talent in Sandwich, we simply have to allow the participants to open their mind and have confidence in their abilities”

The programme is supported by Steve Laslett of Green and Local, who said:

“The local Chamber was approached by Paul of Kent Foundation, he explained the idea of getting local young people into business and we had no hesitation when asked to get behind the programme.  Young people in Sandwich have the potential to stimulate the already growing markets, we are more than happy to be involved in an opportunity to help them.”

Kent Foundation recruits and trains business owners, professionals and experts from across Kent as Business Mentors. A personal service is a key factor to business support as no two individuals or business ideas are ever the same. Young people get the benefit of discussing their ideas on a 1-2-1 basis with Kent Foundation plus ongoing support from a Business Mentor.

KAYE announce two new committee members!

KAYE-rectangle-124Kent Association of Young Entrepreneurs (KAYE) welcomes two young entrepreneurs to their committee. This is great news as their relationship, enthusiasm, engagement and real life experiences of being an entrepreneur will prove to be invaluable as they bring a fresh new insight to business support across Kent. They have chosen to take the route of enterprise as their career option and chosen arguably the best county (Kent of course) to start up in. This move will encourage a more tailored set of business support events and initiatives to engage and encourage enterprise amongst more of Kent’s young people.

The first candidate Ben Bartlett describes himself as an accidental entrepreneur. He has a real passion for exotic pets but their expensive upkeep was something he was not so keen on. This sparked an idea – and Claws and Jaws was born. Using his weird and wonderful creatures as a business, sharing his expertise and knowledge to his advantage by hosting a range of interactive parties and animal experiences. Plus after spotting a rather gruesome gap in the market he launched Bush Grub selling some rather interesting snacks…

The second candidate Gemma Blacker owner of This Art of Mine loves all things creative. Based in the beautiful Kent countryside it really is a one stop shop for all your creative workshops. There is something for everyone, and if there isn’t they are always happy to listen to new ideas. A fantastic way to learn a new skill or just to try your hand at something a little bit different.

Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs have a fantastic relationship with KAYE and are pleased to say we have successfully worked together on numerous occasions to bring business support projects and events to young people across the County of Kent. Working in collaboration provides a unique platform to outreach and promote more young entrepreneurs. To find out more about KAYE click here…