Leading employer Spencer Group and youth development charity CatZero have setup a pioneering support network which has come a long way in the past three months. The Catalyst Business Network (CBN) enables young, unemployed people to launch their own businesses with the support and guidance from CatZero’s Catalyst Manager, Leila Goring.
Miss Goring offers young people, who would not normally consider establishing their own business, the opportunity to access the support they need from CatZero which enables them to make their business idea a reality.
The CBN programme began in April and is now well underway with backing from 21 different businesses all offering essential support to the young people across the Humber region. These 21 companies make up the Catalyst Business Partnership: Kingston Communications, Young Enterprise, University of Hull, Princes Trust, Pinnacle People – NEA, Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership, John Cracknell Enterprise Bank, Global Entrepreneurship Week, North Lincolnshire Council, KC in the Community, ENRG, FutureHull, 360 Accountants, Apple Pear, Dolly Day Dreams, Job Centre Plus, ESA Focus Group, Talent Match Humber, Business Hive Club, C4Di and E-Factor.
Five young people are on the CBN working hard towards their own business challenges, one of which has registered their company with Companies House and another making applications for John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank and Badgers Sett Enterprise Awards in the search for recognition and help with funding.
July saw another four young people recruited onto the CBN, bringing the total to eight, and their areas of operation not just confined to Hull but expanding to Grimsby and Scunthorpe.
Now with eight members and another four potentials booked in for feasibility studies, CBN joined the Business Hive Club in Grimsby to allow them access to free office space, business workshops and invaluable networking opportunities within the business community.
The CBN are currently pursuing the following businesses:
- • The Creation of Gaming Computers
• Bike hire and tours
• A nursery
• Bike repairs and maintenance
• A driving school
• Dog Rehabilitation
• A pet shop
• Business administration.
Catalyst Manager Leila Goring, said: “My job so far has been an absolute joy! Being able to work with these young people and watch their ideas grow and evolve is so rewarding. All of the CBN members have previously undertaken a programme at CatZero so by the time they come to me, they are at a certain standard and we know them well.
“We would not have achieved what we already have without the help of all the supporting businesses that have helped along the way, my position would not even exist without Spencer Group’s contribution. I am, however, still looking for help from organisations no matter how big or small the business specific support.”
Through the reach of social media, Miss Goring and her team have been gaining momentum, establishing a recruitment drive which has seen two new young people join the CBN. Grimsby Telegraph also took an interest and after meeting with Miss Goring, wrote a glowing article on the CBN and the work they are doing. You can read the article here.
The young person who applied for Badgers Sett Enterprise Awards in June, has made a fantastic achievement in getting through to the next round, which if won, will earn him £1200 towards his business idea. On top of this, two other young people have been given free hosting for a business website they are currently setting up, with some help from the CBN.
The CBN spent over 30 hours in August helping their young people develop basic ideas and techniques including: Business ideas, business plans, start-up loan applications, competition application, financial forecasts, websites and limited company registrations.
Spencer Group’s Stakeholder Manager, Julie Worman, said: “We recognised from the Blue Sky programme that we supported a couple of years ago, that it is more than a 12-week job to support some of these young people into self-employment.”
CatZero, in partnership with Spencer Group, developed the CBN to provide an outstanding opportunity to support CatZero graduates (age 17 – 28 years) who have an idea to establish their own business. The initiative is being supported by Spencer with them funding the £30,000 per year Catalyst Manager position.
Mrs Worman added: “Leila has done a great job so far and with her at the helm, the future looks really positive for the Catalyst Business Network.”
Hull-based CatZero, who now have another base in Grimsby, has engaged with more than 1,000 disaffected youngsters over the past seven years. CatZero’s hugely challenging programmes are aimed at young people who do not benefit from traditional learning environments.