Princes Trust gives local businesswoman a boost

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A young Cookstown entrepreneur has found recent success with her business idea, after signing up with a local youth charity that helps unemployed young people to start up in business - The Prince’s Trust.

The popular Prince’s Trust Explore Enterprise programme, which is returning to Dungannon in November to support more young people interested in starting their own business, gave Melissa Brimage-Wylie, 28, the platform to realise her entrepreneurial ambitions.

Melissa had been unemployed for a number of months when she decided to explore the possibility of self-employment, which appealed to her as she saw a gap in the market in her local area, and as a mother, it allowed her to take control of her working hours.

With a keen interest in arts and crafts, Melissa contacted The Prince’s Trust and enrolled on the Explore Enterprise Programme. The four day course gave Melissa an insight into the running of a business.

Melissa said: “I learnt a great deal about running a business, and got to grips with things I knew little about like marketing, selling, tax, HMRC, cash flows and how to write a business plan.”

After completing the programme, Melissa received financial support from The Trust in the form of a £3,500 loan and £500 grant, which gave her the vital funding to purchase equipment, stock and marketing to get ‘Hill’s Interiors’ up and running.

She now runs her business in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, selling local handmade crafts, gifts and home ware items including lamps, clocks and furniture. “I would definitely recommend The Prince’s Trust to anyone thinking of self-employment.”

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme runs from November 8-11 in Dungannon Library, with an info session taking place on Tuesday Novembe r1 from 11am-12pm. Call 028 9089 5000 or, email lisa.condron@princes-trust.org.uk to register.