Entrepreneurs from two social enterprises that help transform the lives of disadvantaged young adults have received support for their growing businesses thanks to support from Together and the EY Foundation.
Specialist lender Together hosted a free workshop at its headquarters in Cheadle, south Manchester, as part of the Accelerate programme, which is a 12-month mentoring scheme run by the EY Foundation, an independent charity that’s part of the professional services firm EY.
Three directors of the broadcaster Reform Radio, which helps young unemployed adults realise their potential through music, arts and culture, were joined at the event by Zoe Wallace, head of Agent Academy, a leadership development programme for 16 to 25-year-olds.
Kevin Fisher, HR director at Together, said:
“We really enjoyed hosting the EY Foundation’s Accelerate workshop at our headquarters as there’s perfect synergy with our own mentoring and enterprise initiatives that we run as part of our Let’s Make it Count activity within the community. It was a really enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs and our PR team really enjoyed having the opportunity to share some skills and knowledge with these budding young businesspeople.”
Together’s public relations team ran a media workshop as part of its own mentoring scheme, Let’s Make it Count, to provide the entrepreneurs with some handy tips as they build their brand profiles. EY’s mentors then put the entrepreneurs through their paces in a comprehensive workshop which covered important themes such as setting goals and overcoming obstacles in business.
Rachel Roger, who attended the workshop with her fellow Reform Radio directors Jemma Tanswell and Sam Oliveira said the Accelerate programme had helped them focus on future development plans for their social enterprise business, based at Old Granada Studios, Manchester.
“It’s given us a chance to work closely with people who have experience and knowledge of business and the know-how to develop new ideas, allowing us to look at our own business in a different way.”
Social enterprises taking part in the EY Foundation’s Accelerate programme are matched with experienced business coaches from across the firm’s network in the North West. The programme is designed to offer practical guidance and support through one-to-one meetings.
Zoe Wallace said the scheme would help Liverpool-based Agent Academy give even more young adults opportunities to train for careers in the digital and creative industries.
“This is something the EY Foundation has already helped me with,” Zoe said. “The mentoring has been great at helping me through the day-to-day process of developing the business.”
Jenny Freeman, national social enterprise lead for the EY Foundation, said:
“There are social enterprises doing some fantastic, and vital, work across the North West and nationally. Agent Academy and Reform Radio provide amazing opportunities by providing the skills young adults need to help them into work or education and it is a privilege to be able to support their development.”