A group of previously unemployed young people from Croydon are facing the future with hugely increased confidence thanks to The Prince’s Trust – the youth charity that aims to change young lives by helping those young people not in education, employment or training. With the sponsorship of Croydon Council and Capgemini, The Prince’s Trust was able to run a four-day intensive Enterprise Programme this summer.

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme supports unemployed 18 to 30-year-olds with their sights set on being their own boss. The youth charity runs four-day Explore Enterprise courses to help young people work out if self-employment is right for them. Course participants write business plans, test their ideas and learn about areas such as finance, growth and marketing. By helping to hone entrepreneurial skills and building confidence, the programme helps many young people into jobs and training as well as backing business startups through financial support and business mentoring.

The course was supported by a variety of employees from both Capgemini and Croydon Council, ranging from senior directors and training specialists to recent recruits. The focus was on the basics of creating a business plan through interactive learning, including how to secure finance, how to identify and generate customers, and how to get started in business through role-play sessions such as mock interviews, question-and-answer sessions and one-to-one advice sessions between participants and mentors.

Of the nine young people attending the first such event, held recently at Croydon Council’s offices, all have moved forward successfully, and are busy making their business ideas a reality. Four have found jobs, three have started their own business, and two have embarked on formal training.

Lola Sobodu-Felix, who has started her own cake business, said: ‘The sessions were really great and showed me that starting your own business doesn’t have to be an impossible dream – I could do it and I have done it.’

Capgemini has recently celebrated raising £1 million for The Prince’s Trust as part of its platinum patronage and a number of its staff who work with Croydon Council are Prince’s Trust Volunteers. Capgemini Account Director Gordon Walker commented that while the volunteers have worked in other Boroughs in the past, it was great to be able to do something in partnership with Croydon Council that enabled The Prince’s Trust to be active within the Borough. After this successful start The Prince’s Trust is looking for opportunities to run more programmes in Croydon in the future.

About Capgemini
With around 115,000 people in 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2010 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore ®, its worldwide delivery model.
Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

About Croydon Council
Information about Croydon Council can be found at www.croydon.gov.uk

About The Prince’s Trust
The Prince’s Trust helps change young lives in the UK through practical and financial support, developing skills as well as confidence and motivation. Since the charity was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976, it has helped over 650,000 young people across the UK. Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available by calling 0800 842 842 or at www.princes-trust.org.uk

Press contact
Tom Barton
Capgemini UK plc
Tel.:+44 (0)870 238 2491

Croydon Council Press Contact
Danny Brierley
Croydon Council
Tel: +44 (0)20 8760 5644