Five young entrepreneurial ambassadors have been recruited by Hull City Council to encourage others to develop enterprising ideas.
The five have been brought in by the authority’s Youth Enterprise Section to promote the Making Changes for Careers (MC4C) programme, which offers enterprise skills training and business support services to Hull young people who are not in full-time employment or training.
Courtney Exelby, Charlene Revell, Ben Robinson, Leigh Williamson and Laura Russell will push opportunities for young people to learn about enterprising skills and develop ideas. The chosen five have all engaged with MC4C and have successfully progressed into either self-employment or employment – and four are now entrepreneurs in their own right.
Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Leader Hull City Council said: “It is fantastic that with support from mentors and the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank that five young people have been selected to promote in general the council’s Youth Enterprise programme and the MC4C programme in particular.
“I have no doubt they will be great ambassadors not only for youth enterprise but for the city as a whole, so thank you Leigh, Ben, Charlene, Laura and Courtney for your enthusiasm and commitment. You are a great credit to the city.”
Courtney, one of the first young people to engage with the MC4C programme, said: “This programme helped me through so much. They picked me up when I thought I had nothing. They were honestly the best. I now have a job thanks to this team and they are still there for me to this day. They invite me to events and show me how much I meant to them, being part of the programme and I’m happy to be given this opportunity to give something back to help others.”
Charlene, owner of Charlene’s Crafty Creations, said: “I was one of the first people to have joined MC4C. I was told by people I didn’t have what it took to become self-employed, but from day one at MC4C, I was welcomed with open arms and was told anything is possible if you try.
“The Big 13 classes were so much fun and made learning fun too. When you tell people you want to become self-employed and they say it’s too difficult or it’s too much messing about, it’s not. The MC4C team was there to help me in any way they could. I have now succeeded and have become self-employed and I love it, all thanks to the MC4C team. I can’t wait to be able to help others realise that they too can do it.”
Ben, owner of PreHistoric Hull, which helps people to learn about reptiles, said: “The experience at MC4C has changed my life. I went from a guy that had no hope to a guy that feels like life is limitless. With the help of MC4C, I turned my life around and if sharing my story with others helps them to see that they can bounce back, then it’ll be a job well done. It was also fantastic to receive a grant for my business from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank to help start me up.”
Leigh, owner of Picturesque Photography, said: “The MC4C programme is such a great programme for any young person. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for MC4C. The support you get is unbelievable. I have met a great set of people that are now my friends, colleagues and business affiliates.
“I’m thrilled to be asked to be an ambassador for the project and I without a doubt will be highly recommending the program to others that need a little bit of support. I was also pleased to receive a grant for my business from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank to help start me up.”
Laura, founder of Russell’s Emporium, said: “I am proud to be part of a scheme that supports everyone from all backgrounds and education levels. It brings together people from all walks of life in the city to collaborate, connect and converse and I was delighted to have received my Test Market Grant from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank.”