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Tooting charity launches scheme to help young entrepreneurs

Tooting charity launches scheme to help young entrepreneurs

Pitch Forward

Business Launchpad, the Tooting-based charity supporting entrepreneurs aged 16-30, will be supplying them with the vital support needed to launch their exciting dreams.

The Pitch Forward 2019 competition is providing winners between the ages of 16 and 30 with business coaching, accounting advice, equipment and, importantly, workspace.

Nine keen applicants were shortlisted last month. Within a week, these finalists pitched to a panel of three judges at Caius House, in Battersea, following a workshop kindly provided by Morgan Sowden (Current CTO at Lendinvest, co-founder at Paydesk, and previously CTO at Octopus Investments) and one-to-one pitch training by Chique Narwan (Start-up Coach at BLP).

Shannon Fitzsimmons impressed the panel the most with ‘O So Curly’ (curly hair accessories to make haircare easy and fun) and took first prize. Second positions were awarded equally to Asahela Rose with ‘Rosebuds Lactation Constancy’ (breastfeeding advice and support to expectant mothers) and Malari Campbell with ‘The Creators UK’ (creative art projects for young people, showcasing the greatness of their heritage).

These winners will be given aid throughout their development and a number of companies have kindly agreed to help the young start-ups navigate the complex business world. Support so far includes branding and design tutorials, trading space, financial advisory work, web-based news space and social media consultancy.

Pitch Forward
L-R: Judge - Councillor Rory O’Broin, winner Shannon Fitzsimmons (O So Curly), runner-up Asahela Rose (Rosebuds Lactation), runner-up Malari Campbell (The Creators UK), judge Amma Mensa (Beyond The Classroom), judge Obed Yeboah (CEO, host Jefferson Iweh (RYL London)

The other six shortlist of finalists and their ideas were:

  • Xiao Lin He (homemade Chinese dumplings)
  • Ediz Sonuvar (wholefood vegan snacks)
  • Jessica Bickel-Barlow (theatrical experiences for the adventurous)
  • Carla Antwiwaa-Frimpong (African-design handmade baby goods)
  • Oliwia Kimbar (community centre for all ages)
  • Cheryl Penfold (bakery and party planning)

Currently, the three winners will get the bulk of the prizes, but ideally Business LaunchPad would like to extend their support to all the above contestants – and they need assistance to make this happen! Helping these young stars find their feet takes more than just good advice and coaching. Business Launchpad also need help with purchasing of equipment and supplies needed to make these ideas shine, so they are asking for help to grow the promise of this next generation. They have launched a Crowdfunder page and are asking the community to help these young entrepreneurs.

Prizes will be carefully tailored to each business proposal and no cash will be lost in administration. Giving to the Crowdfunder will allow purchase of equipment, materials, stock and the rental of studio, kitchen or rehearsal spaces.

Business Launchpad is a charity accredited with the Social Enterprise Mark. Dedicated to transforming young lives through enterprise in London and across the UK, they support young people at every stage of business. A team of passionate individuals, they also have access to business counsellors and wider network of partners and associates to help motivate and support young people as they build and sustain a thriving business and career.

Business Launchpad would like to thanks those businesses already supporting Pitch Forward 2019: Shapeways, Cork Lounge, Tooting Market, IDA Accountants, Tooting Daily PRSS, Landan Consultants and Enterprise Kitchen. They’d also like to extend special thanks to local businesses Beaver Pest Control and MyNextSpace property management for their kind cash contributions.

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