We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded over £16,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation to help young people in West Cumbria develop their own business.
The funding includes £10,000 from the Beverley Trust Fund and £6,976 from the Live the Dream Fund and will support twenty 16 - 25 year olds, living in the Allerdale and Copeland areas, to access the online training programme and discover how to start their own business.
Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “It’s thanks to our fundholders and supporters that we are able to provide financial support charitable organisations like TEGVirtual. The past year has been particularly difficult for young people, with many seeing their plans for the future turned upside down. This funding will give them an opportunity to overcome some of the difficulties they might be facing right now by building confidence and gaining new skills that will stand them in good stead as they become young adults, while inspiring a new generation of young entrepreneurs.”
Those young people who gain a funded place on the course will learn about idea validation, accounting, marketing, sales, management, leadership and business development. They will be encouraged to think about starting their own business with the support of the TEGvirtual team and also have lifetime access to support through the peer-to-peer network.
The unique thing about TEGvirtual is that it is not just a grant to get people started or give a finite amount of support or backing. This is a lifetime support programme to ensure people set up a business in the right way and continue to grow and make it a success.
The impact of COVID19 is real and a worrying time for young people as exams are cancelled places at university in the balance and competition for jobs or apprenticeships on the rise. We want to show them that there is an alternative and that running a business could be for them. We want to inspire future entrepreneurs giving them hope for the future and helping the local Cumbrian economy! We are so grateful to have received this funding and know it will have a huge impact on those twenty young people’s lives.
TEGvirtual is for all aspiring entrepreneurs not just young people and we are applying for additional pots of funding to support other people. We want to help those who are unemployed, ex-services, ex-offenders and people affected by COVID-19 who may have sadly lost their jobs. We want to help as many people as we can start and grow their own business so are keen to access more funding to free up more places on the programme.
If you are aged 16-25, live in the Allerdale or Copeland area and have a business idea, we would like to hear from you.
In the first instance please fill out the application form to find out if you qualify for funding.
I have the feeling that fundamental things are changing and whether they are changing for the better only the future will decide.
Here’s just a few of the things that are changing for us as a business:
- The way we interact – this now is predominantly phone calls and MS Team meetings
- The way we do business travel – there isn’t any but that will change when all this is over, but will it be the same? Will we go back to having to make so many journeys that screw up the planet?
- The way we bank – although that’s be changing for some for a long time, I can see massive changes in this sector
- The way people are viewed – in the UK Mike Ashley (Sports Direct) and Tim Martin (JD Wetherspoons) and even Richard Branson didn’t cover himself, or Virgin, in glory by asking for a bail out given he’s a multi billionaire.
These are just a few of the things that could change forever in the business world, and rightly so, maybe it’s the order of things to change every once in a while, it’s happened many times throughout history.
Has it taken a global pandemic to waken us all up to the fact that things need to change, but are we listening? We will see!
As a business we rely on getting people in a room for our training, as most training companies do at the moment, but could that change? Maybe something like AR could help, my feeling is its not too well developed for that just yet. At the moment nothing beats the interactions of people in a room, for now.
Maybe we will see a rise in AR similar to what MS Teams and Zoom have experienced for meetings, who knows.
A lot of this is guess work as we don’t really know what will happen as things return to normal, whatever that is or was. But I have the feeling this pandemic has caused not only pain and misery but also hope… hope that we can change and find different and better ways to communicate so we can make a difference to the planet and each other.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the changes we are all witnessing.
It’s a long read but this is a great piece on how society is changing during this pandemic. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/31/how-will-the-world-emerge-from-the-coronavirus-crisis
I have been asked a few times this week if now is a good time to start a business?
Normally I would say anytime is a good time, but there is one big stumbling block, meeting clients and others critical to starting your business. Yes, you can speak to them virtually but it’s not the same as meeting up in person.
But should that stop you? No not really!
If you have an idea and it’s a good one, that’s assuming you’ve validated it in all the usual ways, then I would say go for it. As most people hunker down and try to ride out this storm others will be growing their business in ways they never thought possible. This gives you an advantage because the competition is quiet.
All I would say is make sure you don’t come across as profiteering and lacking empathy for what people are going through. Yes, you’re dealing with real people not businesses.
First thing to do is speak to your accountant or bookkeeper and find out what’s available in the funding arena as you might get all the help you need financially to get started without having to wait.
The bottom line is if you have an idea and it’s a good one go for it.
WHAT ABOUT PIVOTING YOUR EXISTING BUSINESS?
This could mean doing something you wouldn’t normally do. So, say you’re a builder and work has dried up, you could help in the building and fitting out of the new hospitals etc, there is always work if you’re willing to make a few changes.
All I would say is be true to yourself and your business, only do what you feel comfortable doing.
Work is out there if you want it.
I have been asked a number of times what my thoughts are on the ‘new economy’ and how we should operate our businesses through it.
Here’s 5 tips that might help.
This is the perfect time to take a long hard look at your business and decide if will work or not in the new economy.
Keep the parts that are working, ditch the stuff that isn’t or reset altogether.
Take a look at your core business and make the changes today.
1, Finance - Look at your overheads and decide what you need and what you don’t. Do you need an office, do you need the new car, do you need to keep whatever is draining your cash? Help you and you’re your suppliers by negotiating a deal that helps both of you, you need to keep cash in the business to survive but speaking to suppliers is key. As is talking to staff if you have staff, keep them informed of what’s going on. Go through your finances with your accountant or bookkeeper, if you don’t have one, please hire one today.
LOOK AT YOUR CASHFLOW OVER THE NEXT 3 to 4 MONTHS VERY CAREFULLY, YOU NEED TO SURVIVE.
2, Communication will change, people will change, people will not travel in the numbers they did before all this. Online meetings will become common place in the new economy. Technology will be the new ‘norm’ when this is over so there will be no need to travel miles to meet people, we are now used to meeting online. Keep up with technology as this will be the way to survive. If you’re not ‘techie’ find someone who is and employ them to help.
3, Brand - your brand will be key to what you do and who with. The ones who tried to ‘frig’ the system will be forgotten or looked on in a totally different light, Virgin, Rail operators, Sports Direct and Wetherspoons come to mind. We will remember the ones who have gone the extra mile such as McLaren supplying ventilators, PPE from clothing manufacturers the list is endless. They will be remembered and revered. Will you?
Your brand will be key over the next 12 months so work on it constantly.
4, It’s me or the business - your business will be the number one thing you have to concentrate on over the next 12 months. But remember you cannot fail along with your business, that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.
Are you and your business ready for the new economy?
5, Start Up - If you were starting your business today would you start the same business, and would it survive?
Take today to decide how you go forward and what your contingency will be if it won’t.
Innovation, ideas and determination will see you through. But if you can’t see your business making it through this strange time, stop now and think of something else.
The first step is to spot the opportunity then solve a customer’s problem, and there will be many, and you will survive and thrive. This is the first rule of being an entrepreneur.
If you have any questions on how your business is changing and what to do about it please get in touch, we are here to help.