Reece Foundation

Reece Foundation

PNE Enterprise was awarded funding from the Reece Foundation to deliver the New Young Person’s and Disadvantaged Individual’s Employability Support programme which supported people in the North East of England to start and grow their business.

Running between April 2014 and June 2017, the programme supported hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups to overcome diverse challenges by building their confidence, growing their knowledge and giving them the skills they need to pursue entrepreneurship.

With funding from the Reece Foundation, PNE Enterprise delivered: 270 online support appointments, 68 courses and 986 one-to-one sessions. Approximately 1223 young or disadvantaged individuals were trained throughout the programme.

David Hall, founder of bubble tea business Manhua Cha, was just one of the individuals who received support from the programme via one-to-one appointments and workshops. Reflecting on the support he received from PNE Enterprise, David said:

“The most effective support I found is the one-to-one. You have one-to-one meetings an hour long, it’s great because you can get your ideas out to someone who is experienced in business.

“In the past, I’ve suffered from mental health – depression, stress, anxiety – and personally, that’s been my biggest challenge but knowing you’ve got the support of the entrepreneurial community, both in PNE and other entrepreneurs, it’s fantastic. It always gets you up and going.”

The programme comprised of the following elements:

  • Outreach sessions: PNE Enterprise provided outreach sessions to diverse communities including young people, disadvantaged adults and those at risk of redundancy.
  • Online support: For people who would find it more convenient to work remotely, PNE Enterprise used Skype, social media and an online instant messenger service to provide one-to-one support.
  • Evening courses and workshops: Delivering evening training sessions in Gateshead and Newcastle city centre to cover a wide range of enterprise and employability topics, PNE Enterprise ensured that people unable to attend day-time training were also able to access support.

A variety of other support was provided to entrepreneurs which was tailored to the needs of specific individuals or groups such as in-house visits or specific learning sessions. These sessions reflected PNE Enterprise’s commitment to ensuring all potential beneficiaries were able to access funded support.

Overall, the funding enabled PNE Enterprise to support hundreds of young and disadvantaged people to fulfil their potential, either by starting a business or by progressing their employability and education. As PNE Enterprise Manager, Melissa Middleton sums up: “Over the last three years, the Reece funding has enabled us to help young, disadvantaged people in the Tyne and Wear area to grow in confidence. That’s the biggest impact you can ever expect out of the Foundation.”