MELP to help entrepreneurs

Young people wanting to start market businesses now have the option of more support from a trio of councils.

Young people aged 16 to 24 in Hammersmith & Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster can run their own market stall for free for six months and win £1,000 in start-up funds.

The Market Enterprise Launch Pad (MELP) scheme, run by Kensington and Chelsea Council and The Prince’s Trust, is a free project that gives budding entrepreneurs training to develop skills that will help them succeed in business.

The three-week course in February gives people the opportunity to take part in practical workshops, business master classes, and presentations from business gurus like Cath Kidston.

At the end of the course, each entrepreneur will pitch their business ideas and plan to a panel of judges, with the best two being rewarded with a stall in Portobello Road and Golborne Road Market, with six months’ free rent and £1,000 towards their business. The winners will also receive ongoing support from a business mentor and free business insurance.

Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “Many people dream of earning a living by being their own boss and this course is the perfect launch pad to turn that dream into a reality.”

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