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£35,000 awarded to young startups in LYST and Southwark Council project

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From designer T-shirts to creative photography – eight final fledgling businesses have been awarded £5000 each to kick start their business.

The Mind Your Own Business scheme, in partnership with SouthwarkiCouncil, offers young people the chance to pitch their business ideas to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, in the hope of receiving a bursary to kick start their own company.

Over forty people packed into LYST's Southwark centre to celebrate the eight successful entrepreneurs, who were in the last round of our Mind Your Own Business scheme. The scheme, funded by Southwark Council, has since awarded £100,000 to 23 start-up businesses aged between 16 – 25. 

LYST Business Mentor Adenike Malcolm, who worked closely with the finalists to develop their ideas, said: “Through this unique scheme, we’ve been able to turn these young people’s great ideas into feasible and sustainable businesses.”

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As well as the funding to kick start their business, we awarded the young entrepreneurs a three year support package of one-to-one mentoring and affordable studio space, giving them the best chance to make their business idea a sustainable success. They also receive a free Toshiba laptop and a personalised cupcake, which went down rather well!

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Amongst those who received the bursary was 23-year-old Peckham entrepreneur Matthew Adjanaku (pictured above). Matthew wanted to turn his passion for photography into a business, but didn't have the resources or space to get it off the ground. "MYOB has enabled me to turn what I love into a job and has inspired me to run my business full time." Matthew said. "I met loads of new friends and got amazing support from my business mentor Adenike." 

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Previous MYOB participant Bianca Peaches Caesar (pictured above with LYST Business Mentor Adenike) was there to show her support to this round's successful start-ups. Bianca was awarded £5,000 to help kick-start her own fashion line. Since receiving the funding, she has launched her Winter Collection, built a website, commissioned a professional photoshoot of her peices, and most recently, her clothes have been accepted to be sold on one of the world's leading online fashion retailer, ASOS.

"If it weren't for LYST, I'd still be designing in my house." Bianca said. "The MYOB funding has been a lifeline for my business, and I wouldn't have got the help and support I have here." Bianca is now preparing her summer collection and one day hopes to open her own store.

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Congratulations to all the seven successful applicants, and we wish you all the best with your businesses in the future!

To see all the photos from the event, see our facebook gallery.

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