Lyn Thompson, who set up Milkwood Publishing in 1996 with support from The Prince’s Trust, recently raised £15,396 for The Trust with her company’s Christmas card collection.

Lyn, from Redruth left the navy in her early twenties and found herself unemployed, with little work experience and two young children to look after. She felt like her chances of getting a job were slim.

When her father saw an advert for The Prince’s Trust business course in her local paper, Lyn decided to sign up. During the following months, she received support from a business mentor and a loan to set up greetings card company Milkwood Publishing. She used her loan to pay for her first print run, a fax machine and a table to work on.

Lyn said:

The first few months were really difficult. I didn’t have much money so I had to print six designs at a time until I could afford to pay for another print run.” However, Lyn’s big break came when she attended a trade fair organised by The Prince’s Trust in Birmingham. There, she made the contacts she needed to distribute her greetings cards across the UK, which enabled her business to expand at a much faster pace.

Today, Milkwood Publishing employs 100 members of staff, their cards are sold worldwide and the company’s last annual turnover was £3 million.

Lyn is now a member of the Fellowship of the Prince’s Trust, a collective of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs working to enable The Trust to reach more young people by passing on their experience and expertise - and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Lyn said:

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of The Prince’s Trust. Now, I’d like to give something back by helping other young people to set up in business. In Cornwall, where there are few local jobs for young people, I really think that starting up your own business is one of the best ways to succeed.