Francis, 30, from Clifton, Bristol, needed a helping hand. He felt like an outsider throughout school and years of bullying affected his self-esteem. 

As a result, he would hardly go to school and started spending time with the wrong crowd. He moved out of home at 17, lost his job due to depression and didn’t feel he had anyone to turn to for support. 

Wanting a better future, he later decided that he wanted to set up his own business. With no loan, no funding, and just gut instinct and determination, Francis came to us for support. 

I had to do something that I believed in. I knew that I had to create a place that fitted me, rather than trying to confirm with everyone else – it was time I did something for me. 

Capitalising on previous experience working in recruitment, Francis planned to found Fizwizz, an online retail recruitment agency that favoured integrity and passion for work above anything else. But, he needed support getting his business model right. 

Francis attended Enterprise, a four-day programme that helps unemployed young people start up in business, and was then assigned a business mentor, Stephen. 

Stephen is like my antithesis. He always offers his ear and an alternative perspective but allows me to find my own answers. Having the views of someone who is totally impartial is priceless. 

From a little box room he rented from a friend, Francis set up Fizwizz and started putting out the feelers, getting leads and placing candidates into jobs. 

Within a matter of months, demand for his services saw him move into formal offices and employ his first member of staff; and by the time Francis had completed his first year of trading, Fizwizz was turning over £150,000 and employed four members of staff. 

There are many roads to success and though it is still early days, I cannot thank The Prince’s Trust enough for helping me go after my dreams. They ignited a spark in me that I always knew was there, but never had the confidence to really let it shine. 

Francis has far exceeded his original projections but more importantly has found a level of resilience and confidence that he never thought was possible.