It was a nervous child boarding a plane that started Josephine’s love for storytelling. Now, with the support of The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, she’s started her own business and is inspiring children across the South West.

“I was going on a holiday with my cousin who has children, and one of the children was really nervous about flying. I came up with a story about an animal who is scared about flying, but overcomes that fear, to help them stay calm. Everyone was really impressed and said I should do more storytelling. That’s where the idea for the business started.”

Josephine’s Stories was founded in March 2020, and through the business Josephine tells tales that really matter – from understanding depression and grief, to the Covid-19 pandemic and the environment.

Before the pandemic, Josephine was living in London, working professionally as an actor and singer, as well as in a nursery and in hospitality. She moved back to Plymouth because of the pandemic and decided to pursue her desire to run her own business.

“My mum sent me links to the opportunities with The Prince’s Trust and said that it would be really helpful to get in touch and explore the funding and support. Also, the owner of a salon I visit in Plymouth called DANN Makeup Academy also started through The Prince’s Trust and is doing really well.”

“As well as relocating, and the pandemic, my brother died so I was having a tough time. Everything was on hold, so I thought I’d just apply and see what happened. I wasn’t nervous as I wasn’t expecting anything. I was just excited for the prospect of someone helping with business management”.

The stories created by Josephine are read on their YouTube channel by a range of talented actors and British Sign Language interpreters, and the business also offers workshops and live storytelling events to schools, libraries and community venues across the South West.

The Trust will do anything they can to help you and help support your business idea. My business mentor has been amazing – he has spoken to headteachers and helped promote my business. Everyone has gone above and beyond. I loved the Enterprise programme – Rufus Hound came to chat to us, which was great. Also, my mentor supported me to work on a pie chart I’d be putting off for weeks. When I finally did it, I was so proud!

“In the future, I want to get more bookings in venues such as schools and libraries. I want to get to the point where I have so many bookings, I have to hire other actors to help me. I also want my stories published into books.”

Josephine would really recommend contacting The Prince’s Trust if you’re interested in setting up your own business. “If you’re unsure, just pop them an email – they’ll answer any questions you have. You will find people at the Trust that will believe in you, believe in your business and lift you up.”