Lamin Gibba launched his fashion business just under two years ago with the support of The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in Newcastle. Although his business, Jerry J, has been steadily growing, no one could have predicted a national lockdown and how a virus could affect so many people’s lives and businesses.
“Jerry J has been growing each year. We even have 25,000 Instagram followers and celebrity endorsement. However, I’ve had to temporarily stop trading as all deliveries from suppliers are delayed or not being sent, which means I can’t sell products through my website.
“I was also due to launch a new sportswear line in June, but the samples aren’t getting here. Understandably, everyone is in lockdown right now. The positive I have is that I can always get advice from my Trust business mentor Alan, if I need it, who can help when I look to rearrange this.
“I think The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund will be welcome by many, especially to those businesses that may be struggling or need to adapt.”
To get to this point since the Enterprise programme, Lamin benefitted from two sources of support from The Prince’s Trust: mentoring and financial assistance.
“On top of that I got access to finance to help me get Jerry J off the ground and I was matched with a mentor called Alan, who has always been there when I need advice or a sounding board. It makes a big difference to know that you have someone to pick up the phone to.
“I always wanted to be my own boss and my journey into self-employment has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, apart from my son Jackson.”