Simon took part in the Enterprise programme in 2014. He was supported by Prince’s Trust staff and volunteers to pursue his dream of creating a snake business.
“I first came across The Prince’s Trust after my partner persuaded me to look into the Enterprise programme. I had a passion for snakes and wanted to turn that into a business, but I didn’t know where to start. I was in a negative cycle of drug abuse and I needed something to focus on to break that cycle.
"I attended the Explore Enterprise Course in 2014 and over the four days I learnt so much. I was introduced to some of the volunteers who were supporting the course – I could tell that everyone there really cared about what they were doing, and genuinely wanted to help. I was surprised as I had never come across that before.
"I was introduced to two incredible people, who would become my mentors, and with one I am still in touch with today. My Next Steps mentor supported me and helped me to develop my business idea. We worked on cash flows, presenting my idea to potential customers, and ensured I was ready for business launch panel. That’s where I met my current business mentor.
"Peter is always very enthusiastic about my ideas. But he is also very practical and gives me honest and constructive feedback. I have never met anyone who genuinely cares or is driven so much to help other people. It has allowed me to trust people again.
"Over the past year we have worked together on developing my original business idea into something feasible that will work long term. I am now in a process of opening a snake venom extraction facility for biomedical research. Without the support of both of my mentors I am not sure where I would be right now.
"Knowing that I have someone to speak to, that will speak truthfully to me, is hugely important and I am so thankful for everything he has done.
"I am now a volunteer myself, as a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust! I am able to use what I have learnt and share my story to inspire others to support The Trust. It is such an important opportunity for me to be able to give something back, and for me to learn and to meet new people at the same time. I am really positive about the future and where my business will go.