Oli runs Noughts and Croquettes, a food business in London. It was during lockdown that he decided to set up as self-employed, and The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise course gave him the knowledge and contacts to get started on his business.

“We’re a new food company currently running as a street food vendor at a brewery in Herne Hill. I set up Noughts and Croquettes during lockdown when I was on furlough from my job as a chef. I was doing nothing, came up with this idea, and thought – why not?”

I attended the four-day Explore Enterprise Course virtually during lockdown. It was so interesting and covered the core principles of running a business. The best thing about The Prince’s Trust is the sheer amount of networking. I’m always chatting to my Prince’s Trust Executive Alastair who puts me in touch with the right people so I can borrow some of their time, get advice from them and learn from their mistakes and their triumphs.

“My mentor is Claire, and we meet on a monthly basis. She doesn’t tell me what to do but she gives me the right questions to ask myself. Soon I’ll be submitting my business plan to The Prince’s Trust so I’m planning at the moment the next steps for the business.”

“It’s been a good testing ground to run the business at the brewery, but I want to go into wholesale. The dream is to be in all the major supermarkets eventually! In the meantime, I’m linking up with pubs and pub groups to sell the croquettes there. We think it’s the perfect beer snack.”

“Running a business isn’t easy. Really ask yourself why you want to do it because you need a passion. I don’t think I could have carried on with this if I didn’t have a huge passion for food. It’s a lot of work so you have to absolutely love what you’re doing, which luckily I do.”