Graham and Mark decided the best way to find employment was to start their own business but had no money or support to get their idea off the ground. After taking part in our Enterprise programme, they founded their business The Wray Brothers

They got in touch with The Prince’s Trust and were given a business mentor and a £3,000 loan. It gave them the kick-start they needed to get their business going.

They started off by selling old clothes as rags to garages.

After a short time in business The Trust’s President and founder HRH The Prince of Wales visited the company which was starting to make a name for itself. Since then it has developed into a multi-million pound business, selling hygiene cleaning products. It currently employs 19 staff from the area.

Graham said:

It’s amazing to think how we’ve grown and it all came from the help The Trust gave us more than 25 years ago. We were both unemployed at the time and things were really tough in Toxteth, there was a lot of unemployment and the Toxteth riots had only recently happened. We decided the only way to get work was to start our own business.

“We started off by buying clothes from charity shops and then selling them on as rags and now we have 4,500 items on a 138-page catalogue.”

The brothers are now hoping that their story will inspire many other people in the area to do the same thing today. They have created a business centre, by restoring a rundown derelict Victorian shipping warehouse. With room for around 20 or 30 businesses, unemployed young people will be able to use the centre as a base for their business for a year. The aim is that it will help other young people in the area to start their own businesses.

Graham added:

We’ve wanted this for the last 10 years. We wanted to give other young people the opportunity to get their ideas off the ground, much like The Prince’s Trust do.

 “Thanks to The Trust, we’ve managed to succeed and I can’t recommend it to people enough.”

More about the Enterprise programme