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girlfunky
15-08-2008, 06:27 PM
Has anyone used this service for their new business? Anyone used them for the low cost loans that they offer? What was your experience? How long did it take to get a decision on a loan and was there a process to go through?

Thanks in advance :)

nattynetty
15-08-2008, 09:54 PM
I'm too old to use them (unless they've changed the rules recently) but when I worked as a careers adviser I helped a few young people apply to the Princes Trust. None of them applied for the loan so can't help on that but some applied for (and got) grants. If I remember rightly they got an appointment with someone from the PT quite quickly after the initial enquiry and when the grant was approved they recieved the money within a month or so I believe.

If I were you I'd contact the PT and arrange an appointment with one of their advisers if you haven't done so already as they are really helpful :)

urbtaf
15-08-2008, 11:36 PM
If you can get it go for it. I have a grudge against it as when we had the courier company we lost 2 good contracts to a young lad who had set up with their help. he got a monthly grant, a computer and sat nav system, and a cheap loan to buy his van.
Dont know if they are still that generous but it cant help to ask. I do seem to remember that a good business plan is the main thing they ask for so if you know anybody that has experiance with that sort of thing see them before you do anything else
Good luck, you dont get much help in business so grab any that comes your way

Muddle Jewellery
16-08-2008, 12:10 PM
Hi

I've been helped by the Princes Trust.
I called them, then went to see them at their offices and they talk you through what you have to do, and how to do your business plan, they will also say if your business is viable.
You used to be able to get a test marketing grant of about 100, but I'm not sure they do it anymore.
I applied for a 2000 loan initially with the option of having another 1000 for a car when I'd passed my driving test. The loan is over 3 years.
I was sent on a self employed mini course about tax etc.. ( it was only a couple of hours ) but tells you how fill in tax returns etc.. which I'd done before, so didn't really learn anything new, but you're required to go to show you're serious about your business.
Then if your business plan is ready they book an appointment for you to see 'the board' these are the people who decide whether you get the loan or not.
Mine was a room of 4 men, plus my Princes Trust advisor and another Princes Trust person.
You have to talk about your business etc.. they asked questions, then you leave the room and they talk about you, then tell you whether you have it or not.
The whole thing took about a month for me, so it was quite quick really.
One of the conditions is to see a mentor every month for the first year, then every other month for the second year, then I think 3 times the third year.

Sorry its so long.
If there's anymore questions, feel free to ask.

D-Fizz
30-08-2008, 03:06 PM
The max age is 30. My expereience with the Princes Trust has been a bad one. And no help what so ever.

Vonnie
31-08-2008, 04:29 PM
This is quite interesting for me actually, I thought the max age was 25 so I hadn't bothered with them before but I'm losing my job on October 31st so this could be amazingly helpful for me!

saraeden
31-08-2008, 04:58 PM
My ex husband started a business a few years ago with them and they were brilliant !!
We got loads of help writing a business plan and went on lots of mini information days to help with the ins and outs of running a business !!

We had a great adviser and the area manger became a great friend of ours .

I would say speak to them and see what you think for yourself .. what have you got to loose :mf:

rhulme
02-10-2008, 01:24 PM
hi got a 1000 with the prices trust they were brill becaus i was already set up in business and i only needed it for leaflets i didn't needa business plan. i also had to rush mine though because i was coming up to 31. so it was all done in 2 weeks and i didn't have to face the dragons den because it was under 1000. the only thing i will say is i have not had a mentor assigned to me and this is ine thing i would have really benefited from
never mind.

craftsensations
02-10-2008, 02:26 PM
Can I have a rant please??? Why is it that the Princes Trust and many many similar agencies will only help those setting up a business if you're a certain age and unemployed?? It's SO not fair! I'd qualify in some cases for the age category but seem to be being penalised for having a job. some of us work flipping hard doing a full time job (low paid charity work I might add!!) for security - some of us have mortgages to pay and as much as we want to really give our business 100% we can't becuase of this - a grant would really help!! Grrrrrr. Sorry rant over - just makes me furious!

And furious to the people who set the rules not those who can get help from them so if you are under 30 and unemployed, have a look:

http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/Main%20Site%20v2/14-30%20and%20need%20help/start%20up%20in%20business.asp

silvermaid
02-10-2008, 04:17 PM
I agree, the older people need just as much help in starting a business.
If you are under 30 you have nothing to loose by contacting them.

For the rest of us have a look at www.businesslink.gov.uk they may help.

Melanie

Muddle Jewellery
02-10-2008, 04:42 PM
I've had a really good experience with them, no complaints at all, in fact I'm going to see my mentor in a few minutes.

I work part time, you can work up to 16 hours a week if you've have the loan from them, their theory is if you work full time, then you can't give 100% to your business, which I know is annoying but I tend to agree, if I worked full time, then my jewellery business would become more of a hobby, which isn't what they want at the end of the day.

If you do get the loan and then decide to get a full time job you have to pay the loan back.. I'm not sure how strict this is and how fast you have to pay though.

urbtaf
02-10-2008, 05:27 PM
To all that are having a moan about help being given to only certain age groups!
I agree with you 100% It is unfair competition, and has over the years taken money away from me.
A good example is the positive discimination that is applied on every market in England, by goverment instruction.
The answer is just accept it and go with the flow.
On any official form now I am of gypsy decent, religion- celt, race-Sicilian on my fathers side (thats ones true).
This puts me in a minoraty of one, and if it does not get me pushed up the lists, it at least gives the pen pushers a hard time;)
But my advice to anyone who qualifies for a grant is -grab as much as you can
Now does anybody know of a grant for grey haired old buggers like me!! a bit of free cash would come in very handy right now:D

craftsensations
02-10-2008, 08:20 PM
Aaaah - well!! You should have a look on that princes trust link, then they have a link that basically says - if you don't qualify for us - here are some other people people that might help..and one of them is some Enterprise thing for the over 50s! I don't qualifiy for that either....seems I'm too in the middle and don't get anything from anyone! It's a shame though - I'd love to be able to afford not working or part time working while I devote more time to my business - maybe then I wouldn't have to stay up till past midnight and then some every night! Might be able to remind myself what my OH looks like as well.....So yeah, some of us are serious about our business but can't afford not to work, just a shame that's not recognised.

Hope the over 50s website helps some anyway! Not that I'm suggesting anyone on here is a day over 21 :mf:

auntynet
02-10-2008, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the link - Urbtaf will check it out as soon as I get off the puter! :D


Hope the over 50s website helps some anyway! Not that I'm suggesting anyone on here is a day over 21 :mf:


I admit to being 27 and a few months . . . . . . . . . 201 months to be exact but hey . . . . . I rarely ever count past 27 so its irrelevant! ;)

SusieQ
03-10-2008, 12:00 AM
My neice got a grant quite a few years ago and her business is still going strong. She does stained glass windows and her business is called Hannah Glass. If I remember rightly she met Prince Charles when she was awarded the grant. Sue xx:D

auntynet
04-10-2008, 12:36 AM
Hope the over 50s website helps some anyway! Not that I'm suggesting anyone on here is a day over 21 :mf:

Checked out the over 50s link and whilst they do offer some good advice and there are more links to useful sites, they don't chuck any money in your direction so we're still looking. :( :nopity:

Ger
04-10-2008, 08:52 AM
The age limit thing really bugs me as well :mad: I k now there has to be a limit at some point but where i live there is no help what so ever with money, when i did find a grant the SNP got in power up there and stopped the money just weeks before I was due to get it :o so I have ended up using the kids school fund which I have to try and get back before the hit uni, thankfully my oldest is only 10. It's really disheartening as up north they are alway harping on about helping women coming back into work after kids & new businesses in rural areas well I meet both but still no help.
Sorry rant over hope you get on will with the trust :)

rhulme
05-10-2008, 06:24 PM
when i applied for my grant i was working in my businees but before i opened i was not working for 2 weeks this seemed to be enough for them i never have claimed the dole or any other formof benefit from the goverment and a year on my husband is still putting money into the business

craftsensations
06-10-2008, 12:54 PM
Yeaah I have to be honest, not sure I would ever be brave enough to take out any kind of loan, just in case things all went wrong! A grant would help though :D or actually, a mentor would be really really good - lets face it, a lot of the time we all come here to ask various questions, the sort you might ask a mentor - so in that case I guess we are all each others mentors! And I don't care how young or old any of you are! :kiss:

It does seem silly though that all these things are aimed at younger people when the average age of a crafter is well, lets say, slightly more mature :D

I'm off to a Craft Network tonight though at Southill Park, Bracknell - anyone else in the area going??? No age limit applies! :)

NaturalistDesigns
16-10-2008, 04:28 PM
I personally have abit of a disliking for the Princes' Trust advisers in my area; they kept fobbing me off by saying they could make the meetings we'd re-scheduled over 5 times previous. Gave up and done it on my own back.