July 25, 2021

Young Lambeth entrepreneurs kick-start fashion business ambitions

Eight Lambeth residents are setting up their online fashion clothing companies and are set to sell their own unique designs thanks to an entrepreneurship course run by Youth Skills Network funded with a grant from the L&Q Foundation.

Called UR Brand, the project gives young L&Q residents (aged 16-25) training and assistance to launch their own online clothing design, print and distribution business. UR Brand is being delivered by Youth Skills Network, a not-for-profit social enterprise providing media and enterprise training for young people.

Over the last two months the course participants have been meeting once a week at the Stockwell Community Resource Centre in Lambeth to learn new skills and build their business with course tutors. The project will culminate in a pop-up shop event at a location to be confirmed, where the participants will sell T-shirts and hoodies printed with their designs.

On the course participants are being taught essential business knowledge such as branding, Photoshop, on and offline marketing (including social media), sales techniques, customer service, as well as essential financial and legal requirements for setting up and running a company.

There are some new and exciting brands being created by the participants including Jampino, Afreka and Lenique Louis London, to name a few.

The UR Brand course in Lambeth is the last of three phases to the scheme, which overall has seen a total of 30 course places offered to L&Q residents. The previous two phases took place in Hackney and Lewisham.

The full list of brands and products created through the UR Brand project can be found at its collective website and online shop: www.digitaldepartmentstore.com.

Erykah Brown, 17, UR Brand participant, says: “Starting my own business has always been something I wanted to do, but I just wasn’t sure how to get started. UR Brand has been great, as its showing me some clear steps to follow and guiding me through each one. I am really excited to start displaying the designs and ideas I have been working on.”

Andrew Fraser, Youth Skills Network’s Founder & Company Director, says: “We are really pleased with all of the course members’ progress. Some were not confident with a computer at the beginning, but now they are all setting up their own online store and creating their designs using Photoshop. A big thank you to L&Q for seeing the potential in this innovative project for the benefit of these residents.

Matthew Corbett, Assistant Director Community Investment for L&Q, says: “UR Brand offers our residents with an interest in enterprise and creative business a chance to get advice and support building their skillset to take their first steps as entrepreneurs. We are delighted to see the success of their endeavours and wish them much more in the future.”