Sant' Angelo, Wetherby: Yorkshire Italian restaurant where ex-Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa was a regular announces closure
Local firms angry as Yorkshire Lavender enters liquidation owing over £1m
On arrival they’d often say I wasn’t ‘what they were expecting’ and question my qualifications until the computer problems were solved. And then they changed their mind!
This attitude towards young people in business is still a barrier ten years later. Questions about experience always come up, even though I’ve founded my own award-winning digital marketing business by now.
Traditionally, young people aren’t encouraged to follow the self-employment route as an option from school. The reasons for that are obvious, because of the lack of security. There’s no guaranteed payday or success.
It was a The Big Challenge entrepreneurship competition which first got me started, selling keyrings to fellow school pupils aged 13.
Like many business owners I did A-Levels and then a degree at Sheffield Hallam University where there was a lot of support.
Thinking back though, if other routes had been promoted I do think I would have gone down a more direct route into business.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns many people seemed to adjust their lives and more and more of us started businesses, or side hustles.
An increasingly digital world has made it much easier, whether you sell crafts on Etsy or use online freelance platforms to seek out work. And having a second income is extremely valuable in the current economic climate.
Many research projects nationwide have charted this boom in young people going it alone. One in ten 16-24-year-olds have started their own venture since February 2020, according to a recent study.
So now seems like the perfect time to write a book that will help young people to navigate the world of business.
As a student at networking events when meeting new people, they would always recommend business books to read. All of them were aimed at much older people – and many were so old fashioned.
I’ve always wanted to write a book about my journey and it’s become clear there isn’t anything out there in terms of a young person’s guide to starting a business. There is a huge gap in the market.
So a publishing deal has been signed and a release is expected sometime next year.
The book will cover all of the pros and cons of being self employed. There’ll be a guide to writing a business plan, tips on networking and how to conduct analysis.
Using social media to grow your business, taking risks and accessing funding from investors are also key chapters.
Everything I include will be backed up by personal experiences – the good and the bad.
My top tips for young people wanting to get into business always include them asking for help and not being afraid to make mistakes. Not everything they try will work out.
The most successful entrepreneurs often try lots of ideas, so doing thorough research is important. But nothing is impossible. With hard work and determination young people can succeed in business.
They shouldn’t let anybody tell them they’re not capable of running a business or that their idea won’t work. And it’s the best feeling to prove people wrong.
The book will be written in a language that everyone can understand. There will be general advice in there too, from dealing with bullying to surrounding yourself with positive people. Through working with charities and vulnerable people I know how important it is for books like this to be accessible to all.
Everyone in business should be encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to give their passions a go. Even if the book helps only one young person it will have been worth writing.
Harvey Morton Digital is based in Sheffield. Founder and digital expert Harvey is an ambassador for Youth Employment UK. He is aged 24.