A group of young Hackney residents have been given the opportunity to launch online fashion clothing companies and sell their own designs as a result of an entrepreneurship course funded by a grant from L&Q housing association’s L&Q Foundation.
Tricks of the trade
The project, named UR Brand, is being delivered by the not-for-profit organisation Youth Skills Network, which provides media and enterprise training for young people. It provided the young residents with training and assistance to launch their own clothing and distribution business.
For the past five months, the residents have met once a week to acquire new skills and develop their business with course tutors. They have been taught business knowledge – such as branding, Photoshop, marketing and social media, sales skills, customer services and the importance financial and legal requirements for launching a new company.
The innovative project was rounded up with a pop-up shop event at Lik + Neon in Bricklane. Here participants sold T-shirts and hoodies, printed with their own designs. New brands created for the project include the green and ethical clothing The Progress Movement, the politically aware designs and slogans Smoke N Flares and London Clothing. To see the list of brands and products created through the UR Brand project, click here.
Andrew Fraser, Youth Skills Network’s founder and company director, said of the scheme:
“We are really pleased with all of the course members’ progress. Some were not confident with a computer at the beginning, but now they all have their own online store and are confident 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.”
The Hackney UR Brand course is the first of three phases of the overall scheme, which is set to see a total of 30 places offered to L&Q residents. The next two phases will be in Lewisham, then Lambeth and Wandsworth, beginning in September and February.
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