From education to employment

Start Up Step Up London programme funds 100th start-up with fashion and lifestyle business

A new eco-friendly fashion and lifestyle brand has become the 100th start-up to be helped by visionnaires, a pioneering social enterprise for aspiring entrepreneurs. Kiind has a strong ethos on protecting the environment and encouraging better health and fitness and will initially make and sell a range of stylish, recyclable bags for people with active lifestyles.

Founder Jacquie Lindsay is the latest entrepreneur to join visionnaires and get help and support through its Start Up Step Up London programme funded by the London Growth Hub and the European Social Fund.

She hopes to launch her business within the next six months having run her own PR and marketing agency Amazing Media and worked in the industry for more than 20 years.

Jacquie, 50, from Brockley, south east London, said: “My business is about fashion, lifestyle and product innovation. It’s completely new to me and not something I’ve dealt with before, but it’s very exciting.

“visionnaires has been invaluable and more than exceeded my expectations. I have learned so much on the course and networking with people. It’s helped me with my proposition and bringing it to life.

“It’s given me structure, helped me understand customers’ needs and values and get my product to a point where I am ready to move forward.”

visionnaires was founded in July 2019 and is part of Capital City College Group. It has seen the number of people wanting to join its programmes double since lockdown.

Those on the programmes receive expert mentoring, advice and resources, along with practical workshops to get new businesses started covering topics including marketing, selling, finance and business planning.

Budiono Bin Sukim, formerly Head Chef at The Langham Hotel in London, also joined the Start Up Step Up London programme to help him open an Indonesian restaurant. He is being supported by one of visionnaires’ mentors Michael Ingemann, Chairman of Think Hospitality Group, which advises the restaurant and hospitality industry globally.

Lenique Louis also joined the programme to develop her luxury, bespoke jewellery brand, which has been worn by celebrities including Ella Eyre, Ellie Goulding and Lauren McCrostie.

Pablo Lloyd OBE, CEO and co-founder of visionnaires, said “In light of the current pandemic people are anxious about their jobs and the job market in general. Creating your own job is now more attractive and we have seen a doubling of demand for help with start-ups.

“We are also delivering all of our workshops and mentoring as live webinars, which makes them accessible to anyone.”

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