A Burnley entrepreneur has been featured in a Prince's Trust and NatWest campaign to champion UK’s next generation of business leaders after learning to manage mental health issues and set up his own tattoo parlour.
Scott Heffernan (32) was originally supported by the Prince’s Trust's Enterprise programme, which works with 18-30 year olds to turn big ideas into business reality, as he launched Timeless Tattoos in Burnley and has now been featured in the trust's #YouAreTheNext campaign supported by NatWest.
Appearing alongside four other successful Prince’s Trust-supported businesses in a film, Scott is out to spread the message that young people already have the ideas needed to carve out their own success and that with help from the likes of the trust - the UK's leading youth charity - they can flourish.
Following secondary school, Scott struggled with mental health issues, becoming mute. Funding cuts meant that the support he was receiving dried up, leading him to contact a charity who recommended the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme.
“My mental health was so bad, I was literally mute," said Scott of his time after school. "I couldn’t talk to anyone and refused to leave the house. [The charity] said I should consider the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme for support starting my own tattoo business.
"People were always complimentary about my drawings and I'd done a bit of tattooing at a friend’s salon before, but setting up my own business was a whole new ball game," he added. "And that's where The Prince's Trust were so good. They gave me all the basics to get started, kept in touch after the programme, and gave me a long-term business mentor for extra support.
Since 1983, The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 85,000 young people into business, with its Enterprise programme supporting potential entrepreneurs with training and mentoring to help them learn business basics, write a business plan, and test their idea, even offering access to funding.
"There were teething problems, but I stuck at it and I’ve now been running my own business, for almost three years," said Scott. "Having The Prince's Trust believe that I could make it as a tattoo artist was a turning point for me. I’ve now got a healthy business and client base, I’m expanding into permanent make-up tattoos, and I’ve even started mentoring a young tattooist on behalf of The Trust.
"I still suffer with mental health issues but the difference is that I can manage them now, and I feel infinitely better about my future and providing for my family," he added.
The #YouAreTheNext campaign is backed by NatWest who, as the largest corporate supporter of the Enterprise programme, have been instrumental in supporting some of the UK’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to move from an idea to a viable, flourishing business, with Clare Crabb, North Regional Director at The Prince’s Trust lauding the bank's "vision and commitment."
Gordon Merrylees, Managing Director of Entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: “For the last 18 years, we have worked in partnership with The Prince’s Trust to create an environment that encourages and enables young people to develop their talents and ideas into sustainable businesses. Time and time again we see the transformative impact of someone believing in your idea and providing the necessary support systems to validate it, test it and develop it into a reality, and into a career.
"Self-employment is an empowering opportunity for young people as whatever their background, they can carve out a new life for themselves by doing something they love and are great at, the world needs it and it can make a difference to people’s lives," he added.
To discover how The Prince’s Trust helps thousands of young people a year into business, and learn more about The Trust-supported businesses already out there, visit https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/support-starting-business