Leading entrepreneurs sign-up to mentor aspiring business owners

Published 13th Jun 2014 by Events

Two of Yorkshire’s leading entrepreneurs Carl Hopkins and Claire Young have signed up to support the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency’s MYMentor programme.

They will support those starting up and growing their businesses by passing on their expertise and skills as well as leading efforts to recruit more mentors.

MYMentor works with job seekers on the New Enterprise Allowance who have a business idea but need help to get it off the ground.

Dozens of business people from across West Yorkshire are part of the mentoring team who support those about the take the first steps into self-employment.

The West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency is now looking to recruit more mentors to support those starting their companies and Carl and Claire will be leading those efforts in the coming months.

Carl Hopkins, a marketer of 30 years’ experience, is the Commercial Director of leading Yorkshire public relations and marketing firm Faith PR. He owned the UK’s oldest independent marketing agency JDA until selling the business in 2007 and also featured on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire.

Carl said:

“Starting and running a business can be a particularly lonely time which is why I am always so keen to help those who have a great idea for a company turn their vision into reality. I look forward to working with the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency to help inspire budding entrepreneurs.”

Claire Young was in the final of BBC One’s The Apprentice in 2008. She now works on several projects designed to empower and enable young people in enterprise. She runs School Speakers, a business providing quality motivational speakers for schools, colleges and universities, and a social enterprise called Girls Out Loud which aims to inspire young girls, between the ages of 13 and 18.

Claire said:

“I am passionate about inspiring and empowering people to go into business so I am looking forward to lending a helping hand to those starting up their own companies. The West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency gives opportunities and encouragement to those who have a business idea and I am looking forward to being a part of the MYMentor team in the future.”

Andrew Choi, Executive Director of the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Carl and Claire to our MYMentor network and look forward to having them share their considerable business experience with our entrepreneurs in the coming months.

“Our message to potential mentors is that, whether you're a sole-trader, business owner or experienced professional, your support could make a huge difference to someone who is starting out on their own.”

Volunteer mentors are asked to spare at least one hour every two weeks to guide someone as they write their business plan and support them during their first 26 weeks of trading.

For more information about the role of the mentor, call us on 01924 786500 or email 

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