Pathways to Self Employment

Pathways to Self Employment is a a project funded by London Borough of Richmond to help young people not in employment to consider starting work with their own ideas. Check out this video to see local business sponsors and Zac Goldsmith MP supporting this new initiative.

The entrepreneurial spirit in Richmond is high;

  • over 15% of the borough’s residents are self employed, which is around 50% higher than London or the rest of England.
  • 41% of 18-30 year olds aspire to set up their own business.
  • 78% of these had a business idea, however more than half of these at 56% have taken no action at all to put their idea into practice.

The council already promotes self employment through a range of activities such as Richmond’s Den Enterprise programme which raises aspirations towards self employment and Kingston and Richmond EBP delivers a wide range of enterprise programs in schools. The core aims of the Pathways to Self Employment programme are:

  • Understanding
    Self-employment will be understood and accepted as a viable option for all young people in the borough, but particularly those who may be less likely to follow an academic path.
  • Facilitation
    Young people will understand how to raise the capital to create a viable business and understand the potential pitfalls involved.
  • Awareness
    The target audience will be aware of the options and support available.
  • Inspiration
    Young people will feel confident enough to explore the idea of self-employment further.
  • Action
    A proportion of these will take steps towards self employment within 12 months. Including those that go on to a traineeship or apprenticeship, in a business related sector with a likelihood of considering self employment in their profession in the future

Kingston and Richmond Education Business Partnership (KREBP) are delivering a range of experiences over the next 12 months.

Sharing my experiences as a self-employed Singer & Presenter

In November I volunteered some time to attend a Global Entrepreneurship Week event organised by Kingston & Richmond Education Business Partnership and Achieving For Children.

With the theme #MakeItHappen, the event offered students a range of talks and resources on ‘Pathways to Self-Employment’. I was one of a few business folks involved in a speed networking session.

I enjoyed sharing my experiences of ditching the corporate world and pursuing a freelance portfolio career as a singer, presenter, event host and voiceover artist. It continues to be an adventure full of ups and downs – and it’s incredibly rewarding, despite the challenges!

The speed networking was a little frustrating because we only had a few minutes with each group but I did meet some fab young people with great ideas and heaps of ambition. Above is a photo of me chatting to Marion James (BeautyMae) who has created her own YouTube make-up tutorial blog. Go Marion!

See the video of the event here.


Mentoring can be described as a partnership between two people who have different levels of experience. A mentor provides support and confronts issues and challenges identified by the mentee. It is a positive, developmental activity,not a remedial one.

Learn more about mentoring from this handy pdf.

Entrepreneur Spotlight

John Gower – Omni Local

John Gower has been an entrepreneur since he was a young boy. According to John, one of the key attributes to being an entrepreneur is to never give up. He is extremely supportive of young people, having two apprentices of his own which he admits has helped his business grow and he also supports Enterprise


Bianca Dainty – Easy Safety Cert

Bianca has been running her own business now for 2 years and was a recent entrant in Richmond’s Den. Take a look at her Small Business Showcase in The Guardian here. According to Bianca, lots of research and drive are some important aspects when setting up a business. Let’s see her under the spotlight! Please


Resources for schools

Enterprise Events
Kingston and Richmond EBP deliver enterprise events to Key Stage 4 (Bright Sparks) and Post-16 (Inspired Ideas) students that can develop entrepreneurial and employability skills that can be recognised by employers in the future.  A variety of businesses are engaged to set real businesses challenges for the students to research and develop.  Their ideas are then ‘pitched’ for judging!

Barclays Life Skills
Barclays Life Skills supports young people on a wide range of topics from managing their finances, to getting into a particular field of work and building their self confidence and more. You will also be able to unlock work experience as you learn new key skills.

BP provides free curriculum-linked teaching resources for primary and secondary schools and colleges on the following subjects; science, geography, business studies.

Enterprise Village
Enterprise Village supports professional development in enterprise education. Sign up to their website for free educational resources.

Food For Thought
Food For Thought is an activity pack for teachers and suitable for use in individual lessons or as a one day event for a whole year group, providing a condensed look at the learning and decision-making involved in the development of a new food product.

Business podcasts

These radio programmes discuss a wide range of business issues that affect entrepreneurs. These can be used as part of lessons to discuss different aspects of starting, developing or expanding businesses and develops students understanding of the skills needed by an entrepreneur.
If you are just starting to think about the setting up of a business or have already have a business start up then these shows are for you!

Lesson plan and teaching resources

Taming the Dragons with a Song 
This resource, which includes an outline lesson plan and YouTube clip to use with the case study is ideal for tutorial or careers lessons to raise the awareness of:

  • entrepreneurial skills for self-employment and have the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills.
  • working for themselves is a viable option for them to consider as a future career choice for young people.

Essential Enterprise Skills
This lesson plans will help raise the awareness of :

  • essential entrepreneurial skills
  • seeing opportunities
  • effective planning
  • thinking ahead
  • drive and determination


BBC Bitesize Enterprise (video)
The skills and qualities of a successful entrepreneur – 3 mins. There are also links to other resources to complement the video.

BBC Bitesize Enterprise #2 (video)
A panel of business experts discuss what motivates someone to start their own business – 2 mins 40 sec.

Teachers TV: Secondary PSHE – Self-Employment
This video will be very useful as a lesson starter for helping pupils to understand and discuss self-employment.

Dominic McVey’s Top Tips For Becoming An Entrepreneur
Dom was a millionaire by the age of 15, so knows what he is talking about. Watch his top tips for business success.

Take It On: Entrepreneur Dominic McVey
Dominic was a millionaire at the age of 15. Watch his story and get inspired. For more info about the Academy head to

Follow Your Dreams: Be an Entrepreneur
Watch this inspiring Networking Star video that promotes entrepreneurship. You can be successful. Are you willing to do what it takes? Follow your dreams and make it happen.

Top 10 Self-Made Teen Millionaires
It’s rare to find a self-made teenage millionaire. If you find someone young and rich, it’s mostly due to inherited wealth. This video takes a look at the top 10 self-made teen millionaires.

iPhone application developer… and 6th grader | Thomas Suarez | TEDxManhattanBeach
Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles. When Apple released the Software Development Kit (SDK), he began to create and sell his own applications. “My parents, my friends and even the people at the Apple store all supported me,” he says, “and Steve Jobs”

A-Z of Entrepreneurships