My Life Is My Business
Working with education charity Youth at Risk and Blackburn with Darwen local authority, the Foundation is delighted to be a funding partner of My Life is My Business, a unique programme teaching entrepreneurship to NEETs through DACA's entrepreneurship curriculum. The free scheme is open to anyone aged 16-19 who is not in education, employment or training in the Blackburn with Darwen area.
During the eight month course, each participant is given personal development training and support from locally based volunteer life coaches. In addition they receive expert advice on entrepreneurship from business mentors and inspirational speakers including Rod Aldridge, Claire Young (finalist on TV show The Apprentice), Andy Pickles (deputy chairman of the Music Factory Group) and Lee Blake (who set up the 50fifty youth clothing brand).
They’ll gain hands on experience of working in a business and social enterprise environment, learn about money management and be encouraged to develop the core attributes of an entrepreneur - our DAKAs: creativity, problem solving, team working, responsible risk-taking, passion and determination.
Fourteen young people took part in the first wave of the scheme, which started in February 2010, and both participants and organisers say it has made a positive impact. The second wave is currently underway, with participants planning to set up their own stalls within Darwen market.
The DACA team provide those participants who need it with one-to-one support in developing business ideas and plans, and conducting market research.
“I like telling myself what to do, being my own boss. When it comes to money I feel brilliant knowing that I made this.”
“There are people who reckon you won’t go anywhere, but actually you do have friends and people out there who will help you succeed.”
“What stopped me in the past was not being confident. Now I can do things I never thought I could and that’s made me confident. I just want this feeling to last.”
“It’s been a new dawn for me – I wasn’t expecting to find out so much about myself, my self confidence has shot through the roof.”
"I don’t want to just let life pass me by, when I can be out there earning a living."
"It has really allowed me to focus on what I want to do and shown me how to do it."
"My Life Coach was really good, gave me real support when I needed it. She helped me to be more confident."
“We’ve always enjoyed making our own websites at home and it’s good to make your business out of something you are passionate about and enjoy."
"I feel that my head is in the right place and that I’m back on track."
"I always wanted to be someone like on Dragon’s Den, now I can."
"My Life is My Business has changed my life."
"It has given me the confidence to set out on my own, allowed me to identify where I want to go and shown me how to get there."
"It’s about personal development for me – my life is my business!"