The partnership is helping to nurture young people with ideas into the next generation of UK business owners.
Everyone has potential, the challenge is finding the right people to help you fulfil it.
This is where the work of The Prince’s Trust comes in. For almost 50 years, the youth charity has helped more than a million 18-30-year-olds overcome barriers to education, training and employment.
“We help young people from disadvantaged communities by providing them with the skills to live, learn and earn,” says Ben Marson, director of partnerships at The Prince’s Trust. “With support from the trust and patrons like RBC, young people can build the confidence and other core skills needed to take back control of their lives and overcome barriers.”
There have been few times where the work of The Prince’s Trust has been so critical. Its annual Youth Index survey shows young people’s overall happiness and confidence remains at an all-time low in 2023, as the scars of the pandemic persist and pressures of a cost-of-living crisis and a possible recession linger on.
More than half (53 percent) of young people aged 16-25 in the UK think the cost-of-living crisis will have a worse impact on their life than the pandemic, while 26 percent feel as though they are going to fail in life.
Employment and opportunities are not just key to the financial wellbeing of young people, but also their mental wellbeing. A staggering 47 percent of young people in the UK worry they will never be financially stable. And it’s a feeling that weighs heavily on their minds, with 64 percent saying a good quality, stable job would improve their mental health.
“There’s a clear social need for support. Young people are critical to the success of our society and both the private and public sectors need to create opportunities for them to thrive,” says Jennifer Sofianou, director of Sponsorships, Events and Citizenship at RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles. “The Prince’s Trust provides an incredible network of support across the UK for young people, and this commitment to youth is the reason why RBC has been an active partner since 2018. If we can help young people improve their long-term prospects both they, and the societies in which we live, will have a brighter future to look forward to.”
Since 2018, RBC has provided £100,000 a year in charitable support for The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme , a free initiative that has helped more than 86,000 young adults explore self-employment across the last four decades, and with RBC’s support, helped 312 young entrepreneurs launch sustainable new businesses.
Its impact can be seen across the UK in the shape of successful enterprises like brothers Matt and Kit Newell’s innovative meadery business. The Enterprise programme not only taught them the basics of running different types of companies, but helped them connect with local business operators who offered their own insights and experiences.
But RBC’s support runs deeper than its financial contributions. From employability workshops and CV reviews to business mentorship and networking events for young female entrepreneurs, RBC’s extensive employee volunteer network continues to devote time and expertise to young people with ideas.
“We have a moral duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves,” says Agnelo Pires, a senior financial analyst at RBC, who also benefited from early career support from The Prince’s Trust.
He now helps with fundraising initiatives in support of the charity, such as the annual Future Steps challenge, and provides mentoring and skills-based support. “Volunteering enables me to show my gratitude to The Prince’s Trust for helping me get my career up and running when I first came to England,” Pires says. “It’s wonderful to meet such ambitious and bright young minds that just need a bit of moral support and guidance to help them navigate what can be a complex world.”
From the countryside to the urban landscape, The Prince’s Trust makes a point of helping those who need it most. “For young people from disadvantaged communities, starting a business can often be a daunting challenge because there isn’t an immediate support network to help them get up and running,” says Marsons. “With help from ourselves and patrons like RBC, young people can learn the practicalities of running a business and understand how to turn their ideas into a sustainable enterprise.”
And its transformative effects cannot be understated.
Bronson Powell, a wealth management associate at RBC, first became aware of The Prince’s Trust when it ran an entrepreneurship workshop in his school when he was 15. “The experience was invaluable and gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in finance and think about my own business ideas,” Powell says.
Today, Powell is a regular volunteer with The Prince’s Trust. “So many young people don’t have the opportunities to learn key life skills at school. Things like interview skills and money management are crucial to boosting confidence, embedding a personal growth mindset, and ultimately giving you a sound footing in life, so it’s great to be able to fill that gap and help where we can.”
The Prince’s Trust Youth Index makes for stark reading, but the continued partnership with institutions like RBC shed light on what can be achieved when young people are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
“Social enterprises play a critical role in helping deliver support where it’s needed most,” says Sofianou. “Working with The Prince’s Trust and engaging with our amazing volunteer network will help drive positive change for future generations and foster the next generation of UK business owners.”
Find out more about RBC’s support for young people.