Since it officially launched in January 2016, Manchester Youth Market has enabled over 40 young Mancunians, aged 16-30, to achieve their dream of setting up their own business. The initiative has helped young entrepreneurs to navigate their way to success by providing a package of support including professional advice and training, and most importantly the opportunity to test trade their products to the public in a relatively low-risk environment.
The project has been jointly funded by We Love MCR, the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s charity and a crowd funding appeal, and in addition the charity made grants of up to £500 available to help seed fund budding enterprises. There have been an amazing array of business ideas, from clothing, homeware and furniture to street food, video production and cosmetics, showing that Manchester is still the home of innovation.
Nathan Bikindou has been with Manchester Youth Market from the outset. He has a gentlemen’s accessories business called ‘Harris Couture’. He started out by producing and selling high quality silk and cotton pocket squares which come in elegant packaging featuring his company logo. He has since branched out to include matching ties, and is considering further expanding his range into cufflinks, tie clips and other wearable items for the smart businessman. Since he envisages most of his business to be done online, he applied and was accepted for a We Love MCR grant, which helped with his online marketing costs, and he hasn’t looked back. He is the face of Small Business Saturday 2016 in Manchester, and is a young man with a very promising future indeed.