Class of 2018
On Tuesday 6th November 2018, TRiM graduated from the Lloyds Bank School for Social Entrepreneurs West Midlands Start-Up Programme. The graduation event was held at PwC Birmingham to an audience of fellow graduates, SSE staff and funders, peer witnesses, corporate support partners, Lloyds Bank Mentors, and various friends and family members. It was a great finale to a 12-month business and learning programme involving 10 study days and action learning sets spread between October 2017 and September 2018, empowering us with the knowledge, skills an confidence to bring our projects to life.
I remember progressing through the interview stages back in June 2017 and feeling more and more excited about getting on to the programme. Then attending the first study day with my fellow start-ups at the Impact Hub in Digbeth, and feeling really nervous about presenting my project idea and vision to the group. Little did I know how up and down the journey would be, moving from pre-startup excitement to mid-programme blues to fully incorporated Community Interest Company in October 2018. The hardest challenge was trying to devote time to TRiM using all of the inspiration and resources from the programme while working full time. At times I felt really stuck and overwhelmed, feeling unable to take practical steps forward while trying to establish links to help validate the project. I often felt very caught up in the hypothetical and abstract aspects of TRiM.
My vision had always been to develop an online physical activity intervention for young people with mental health difficulties, so I became a bit too embroiled in the development of TRiM’s website at the start, rather than focusing on piloting, service delivery and getting out there. With the help and support of my peers, mentor and programme facilitators, Charles, Rozzie, and Rose I gradually began to shift my focus and step out my comfort zone. I would have liked to have devoted more time to the development of TRiM while I was on the programme and jumped in a bit more. However, one thing I realised is, we were all at very different stages of our business idea, and for me, the transition moving from pre-startup/idea to startup was a big step.
So here I am reflecting on the value of the SSE start-up programme as a whole and I can honestly say that it played a massive role in facilitating my own personal and buisness develeolnent. It was a relief to have completed the 12-month programme, however, I felt a strong sense of positivity and clear vision on graduation day. Preparing a 2-minute speech to explain my project and next steps to an audience of potential partners was a great way of getting me to be explicit and confident about my intentions. It felt like I was at the stage where I could and was going to move things forward. It was great to share that feeling with everyone – a truly inspiring day!