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Entrepeneur Grabs Glory with Help of Mitcham Youth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Craig Burnett -Wimbledon Guardian   
Saturday, 13 November 2010 12:52

A budding entrepreneur scooped a national award for a business that grew out of youth projects on Mitcham’s estates.

Andre Hackett, the founder of a summer scheme for teenagers, picked up the business award thanks to his company London Mobile Studios (LMS).

Profits from the business are used to fund the Escape – which for four years has offered hundreds of young people the chance to take part in free dance, drama, art and music-making sessions.

And it was the youth group that inspired Mr Hackett to launch his business in November – when he and EYG co-founder Richard Abiona realised recording equipment used by teenagers during the sessions could form the basis of a mobile recording studio.

Their studio has since been booked for events ranging from birthday parties to projects with schools and the probation service.

And, last month, Mr Hackett won the Big Leap entrepeneurship competition – an Apprentice-style contest for new business owners under 30 – which saw him take part in challenges including a sales pitch at the British Library.

The business plan for LMS was also examined by the judges before they awarded him a £500 prize, in a competition organised by training company Striding Out.

Mr Hackett said the success of LMS was vital to keep the youth project running, as funding from other sources was increasingly hard to find.

He and Mr Abiona founded Escape in 2007, when the pair were still students. The scheme faced closure in 2008 because of a cash crisis, but was saved after a plea in the Wimbledon Guardian.

The youth group is now part of Make a Change – a non-profit organisation, run in partnership with anti-violence campaigner Alex Rose – which aims to improve the lives of young people and tackles crime and violence.

Escape will return to Immanuel House, in Western Road, Mitcham, this summer and its organisers have launched weekly youth club sessions that run during the school term. For more information email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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+1 #1 test 2010-11-17 14:50
interesting article! :-*

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