In a surprise video call, Lauren Mann aged 25 and owner of Farrow Friends, an award-winning elderly support business, learned she was the recipient of a year’s free mentoring support from The Apprentice ‘Queen of Mean’ and multiple business entrepreneur Linda Plant.
Lauren was given the news as she sat in her car, in what she thought was a feedback session on her application, attended by experienced volunteer business mentors for The Prince’s Trust, Hadi Ibrahim, George Taylor, Francis Gaffney and Mike Chadwick. The business mentors managed the whole process, whittling down a shortlist of 13 applications down to three, leaving the final decision to Linda Plant.
Lauren said: ‘I couldn’t believe I’d won this opportunity to be mentored by Linda, it was a complete shock! Linda has so much business experience in so many different sectors. We’ve already had an initial chat and now I’m feeling even better about growing my business and finding new opportunities.
‘I opened Farrow Friends with support from The Prince’s Trust in 2017 and with their support I now employ four women to support elderly people in their homes. The idea came from my personal experience of looking after two relatives with dementia. The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme and my mentor gave me so much confidence, as I was poorly with an eating disorder before I came to them, I’d also just had my son. I had a lot going on.’
In 2019, Lauren’s company won the Customer Care Award at the Grantham Journal Business Awards and she has also been a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, which enables her to tell her story to encourage other young people.
Linda Plant said: ‘I was particularly impressed with Lauren as she’s a working mum and runs a business that helps people with dementia in the home. It pulled at my heart strings as my mum suffers from dementia too. It’s a much needed busines, especially now, as the pandemic has left many elderly people feeling isolated, with much less contact with family and friends. Lauren’s business has real potential. I’m really looking forward to mentoring her.’
Linda first came into contact with The Prince’s Trust in August 2020, when she was invited by Hadi, a Prince’s Trust busines mentor and businessman – to take part in a talk with young entrepreneurs. The online event was co-hosted with Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador and entrepreneur Cordell Jeffers. Almost 100 young people were in attendance online. Linda talked about the highs and lows of her busines career as well as offering advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Linda and Lauren have started to agree on the areas for the development of her business, which include helping to grow Lauren’s network, achieving a better work-life balance and the opportunity to grow her business.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme offers support and funding to help young people aged 18-30 explore their business ideas so that they can start their own business. With the help of Prince’s Trust staff and volunteer business mentors. The programme is currently being offered online. To find out more visit princes-trust.org.uk or call on 0800 842 842.