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Imelda Fossu, a 25-year-old entrepreneur, has launched an innovative campaign to encourage Yorkshire residents to follow their dreams and start their own business.

The #YorkshireCreates scheme is calling for aspiring businesspeople in Yorkshire to submit their business ideas. The winner will be awarded a £25,000 services package, regular mentorship from Imelda and expert support to take their idea from inception to full launch.

“For too long, innovation has only been a viable career for one type of person. My ultimate goal is to help more women of colour, marginalised communities and young people from working-class backgrounds understand that their ideas matter. It’s different perspectives that are going to drive our world to a better place,” said Imelda. “Starting a business isn’t a privilege, it’s your right.”

A regular media commentator as seen on ITV, Metro and the BBC, Imelda is reinventing what it means to be an entrepreneur through a balance of creativity, purpose and profit.

At the age of 23, Imelda was in £100,000 of debt from launching LETUSFINDIT, a fashion search engine. The experience was her first, formative taste of failure. It was also the inspiration behind her next entrepreneurial move: The Fossu Group, an innovation factory with a focus on low-capital, high-intention businesses.

Under the Fossu Group family is Drip Drop, a results-driven marketing agency run by people who understand what it takes to run and scale a business. Imelda has also recently been announced as the next Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Capital Enterprise, the UK’s startup experts.

Emma Obanye - Director of Entrepreneurship at Capital Enterprise, said: “The Yorkshire Creates programme is so greatly received at a time where opportunities for underrepresented founders are most in need. The beneficiary of this programme is being provided with a unique opportunity to realise their dreams. This is made even more possible with the matching of a mentor of Imelda’s calibre and experience. Imelda is not only a great entrepreneur, but an EIR and role model, who oozes drive, resilience, and infectious energy.”

Now, Imelda wants to offer another entrepreneur a helping hand.

“I’m beyond excited to be launching #YorkshireCreates, which I hope encourages anybody with an idea to get in touch. We’re looking for unexpected ideas and new ways of thinking from as many people as possible – there is no such thing as a bad idea.”

“After such a challenging year, I want to bring back positivity and hope to a county that’s made huge contributions to global culture.”

With 2020 delivering an unprecedented shift in the way we approach business, Imelda’s power lies in her ability to combine her commercial mindset with her unique lived experiences. Drawing strength from her family roots in Ghana and the north of England, Imelda’s story is a true example of resilience, resourcefulness, and unapologetic ambition.

The £25,000 worth of services and software will consist of:

● Executive coaching: Five x one-hour sessions to ascertain and support the growth of your business

● Financial management: Eight hours' financial review and assessment of your cash flow and systems to set up your budget

● Ongoing mentorship: 12 x one-hour sessions over 12 months to support and mentor you

● Marketing services: Support with access to resources to help promote your business

● PR services: Access to an online PR resource for one year and one x two-hours' one-to-one consultation

● Branding services: Access to a design team to help provide guidance and support with branding and building your brand guidelines

● Operational services: Support to ensure your process supports the needs of your business

All designed to take your business to the next level.

To learn more about #YorkshireCreates visit www.yorkshirecreates.co.uk

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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