The Prince’s Trust was founded by HRH Prince Charles in 1976 to help vulnerable young people get their lives back on track. The trust believes that every young person should have the chance to embrace exciting opportunities. They help 11-30 year olds who are unemployed or who are struggling at school, to transform their lives.

In 2018 The Prince’s Trust empowered 58,000 young people and have returned £1.4 billion in value to society through their help for disadvantaged young people. The programme gives young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. This ultimately helps them to develop key skills while boosting their confidence and motivation.

James acts as a mentor and investor to young entrepreneurs that enrol in the programme. A young lady named Gina Moffat caught James’ entrepreneurial eye. Gina was sentenced to six years in Holloway prison for importing class A drugs worth over £200,000, she was convinced her life was over. She grew up in Tottenham, but was brought up by her parents in the “strict but loving Ghanaian way”.

Both Gina’s father and stepmother – her biological mother left when she was three – worked multiple jobs to make sure she was well provided for, meaning that, as an only child, Gina spent quite a lot of time unsupervised. As for school, Gina says she was a “joker” and “liked by everybody”, but unfortunately this popularity did not translate into academic success, and she left education with only three GCSEs. Gina credits a Prince’s Trust talk in Holloway on entrepreneurship for planting the seed that would become Blooming Scent. The governor of the prison enrolled her for a floristry NVQ at a London college via Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL).

Gina passed the degree with flying colours and remembers feeling apprehensive as she got closer to being eligible for parole. “I was enjoying my life in prison, and I was scared of change. Some of the girls even told me to steal a sandwich so I could come straight back.” But as soon as she was released, The Prince’s Trust got back in touch with her. She successfully pitched her idea to a panel of business experts, and was offered a £4000 low-interest loan by James who became her mentor.

Gina’s business has gone from strength to strength, becoming a hub for the community, currently employing ex-convicts, giving them the kind of second chance that changed her life.

James give Gina his top tips on how to succeed in business