Successful NI businesswoman and creator of Vita Liberata, Alyson Hogg, has been appointed as the first female Patron and Enterprise Fellow to the Prince’s Trust in Northern Ireland.
The appointment will involve Alyson providing both funding and mentor support to the charity’s Enterprise Programme to help young people from care get on the career ladder.
The Ballyclare-based businesswoman self-started her skincare and tan business in 2003, alongside raising her family. It’s now grown into a multimillion pound company with its celebrity fans including Nicole Sherzinger, Emma Watson and Sienna Miller.
Alyson said: “Business is tough but very rewarding. You must be flexible, hardworking and determined to succeed and I want to encourage those future entrepreneurs out there to harness their life experiences in a positive and productive way.
“The Prince’s Trust is an incredible organisation that can help with the finance and the knowledge to get your ideas off the ground and I am thrilled to be working alongside them.
“Some of these young people have grown up in ‘survival mode’ and working with the Prince’s Trust I want to arm them with the business skills and knowledge that I’ve learned to help them grow and flourish in ‘work mode’.”
Youth unemployment and educational underachievement continue to be key challenges throughout Northern Ireland. The beauty industry is a key employment area for young people engaging with the Trust, with one in five attendees wanting to enter the sector.
The Enterprise Programme aims to inspire and encourage innovation amongst the next generation by hosting workshops on how to sell yourself, create business and marketing plans, sales, budgeting and tax.
Rose Mary Stalker, Chair of The Prince’s Trust NI said: “We’re delighted that Alyson has chosen to work in partnership with The Prince’s Trust and we know that with her backing we will be able to reach many more vulnerable young people.
“Alyson is also our first female patron in Northern Ireland, which we hope will inspire future generations of young women to follow in her footsteps and succeed with whatever business plans they want to achieve.
“In the past year, The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 7,000 young people across Northern Ireland with more than 80 per cent of those moving into jobs, education and training. The challenges facing our youth remain great and we believe that with the right support, all young people can find the confidence, strength and skill to help them realise their potential.
Support is provided right through the process from idea to implementation and there is also support available to help young people secure funding.