Prince’s Trust & RBS A-Z of Young Businesses: ‘H’ – Heads High: Kate Swinn

Now 28, Swinn from Reading first fell pregnant at 15, and has brought up two sons on her own. She wanted to support her children independently, however, she worried about how she would find a job and look after her children at the same time – especially as her eldest son has Aspergers syndrome and needs a lot of support at home.

“Childcare is so expensive that even with a full-time job I didn’t think I’d be able to afford it.” says Kate. “But I was determined to put my qualifications to good use and didn’t want to rely on benefits,”

She wanted to set up her own business, teaching hairdressing and beauty therapy to young people struggling at school. “I had my idea, but with no experience of running a business, I didn’t know where to start,” admits Kate. “Thankfully, I found out about The Prince’s Trust and they’ve helped me turn my idea into a reality!”

In April last year, Swinn joined The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme and took part in a four day workshop to learn business basics like tax, marketing and how to write a business plan. She was given a business mentor to provide ongoing support and advice as she got the business started.

Setting up her business in a difficult economic climate was daunting for Kate. Thankfully, Heads High is now a huge success, and Kate runs a range of workshops in Reading and the surrounding area to help young people gain skills in hairdressing and beauty therapy.
She told us, “I chose this name as I feel it relates well to the nature of my business. I help my learners to gain new skills and confidence from my courses thus enabling them to hold their ‘heads high’”.

I’m not quite sure how I’ve done it. It has taken a lot of hard work and determination, but with the support of The Prince’s Trust I felt I could do anything.

In the next few years, Kate hopes to grow her business and eventually employ a few members of staff. She would also like to offer a work placement or apprenticeship scheme to give another young person valuable skills and experience.

Swinn told us: I can’t believe how much my life has changed in just over a year. Thanks to the support I received from The Prince’s Trust, I’m happier than ever and feel confident about my future.

Kate continued, “I didn’t want to be the stereotypical single mother on benefits, and I’m delighted I’ve found a way to support my family and be a good role model to my children.”


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Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media's automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.
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https://bmmagazine.co.uk/

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media's automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.