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Fashion startups can really benefit from specialist mentoring, probably more so than most other industries.
London based fashion business consultant Ben Muis has experienced the need whilst providing mentoring to young fashion entrepreneurs via several UK government funded organisations.
He is now offering new mentoring programmes, which are specifically tailored to the small fashion entrepreneurs, globally.As he travels throughout Europe for his consultancy and fashion technology clients he is often confronted with discussions around youth unemployment.
Muis is passionate about the options that entrepreneurship can bring to young people. He has his own reasons for this:
"I was already a very driven individual when I was younger, but I often benefited from having people around me who had the experience that I still lacked at the time. The simple availability of that knowledge and guidance which could top up and guide my own talent was invaluable. Now that I am now in a position to provide that guidance myself I think it is important to do so."
"It is not predominately about giving back, although that is certainly a part of it. What really matters is that young people today are in a situation where jobs are more difficult to come by, almost regardless of how hard they worked during their education. However, it is possible for them to get out of that huge pool of unemployed youth by creating their own opportunities. They need the confidence and know how to do that."
"I use my drive and international experience in the fashion, sports and luxury industries to give young people guidance and access to the knowledge and contacts that will help them to make the right moves and decisions. It can help them turn their often creative and innovative business ideas into a business that will actually allow them to generate an income for themselves and others."
"Mentoring is stimulating for both the entrepreneur and myself. Working with someone who has a good idea, a better or more sustainable way of working, a style that is different from what was there before or a seriously strong drive to succeed is very interesting. At the end of a session like that you leave with a very positive feeling. People might have challenges, but the positivity of what they are trying to do is infectious."
The mentoring provided is not just aimed at the UK. Ben Muis works internationally with companies from a wide network in many parts of the world willing and available to support promising mentees on their journey.
"We live in a global community now. Mentoring is as relevant for a fashion startup in one country as it is in another. With the communication tools available to us now we can have just as much impact on a startup in Australia as in Cambridge.
"In the fashion business a successful brand potentially creates employment in many countries, whether it is through wholesale, retail, fulfilment or manufacturing activities. This is why I consider it important to stimulate new business wherever it happens to be making a start today."
As part of their Startup Summer action the Ben Muis consultancy are offering discounted fashion business mentoring sessions to any startups and small fashion businesses with revenues below one million pounds per year.
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