Working in partnership to develop the skills of enterprise

As we enter what some are calling the fourth industrial revolution, teaching and developing generic soft skills – including the specific skills of enterprise – will be of central importance to young people’s future success.

In 2018, Start it, the West London Schools’ Entrepreneurship Programme, was founded to provide teaching, mentoring and meaningful opportunities for young people to become the next generation of entrepreneurs. Supported by our alumni and parent networks as well as our partner schools, we look to share our wisdom and experience with the young people involved, as they acquire the confidence and skills to start their own businesses. Crucially, the programme is open to, and promoted amongst, all of the young people in the local area. A key focus of the partnership is to foster collaboration between different groups of young people and to promote social enterprise.

For further information about events and the Start it programme, please contact Head of Enterprise at St Paul’s School, Nick Troen


Start It Pro – Incubator Programme

This year, St Paul’s School is providing an incubator to help develop pupil businesses in a formal, structured manner. The Start it PRO incubator programme is designed to help Upper Eighth or recent Old Pauline start-ups in their infancy succeed by providing resources, seed funding, mentoring and training. The closing date for applications is 12 February 2021. To find out more or apply, please click here.

This year, The West London Partnership is providing an incubator to help develop pupil businesses in a formal, structured manner. The Start it PRO incubator programme is designed to help recent alumni start-ups (18-23 year olds) in their infancy succeed by providing resources, seed funding, mentoring and training. The closing date for applications is 12 April 2022. To find out more or apply please see below information:

The programme will take place over a 12 month period and culminate in a ‘graduation day’ at  where successful applicants are invited to share their experiences.

Applicants will need to submit a comprehensive business plan to by 12 April 2022 and partake in a follow up interview to evaluate the credibility of their start-up. If successful, the entrepreneur/s will be actively supported with access to a wide range of industry-specific mentors from the Old Pauline network, pro bono professional advice, and funding up to a maximum amount of £3,000.

Successful companies that have already emerged from the West London area during the last few years include VenturePad, SureLight and Airband and the WLP is committed to evolving the support available for its entrepreneurs.

Please note that any student assuming the role of a director of a limited company is taking on a very serious responsibility. Equally serious is the maturity and discipline required in the securing of funding and the sustainable growth and management of a business. If you do not possess these qualities you should not apply.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Only current Y13/alumni from 18-23 years old are eligible. Teams may consist of a diverse array of students from different schools and backgrounds.
  2. Social enterprises and concepts with a clear remit to benefit the environment or humanitarian causes will be given special consideration.
  3. Further special consideration will be given to applicants who have already secured, or attempted to secure, some degree of investment from an arms-length source.
  4. No amount greater than £3,000 will be available to any one applicant or team, and actual funds awarded may be significantly lower than this. Your business plan should outline how funds will be spent (director or employee salaries funded by Start it PRO are prohibited, but any other reasonable business costs are permitted).
  5. The executive committee of Start it PRO is responsible for the awarding of funds and reserves the right to reject business plans which are not deemed viable. Lack of viability could be because of (but not limited to): unsubstantiated market research; unfeasible business idea; little or no evidence of other attempts to raise funds from other sources; poor disciplinary record of the individuals involved. Any decision will be based on a thorough assessment of the business plan submitted by the applicant and subsequent interviews with key personnel.
  6. Funds will be provided in the form of a low interest loan, terms and conditions of which are outlined in the Start it PRO loan agreement.
  7. The annual deadline for submitting plans for consideration by the Start it PRO executive: 12 April 2022

Successful applicants will be expected to present their progress at the end of the 12 month incubator programme. If you have any questions please direct these to Business plans should also be emailed to this address.


Companies currently attached to the Start it Pro Incubator:

Charles Tyrwhitt founder Peter Higgins delivers a talk at Start it's post-GCSE summer enterprise course
Participants at Start It
Dame Cilla Snowball and Brent Hoberman judge student businesses during Start it's summer entrepreneurship programme
Entrepreneur Andy Shovel mentors student business groups during Start it
Francesca Lanza of the Alexandra Partnership gives a talk on professionalism
Jeremy Lovelace advises teams in the Start it Executive Management Strategy Game
Louise Troen mentors student business groups
Teams from a variety of schools taking part in the Start it Executive Management Strategy Game
Reddington and RedStart founder Rob Gardner delivers a workshop at Start it's post-GCSE summer enterprise course
Student group collaboration
Students presenting during Start it
Winners of Start it 2019
I found the experience of actually building the business and brainstorming ideas with new people extremely valuable and rewarding.
Year 11 Student, Fulham Boys School