Support network

As a new startup it is vital you have a support network, this can be your partner, family; friends & your colleagues. If Ten&Lee didn't have this network of support in place, then it would have been a lot more difficult than it has been over the last three years of this journey to get to where we are today. You cannot do this alone without making mistakes, seek advice from those who have experience in your field, a mentor or someone you know who can listen to your ideas and can answer questions you may have during each stage of your business, this is key! You can save a lot of time and money by speaking with other entrepreneurs or small start-up businesses who may or may not be in same the field, but who would have gone through similar experiences when starting their business. Working for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in the enterprise team has helped Ten&Lee drastically, with the support from colleagues who told me to follow my dream and would be with me every step of the way. The skills, qualifications and knowledge learnt within my current role in the Enterprise team has shaped me into becoming an entrepreneur. Emma Jones, MBE founder of Enterprise Nation inspired and motivated me to pursue my idea. Emma put me in touch with Clover Lewis founder of Clover Lewis swimwear post surgery mastectomy swimwear, who shared her wisdom and knowledge she has developed through life as an entrepreneur. Emma also put me in contact with Alison Lewy, MBE founder of Fashion Angel who helped Ten&Lee through the entire application process of applying for a business loan with Start Up Loans. My partner and family have been with Ten&Lee from the beginning and will continue to support the business journey, which has experienced highs and lows throughout the three years. It can be extremely frustrating and difficult at times in life, especially when thinking about starting up a business. But if you let fear prevent you from following your idea, which could become either a huge success or a tragic failure, at least you can say you gave it your all. If it is or isn't meant to be, you'll never know if you don't try!  There are so many finance options and free business help/advice for those in the UK who have a business idea or who are pre-startups; start-ups and growing businesses and want to take the next steps, it would be a waste to not take advantage of these resources. Gov.uk and the Business Advice Service (BAS) can help you.  

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