Brighton and Hove start-up MyPocketSkill selected as a finalist for the Great British Entrepreneurship Awards following their COVID-19 response for parents and young people.

MyPocketSkill, a provider of digital services in the field of youth finance and employability, has been selected as a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneurship Awards following their innovative COVID-19 response which has helped over 1,000 teenagers and households.

In 2017, two parents - Matthew and Zara - set up MyPocketSkill to address the gap between teenagers wanting to earn pocket-money and have some financial independence and opportunities to do so. Fast forward to 2020 and MyPocketSkill’s matchmaking platform has helped over 1,000 teenagers and households, most notably during lockdown due to COVID-19. MyPocketSkill was awarded funding by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, for their response during the pandemic.

MyPocketSkill works closely with young people and pride themselves on being user-led and user-design centric. Following interviews and focus groups with young people and families during lockdown it came as no surprise that teenagers were at a loss following the cancellation of exams and parents were struggling to adapt to new working-from-home conditions. MyPocketSkill therefore launched their £5 for 45 tutoring campaign as an intervention to help both parties. They now run the Teen Tutors and Teens Digital programmes, with the support of Coast2Capital funding, the UCL Educate Programme and Innovate UK funding which has enabled MyPocketSkill to scale-up their services.

Founded in 2013, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in the United Kingdom. The Awards have celebrated some outstanding entrepreneurs who have gone on to become household names. Previous winners include the founders of BrewDog, Tangle Teezer, The LAD Bible, Clearscore & The Cambridge Satchel Company. Judges of the awards include Hayley Parsons, who founded Go Compare, Cath Kidston, Lord Bilimoria of Cobra Beer and Kanya King, the founder of the MOBO awards.

This year, with face to face events challenging, the regional heats will be celebrated online on September 23rd.

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “These entrepreneurs have gone above and beyond in order to allow their businesses to flourish in extremely difficult times and it is a true honour to congratulate each and every one of them.”

Zara Ransley, co-founder of MyPocketSkill, said: "Being selected as a finalist for a GBEA award came at the right time - the pandemic, however devastating, also made us adapt and actually emerge with a better business model. So now we are ready to spread a word about MyPocketSkill platform, which helps teens on their way towards employability and financial independence. GBEA is a great platform to be able to do that. So thank you GBEA!"

Contact:

• Matthew Harker – Director, MyPocketSkill matthew@mypocketskill.com

• Zara Ransley – Director, MyPocketSkill zara@mypocketskill.com

• Ciara Cremin – Youth Policy Analyst, MyPocketSkill ciara@mypocketskill.com


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