Even in the short time I've been in business it's clear to me the entrepreneurial journey is something of a roller coaster. Both personally and professionally, the summer had its ups and downs.
I finished my fundraising for Tara Sowerby, a local teenager who has leukaemia, at £1,500 and presented her cheque at my first fundraiser for The Sick Children's Trust. I'd like to thank everyone who has supported the events in aid of Tara.
The Entrepreneurs' Forum, which runs the If We Can You Can Challenge, has chosen The Sick Children's Trust for its annual appeal this year. They are aiming to raise £50,000 for Crawford House, a facility in Newcastle run by the charity which provides a ‘Home from Home' for families of seriously ill children who are being treated at the nearby Royal Victoria Infirmary. I raised £172 at my first event, which was not a bad start. I've since done another, at King James I Academy, in Bishop Auckland, and will continue to do one event per month for The Sick Children's Trust until April next year.
My family has been through its own difficult time with the loss of my granddad in August. He had been suffering from cancer for almost two years and showed great courage. We had some fantastic times. I also found out in August that I had passed all my GCSEs.
I have a new business mentor now after Victoria Rought, former events manager at the Entrepreneurs' Forum, caught the entrepreneurial bug and set up her own business, The Creative Event Partnership. My new mentor is Rob Earnshaw, of United Applause Group. He has been really helpful and we have shared some excellent ideas regarding all aspects of my company.
I also had a meeting with Stuart Stalker, senior manager in corporate tax at PwC, who are one of the companies giving their time to IWCYC winners to support their business growth. Stuart explained the statutory and tax obligations of running a business and employing staff. He said that, as the business grows, potential investors and customers will expect to see these areas up to date and well managed as non-compliance can have an impact both financially and on a business's reputation.
We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of operating Fabrik Events with me as a sole trader and as company, and how each will meet my ambitions as the business grows. He also gave me some advice on pricing structures and negotiating, which has come in useful recently.
I have a new venue for Fabrik Events' regular Friday club nights in Willington as I was no longer able to continue at the original venue. Undeterred, I found a new venue and the first event there sold out within 20 minutes, which shows what fantastic support we have in the area.
The publicity generated by IWCYC and my fundraising led to me doing my first live radio interview on Bishop FM, and I also have a potential investor for the business.
With the summer behind us, we have a busy programme of events to look forward to. Following the EBF Boxing Championships at Nissan in Sunderland on September 15, where I covered the sound engineering and light production, Fabrik is launching at another new venue. We will be in the upstairs function room of Alex's Bar, in Tow Law, starting on September 21. It is a beautiful venue with a 50-seat VIP area decked out in leather sofas.
Fabrik will be at the Nissan Events arena in Sunderland on September 22. Also further north, I have acquired a new venue for Fabrik in South Shields working alongside a team of youth workers at Boldon School & Specialist Sports College. The launch party is on Halloween night and is called Black Magik.
In the last few days I've secured two more venues, Ferryhill Leisure Centre, where we're launching on September 28, and Lumley Community Centre, on September 29.
I am also organising an over 18s night at Lumley and am currently working on some pretty crazy stuff for that event. It is early days yet so I can't confirm much at the moment, but will bring more news in my next column.