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Cardiff South Wales

Cardiff young woman receives Prince’s Trust Award

09.02.24 - Prince's Trust Awards 2024 Wales, Cardiff Castle. -

Alycia Hirani, 30, from Cardiff has been named as the winner of the the NatWest Enterprise Award recognising a young person who has overcome barriers to create their own sustainable business or social enterprise through The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme.

Hirani has overcome barriers placed upon her by having Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that requires the use of crutches and a wheelchair.

The condition did not limit Alycia but instead fuelled her ambition to make space for herself and others in a similar position within the fashion industry.

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards recognise young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.

Alycia’s entry into the Enterprise programme faced initial challenges, but determination led her to launch Emiah in 2021. Specializing in bespoke couture, her designs gained recognition, featuring in magazines and on Channel Four’s “Unique Boutique.”

As a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, Alycia wears many hats an entrepreneur, advocate for diversity, and woman of colour.
On winning the NatWest Enterprise Award, Alycia said “I did The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme where I learnt about the practical side of running a business, and had access to mentoring, which was so valuable.

“My mentor was so extremely supportive of me, it made my journey with The Prince’s Trust so easy. If there was something that they didn’t know, they knew someone that did.

“Being an entrepreneur can be such an isolating process. Working on your own and not being able to feed off others isn’t easy, so I valued the interactions with other business owners during the programme. It felt like I was part of a community, getting to meet people who were all at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

“I think being a part of Channel 4’s Unique Boutique is one of my proudest moments in this journey. Having family and friends call and text saying you’re on the telly just felt so rewarding. I loved seeing all the screenshots come in.”

TK Maxx and Homesense (TJX) have been a partner of The Prince’s Trust since 2013 and are one of The Trust’s largest delivery partners of the Get into Retail programme. This is a two-to-six-week course that develops young people’s skills in the retail sector and supports them into positive outcomes in retail.

TJX have also supported the Prince’s Trust Achieve programme since 2016, working with schools across the UK to build the confidence and teamwork skills of young people as they prepare for life after education.

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust gives young people the skills and confidence to get their lives on track. Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education.

“Just being able to start Emiah is amazing. This was simply just an expensive hobby of mine, so I never thought I would be able to make it work the way it has done. I started to see it grow and became enthusiastic about all the possibilities.”

Since launching Emiah, Alycia has been able to make a name for herself as an advocate and role model for individuals facing similar challenges. Alycia’s role as a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust is a testament to that.

“As a person of colour, with a disability and a business owner, you wonder how far you can go. What has kept me grounded is my belief that there is limitless potential for people like me to achieve my dreams. I feel honoured to be able to empower others and share my journey to inspire at least one person in similar shoes.”

Caroline Thompson, NatWest Regional Enterprise Director for South West England & Wales said, “We’re delighted to be back again this year as the proud sponsor of The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Award, and to celebrate Alycia as this year’s winner in Wales. It is great to see Alycia thrive with such great purpose having overcome so many challenges as a young entrepreneur – a truly deserving winner!”