Young entrepreneur takes control of career dreams with launch of tech business
A 22-year-old entrepreneur who has launched her own IT business specialising in repairs for hardware and software refuses to let her autism diagnosis hold her back.
Caitlyn Sheldon has become a go-to provider of tech support and repairs in South Wales following the launch of her company CVS-Technical Ltd, with the help of the Welsh Government’s youth entrepreneurship service Big Ideas Wales.
Since March, founder Caitlyn Sheldon has been working alongside her customers to tailor repairs to their available budget while educating them on every step of the repair process in an effort to be a transparent, trusted business.
The young entrepreneur is on a mission to provide customers with a service they wouldn’t usually receive in the average tech store and to keep her prices competitive. Caitlyn prides herself on being an affordable company and a sustainable one, working with Tech Ebay Sellers to secure high-quality, second-hand computer parts for her repairs.
Caitlyn, who was diagnosed with autism in 2014, reached out to Big Ideas Wales after deciding to launch her own business during lockdown. Big Ideas Wales is part of Business Wales and funded by the Welsh Government to support entrepreneurship in Wales. The service is aimed at anyone under the age of 25 who wants to develop a business idea, including students and graduates.
Caitlyn said: “I struggled to conform to the structured routine and expectations of a traditional 9-5 job in the past, but entrepreneurship has allowed me to work remotely and control my own deadlines and work-life balance. By running my own business I can create a calm working environment which in turn helps me manage my autism.”
Now that she has launched her start-up business, Caitlyn has turned her attention to its corporate social responsibility (CSR), using CVS Technical Ltd to give back to her local community, for example by sourcing and upgrading second-hand laptops and iPads to donate free-of-charge to Ukrainian refugees adjusting to life and education in Wales.
Caitlyn first came across the work of Big Ideas Wales while applying for Universal Credit and was quickly paired with Big Ideas Wales business advisor Liz Hopkin who, during weekly meetings, provided support and advice on the fundamentals of running a business, from registering as a sole or limited trader to insurance and advertising.
Alongside brainstorming ideas on how to grow her business, Caitlyn sought financial support available to young entrepreneurs in Wales and was pointed in the direction of the Welsh Government Barriers to Business grant. Caitlyn was successful in registering for the grant and used her money to upgrade her business tools, buy a new computer and register as a limited company.
Speaking about the benefits of running her own business, Caitlyn said: “Being an entrepreneur is so well suited to my lifestyle. I’ve created my own unique working environment and have my family in the next room for support. None of this would be possible in a traditional role. Nor would it be possible without the support of Big Ideas Wales.
“As a young disabled person, Big Ideas Wales took the time to pair me with an advisor who understands me, my condition and my goals for my business. Big Ideas Wales showed me every pathway possible to achieving my entrepreneurial dreams and helped me to make them a reality at just 22 years old.”
Big Ideas Wales business advisor Liz Hopkin said: “Initially Caitlyn expected everyone to turn up to their weekly Big Ideas Wales meetings in a suit and tie, armed with a full business plan, but was relieved to find that Big Ideas Wales is a service that moulds around the needs of the entrepreneur. We sat for hours discussing ideas and the ways in which we can make CVS Technical Ltd a sustainable, community-based company in which she could flourish as a young entrepreneur living with autism. It is wonderful to see Caitlyn’s business thriving, and I look forward to following her journey.”
As her business continues to expand Caitlyn hopes to employ young women with an interest in tech, in an effort to give them career opportunities in a typically male-dominated sector.