A young Billingham vintage fashion entrepreneur was one of just a handful of people across the country who were picked to meet Vince Cable and James Caan at a breakfast meeting in London to get some advice first-hand.

Twenty two year old Hannah Proctor launched Aphrodite and Ares in the summer with funding and mentoring from Gateshead-based Transmit Startups. She was able to explain all about her professional vintage shopping website and how it is going from strength to strength to Caan, Chairman of Start Up Loans, a product of the British Business Bank, and former Dragons’ Den star.

James Caan and Hannah ProctorShe said: “It was a really inspirational morning. James Caan explained why start up businesses like mine were so important and we talked about my plans for the future. He was extremely supportive and even suggested that if I sent him some images of my clothes he would re-tweet them for me, which would be a huge boost.”

Damian Baetens, Director of Transmit Startups, who mentors Hannah as well as giving her financial support, said: “Despite her young age Hannah has a really sound business head and ambitious plans to exploit her unique offer. James Caan is one of the country’s most inspirational entrepreneurs and it is a chance in a lifetime to discuss your own business plans with him.”

Aphrodite and Ares sold out of stock in its first week of operating and aims to bring the same professional shopping experience to vintage items that you would expect with brand new clothes. Hannah’s website is www.aphroditeandaresclothing.com.

Transmit Startups is able to offer loans to budding entrepreneurs of all ages.