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Future trainee at top law firm asks public to fund his business skills course

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He’ll give a painting to whoever donates the most money

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A law graduate set to start a training contract at Shoosmiths is asking the general public to give him money so he can start a business skills course run by Stanford University in California.

Sope Isaac Kuyinu, 23, has set up a crowdfunding page with the aim of raising £6,500, so he can participate in the top university’s Ignite London programme — despite already receiving a partial scholarship. He will spend £5,700 of this money paying off the rest of his tuition for the three-month course, and the remaining £800 will go towards his “travel, food and other course related expenses”.

The enterprising University of Kent law graduate, who has been offered a training contract at national corporate firm Shoosmiths in 2018, has agreed to give a painting to the individual who donates the most money to his campaign.

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For every person giving more than £395, University of Law LPC graduate Kuyinu has also pledged to “create a personalised Samsung theme” for them, so they can advertise their business.

Though he’s managed to raise more than £2,000 so far, Legal Cheek wonders whether Kuyinu’s public appeal might raise a few eyebrows. People may question whether it’s appropriate for a business owner and future trainee — set to rake in £49,000 over the course of his training and then £38,000 a year post-qualification — to ask people for money.

To this, Nigerian-born Kuyinu told us:

Yes I do think it’s appropriate. I would pay for the course if I could personally afford it, but unfortunately I cannot as it stands. I’ve just completed the LPC after self-funding it. I started my business this past January while on the LPC. Although it’s doing well, it generates not near enough income to cover the course fees.

He added:

I started the GoFundMe page to first and foremost appeal to family and friends who know me and believe in my potential. If the campaign gains wider support from communities then that would be great. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to ask people close to me or others who believe in my potential to support me.

Kuyinu, whose entrepreneurial spirit should serve him in good stead, has until the 12 August to pay off the remainder of his tuition. If you want to donate to his page, you can do so here.

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