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Video 1: Setting up your own business: Claudia talks about her experience
Claudia talks about the help she received from New Enterprise Allowance when setting up her own business.
My name is Claudia, I run a small company called Crumbs, Biscuits and Cakes.
Once my daughter started school I knew that I didn’t want to work for anyone else.
I joined the New Enterprise Scheme. I pitched my product - they loved the idea.
I got a really good mentor and that’s how it all began.
With the mentor he’s there guiding and he’s pushing you and encouraging you and I think that was very important to me.
During Christmas I can be working from 9 o’clock in the morning until the following morning, but I don’t care because when I am selling my products the reaction I get from the people, it… it feeds me.
You’ve just got to love what you are doing. You’ve got to have passion for what you are doing.
Video 2: Changing Futures Together: Amanda turned her life around
Amanda tells us how she changed her life and with the help of NEA she was able to become a self-employed Zumba instructor.
I’m Amanda, I am 45 years old soon to be 46. Many years ago I used to be a dance instructor; because of the life that I’d led that was far from me now.
I’d spent 13 years in and out of prison on heroin and on crack cocaine. Spending on average about one hundred pounds a day, no respect for money, no respect for myself. But the scary thing was that I couldn’t see a way out. I’d be clean, off drugs while I was in prison and then as soon as I came out of prison I was back on it again, so that was the pattern of my life.
My dad’s biggest fear was not the police knocking on the door saying your daughter’s been arrested for shop lifting, it was can you come identify your daughter and there was times I’d be sat in places that were dark and dingy and I’d be like I could just die here now and I’d be fine and it was a very, very low, a low place to be.
What made me keep going and looking for jobs is you have to, to obviously to receive jobseekers allowance but I got a lot of encouragement from my advisor and every week he would ask me how’s your job search been and I’d be like ‘well you know I’ve searched this job I’ve searched that job’ and he actually mentioned NEA to me and I didn’t know what NEA was.
Self-employment is something that I’d often thought about but wasn’t something I thought I’d ever achieve. I just watched it snowball and get bigger and bigger and bigger and before you know it I was a self-employed Zumba fitness instructor.
This persons given me a chance and in taking that chance it’s the only chance because with a criminal record who is going to employ me. You know, to be a cleaner you needed a CRB, it wasn’t easy things had changed over the 13 years where I was lost in the world.
I don’t think I’d like to imagine where I would have been, it’s erm, wow!
I’d advise anybody, if somebody stretches their hand out to you then grab that hand, don’t let it go, grab it and see where it takes you.
Video 4: Yanire talks about starting her own business
Yanire, from Chica Press, is one of the small businesses, started up with support from the New Enterprise Allowance.
The transcript will be published soon.