We recently wrote about the rise of self-employment in the UK and how this has affected our economy. Politicians like to sell us the idea of our country being full of entrepreneurs, people who are not only working for themselves, but are creating job opportunities for others.
While this is a fairly optimistic view, there are plenty of inspirational stories of rags-to-riches entrepreneurs who have managed to turn a small business into a million-pound company. All over the country, people are turning to self-employment as a means to take control of their own future and reach their career aspirations.
Celebrating Local Success Stories
New businesses are starting up all over the UK, including in our very own Newcastle. The northeast is becoming well known for some of its start-ups, particularly in the technology industry. These success stories teach us that anyone can go into their own business, it’s just about taking the initiative.
Alice Blackie: Pink Boutique
This young entrepreneur went from selling £90 worth of clothes on eBay to help pay off her mortgage, to selling 2,000 dresses a day through her own company Pink Boutique. Within six months she had hew own website, which now has a staff of 40 people.
She receives help from government-backed scheme Growth Accelerator, which provides support and a mentor for fast-growth firms. This type of support is vital for young entrepreneurs to help deal with international demand and the growth of their firm.
The firm has an impressive 400,000 social media followers, ships its products to 50 countries across the world and enjoyed a first year turnover of over £600,000. To see these results take place over two years is truly impressive.
Janet Stansfield: The Rosebery Hotel
Local businesswoman Janet Stansfield managed to transform The Rosebery Hotel, which she took over from her parents a few years back, into a successful business. Situated in Jesmond, Newcastle, it has allowed her to take on a new direction in her career. Speaking for The Journal, she said:
“It’s been a huge undertaking renovating the Rosebery Hotel but I’ve loved it.”
Without any previous experience in the hospitality trade, she took on the challenge and created a hotel with a difference. By focusing on creating a boutique style hotel with her own twist, she managed to convert the Edwardian building into something unique and inspiring.
Since taking over the hotel, she has managed to firmly establish her new design career. She has gone to achieve impressive feats, such as receiving a regular advice slot on my renovation.com and giving interviews on BBC Radio Newcastle. The Rosebery Hotel even featured in the BBC1 interior design show Your Home In Their Hands.
Ovidiu Naclad, Radu Oprea and Dragos Bardac: Lifebox
Three Romanian entrepreneurs, Ovidiu Naclad, Radu Oprea and Dragos Bardac, first came to Newcastle to develop their business idea after gaining a place on the accelerator program Ignite100. The idea was to create a stripped-down service which would allow even the least technically minded to share photos.
While undertaking the six-month program, they were able to perfect the technology to turn Lifebox into a super simple system that could be used by people of all ages. They now plan on staying in Newcastle to launch the business.
This shows the importance that programs such as Ignite100 can provide for the local community. It can help to realize the dreams of entrepreneurs who lack the knowledge, skills or funding to turn their business into a true success. It is this support and guidance that helps to turn a simple idea into a viable business venture.
Starting Your Own Business
If you are interested in starting you own business, there are plenty of places you can go to for support and advice. The government likes to help those who want to start their own business. After all, not only can it lead to job creation, but it can help to get the unemployed back on their own two feet.
If you receive Jobseeker’s Allowance, then you can look into the New Enterprise Allowance, which provides practical and financial support to those looking to start their own business. Within two years of having launched, more than 26,000 new businesses were set up. It’s great to see that the government is offering the unemployed another option to get back into work.
Of course, you don’t have to be unemployed to receive financial aid or guidance to start your own business. Getting started is difficult enough when you have to invest so much time, effort and money into the business. The government offers support in the form of grants, finance, loans, consultancy and mentoring. To find out more about the schemes you may be eligible for, simply use their finance finder tool.
Based in Newcastle?
There is plenty of support available in Newcastle from the government and local companies for those who have recently started, or are looking to start, their own business. Enterprising Newcastle works with those looking to set up a local business, offering business support advice and access to training and funding.
Businesswomen in Newcastle can get involved in events, workshops, mentoring and masterclasses through wwWomen, provided by Go Digital Newcastle. It focuses on everything related to how you can successfully use the Internet for your business. There are plenty of reasons to start up your own business in Newcastle, so take advantage of the support available and get started on your new career path.