Enterprise Corner

Amar_smallWEBNola and Jackie are living proof that you can turn life’s adversities into business opportunities, says Amar Lodhia.

Our vision statement guides our work: ‘Our vision is to create an enterprising and entrepreneurial society that does not hold people back from becoming successful.’

 When you hear from people like Nola and Jackie you feel that we all can bridge the gap between aspiration and inspiration and you reiterate the fact that we all can make an impact and a difference in people’s lives. Lest I bore you with my motivational talk, let me delve more into the real stars of this tale, Nola and Jackie – two of the participants from our City of London E=MC2 programme.

 When Nola left prison, she came back home and looked for a job to no avail, but since she joined the TSBC programme she has started her own business, an initiative to get ex-offenders into work, called ‘Wanna work’.

 When Nola completed her prison sentence, she came back home and looked for a job to no avail. She believed she was being stereotyped by employers because of her past criminal history, then thought: ‘I have served my time and I am a better person but why does society want to hold me back?’

 In her new life chapter, TSBC’s E=MC2 programme has inspired her to start her own community interest initiative for those who have left prison and are searching for work. ‘I think the course is excellent, well delivered and practical learning models were used,’ she said. ‘I have been able to put my ideas into practice and make steps towards starting my own business.’

 We see a serial entrepreneur in the making, as Nola has several other start-ups in the pipeline, including an organic food catering business.

Jackie had been unemployed for years after she had finished serving her probation and was on benefits. However unhappy, she continued teaching drama classes to children, although she knew she had more to offer society.

 She was invited to the TSBC E=MC2 programme by a friend and it created a world of hope and opportunities for her. She has started her baby clothing business and has stopped collecting benefits. ‘I enjoyed the fact that E=MC2 helped me to push myself a lot and gain more business skills,’ she said.

 Jackie’s future is filled with aspiration and hope. She now feels independent and in control of her future, and is not dependent on government benefits or even employment anymore. She is very excited about her baby clothing manufacturing business. She has her business plan, design prototype and the support of her TSBC mentor, and is ready to take on the world.

 To enquire more about our work please contact me at ceo@tsbccic.org.uk and follow me on Twitter @amarlodhia or @tsbclondon – don’t forget to use the #tag DDNews when tweeting!

Amar Lodhia is chief executive of The Small Business Consultancy CIC (TSBC), thesmallbusinessconsultancy.co.uk

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