“I always wanted to start something as a business,” said a local entrepreneur who gained the confidence to begin his own coffee business after going on a free course offered by Ealing Council.
Gamal Almaitamy from Ealing set up YeMan Coffee after attending the Pop-up Business School offered in collaboration with the council. Anyone in Ealing who wanted to learn new skills, had a business idea or a new business were able to book a place on the course and receive practical advice and training alongside like-minded people.
The course has had a track record of inspiring entrepreneurs and aims to encourage local people to turn their passions into businesses. And this last one was no different.
Gamal, who imports his coffee from Yemen before blending it, said: “I have always been eager to learn new things and have attended many business courses, but this has been the first one to bring me closer to toward making the dream into a reality.”
‘I turned my side hustle into a business’
Janice Bowes, also from Ealing, started her own food catering business, called Jaylive Caribbean Caterings, after attending the Pop-up Business School classes. She credited the course for ‘empowering’ her to take the final step.
She said: “My true passion has always been cooking but I rarely found the time for it. After becoming redundant at 56 I was really spurred on to turn my side hustle into a business.”
The one-week workshop explained how to start a business with no money, including building a website for free. It also provided advice on sales and marketing, finding customers, managing social media and understanding taxes, company structure and legal challenges.
Developing ‘practical knowledge and confidence’
Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for business and community services, said: “As part of our commitment to opportunities and living incomes, we are delighted when we are able to support a course such as this one to help residents gain the practical knowledge and the confidence they need to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and realise their aspirations.”
Visit www.ealingworkwest.com to find out more about local jobs, training and employment opportunities.
Are you Fit to Bid?
The council is funding a new programme to help local companies. ‘Fit to Bid’ will be run by Branduin Business Support. It will help 20 small-to-medium firms to grow by becoming ready to bid for, and win, contracts with large organisations. For more details, visit www.fittobid.co.uk