A REDDITCH woman is waxing lyrical about a government work scheme after she launched her own business.
After being made redundant from her career in financial services due to the impact of the pandemic, Karen Bellamy used the support of her local Jobcentre to become an entrepreneur, starting a new candle business called Scentss.
It came after Karen was recommended for training by her Job Centre work coach, which enabled her to use her transferable skills.
“My employment came to an end during the pandemic, leaving me with no income,” she said.
“Alongside looking for a new job, I mentioned my idea of producing hand-poured, individually blended candles to my work coach.
“She recommended the New Enterprise Allowance, which has played a vital role in getting our business off the ground.
“It gave us the impetus to actually develop the idea and we found the planning, guidance and support invaluable.
“This scheme provided focus, information, support and expert mentors to guide us along the way.
“I’d definitely recommend it. If we can do it – with support like this – anyone can!”
Launched in 2011, there has been over a quarter of a million NEA starts by unemployed benefit claimants which has helped turn aspirations into reality, offering participants a personal business mentor, weekly living allowance and financial backing of up to £25,000 to realise the ambitions for their start-up.
In that time in Worcestershire Bromsgrove has seen 200 new start up backed by NEA, Redditch 140, Worcester 200 and Malvern 170.
For a video of Karen talking about her business, visit https://youtu.be/bTMISVVq2ys