Growing Points has regular enquiries about self-employment and business start-up from customers. In response we have recruited 8 people in Leeds to work together to develop sustainable plans. We have talked to a number of organisations, notably ReStart for Refugees to help with initial start-up costs.
We are currently evaluating the outcome and way forward and have learned some lessons
· Getting funding for schemes is not easy, we have a volunteer Business Advisor looking into likely sources
· Making schemes sustainable (meeting the requirements of business law and pay-back of loans) makes the schemes expensive, which may mean ambition has to be limited.
· We feel confident that our Co-ordinator approach is the right one but more support in writing Business Plans is needed .
We are inspired by the Family Independence Initiative (www.fii.org) in USA:
…….when low income families work together…and gain access to small amounts of capital they make amazing progress….average incomes increase by more than 20% within 2 years of enrolment….
(FII Newsletter 11/2016)
Our ambition to develop a similar scheme in UK is undiminished!