Name: Cheryl Kerr
Business: Life Coach
Cheryl was on benefits for over a year due to having treatment for breast cancer. However, this didn’t stop stop her plans of becoming a self employed Life Coach. She had utilised a lot of self-help & motivational techniques to combat her own experiences of depression & Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome since being diagnosed and she decided that she wanted to be able to share these techniques with other people who have had similar traumatic experiences or difficult times in their lives.
Through DWP/JobcentrePlus, Cheryl was put in touch with Carole Shepphard of Blue Orchid who is a business advisor for the New Enterprise Allowance programme across Merseyside.
Cheryl benefited from bespoke 1-2-1 business advice from Carole who helped her to put together a viable business plan & realistic cash flow forecast. Together, they were able to point out things Cheryl hadn’t thought of when thinking about starting a business including advice about registering with HMRC and they were able to signpost me to useful resources as I was setting up my website & starting to look at marketing strategies.
“The weekly NEA payments that I receive as a result of the scheme have really helped me out along the way, as a new business where the income is not guaranteed these payments have taken a bit of pressure off me, the payments have served as a ‘buffer’ & have definitely made starting out on my own less ‘scary’ as I know I have a little breathing space each week as I’m building my business.”
Since starting trading, Cheryl has benefit from attending a number of Blue Orchid Mentoring events where she has had the opportunity to seek advice from experts across several disciplines of business as well as being able to expand her business network:
“these have been really useful as they give practical advice such as how to create an effective web presence, I will definitely be attending more of them in the future, I’ve learned a lot from attending these sessions”
As Cheryl looks to the future now, what would she say about her experience on the programme?
To anyone who is thinking of starting out in business after being on benefits I would highly recommend the NEA scheme in fact, I have recommended it to people in a similar position to mine. I don’t think I’d have had the courage to start a business on my own without this support, it has been amazing & I’m really looking forward to the future.