Lauren's business is blossoming thanks to a call to JumpStart
"It’s so useful to have someone right in front of you that you can openly talk to and bounce ideas off.”
The Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) is passionate about providing opportunities for individuals in Warwickshire to escape from their 9-5 job, utilise their skills, turn their hobbies into viable businesses or find a route out of unemployment.
The Trust's ethos is rooted in the belief that a ‘one size fits all approach’ no longer works when it comes to supporting those who want to start up their own business.
That is why it is dedicated to providing a service through the JumpStart project, part-funded by Warwickshire County Council, which helps clients break down barriers into self-employment by giving them the knowledge, information and resources to help make that all-important decision to set up a business.
Lauren Stokes is the perfect example of a budding entrepreneur who has benefited from the project's support:
“Last year I really struggled with anxiety and left my job in September 2018," said Lauren. "Since then I have been working as a volunteer for Cats Protection and Barnacle Hedgehog Rescue. This is where my mum encouraged me to walk to our own dog and our family friends’ dogs.
"I did this every day for one hour and a mixture of being outside and being with the dogs really helped my anxiety and self-confidence. This is where the idea for Let’s Walk! began. It was time to go back to work and I thought, why not try and see if I can do something I really love and helps my mental health every day?”
Exploring the idea of self-employment is big step to take and Lauren admits that she “didn’t know where to begin to get things started” - but it wasn’t long before she met the Jumpstart team and “jumped at the opportunity.”
“Although I was passionate about my business idea and had marketing experience from my previous job, I had no idea how to actually start a business or what that entailed," she said. "This led to me seek support that would help me with the elements of the business that I was either scared of or confused about.”
Lauren describes the support she received through JumpStart as an “invaluable” stepping stone to assess whether her business is viable.
“The main thing that I really enjoyed from attending the JumpStart workshops was the networking," she said. "It has been really great to mix with people who are more or less in the same boat as myself – all experiencing a range of barriers to starting up a business.
"It is useful to talk with the trainer and all the people on the workshops to share ideas and struggles and get our burning questions answered. It’s so useful to have someone right in front of you that you can openly talk to and bounce ideas off.”
For anyone with a business idea, or who just wants the opportunity to explore if being their own boss could work for them, then JumpStart is the perfect place to start to gain the knowledge, information and resources to help you decide which is the right path. What is learned through Jumpstart's support can be applied to any business venture or indeed any other activity you choose to do next.
The next best idea may be just around the corner and it may be yours. Jumpstart is here to offer support you and applying for the project is simple. Just get in touch with their friendly business support team on 07494 442869, 02476 551777 or firstname.lastname@example.org and they will walk you through the process.
For more about JumpStart please read here.