How to Jumpstart a passion into a profitable business
"JumpStart changed my mindset into that of an entrepreneur," says Sharon Hendricks.
Sharon had a great idea for a business but, with a full-time job and three small children, how could she find the time to run one?
Well, that business is now up and running thanks to the support of the Warwickshire County Council-backed JumpStart programme. Project manager Sheridan Sulskis outlines Jumpstart's mission - to help people like Sharon turn a passion into a profitable business.
Perhaps you can relate…you have a hobby or skill that you believe has the potential to become a successful business.
But you struggle with family and work commitments, you don't really know where to start and are perhaps a little bit scared of turning your dream into reality.
And, yes, it may be a long, hard journey…if you go it alone.
If any of the above statements relate to you, then the Inclusive Enterprise Programme can help, through a programme that will guide you through the enterprise journey, step by step, at a pace that suits you.
The JumpStart programme is designed to help and support you to set up a business, become established and grow.
Project manager Sheridan Sulskis explains: “Our offer is a long-term business support service featuring locally delivered group workshops, access to relevant resources and start-up finance.
"We believe there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to starting a business. That is why our unique approach provides clients with specialist support tailored to their needs. We believe that what clients learn through our support can always be applied to their own business venture, job search or indeed any other activity they choose. If any budding entrepreneurs would like our help turning their dream into a living, breathing startup, we are here to support them.”
Among those to have benefited from that support is Sharon Hendricks. Sharon had to juggle family commitments, personal interests and a “nine to five” job but recently set up her business - “Inspired By Word” Christian T-shirts - after the programme helped her.
“In 2015 I was a married mum of three boys aged three, four and nine and working full time as a medical secretary," she said. "I was always busy, sometimes stressed and constantly on the go at work or at home.
"I was exploring the idea for a business that would be workable from home and also flexible around the needs of my family.”
Sharon admits that at first, she “didn’t have the courage to call JumpStart” - but after meeting the team she “jumped at the opportunity.”
“I soon got a call inviting me to a workshop and attended my first workshop in February 2017. I signed up for the programme because I knew I needed help to get my business legally off the ground and advice from people who knew exactly what they were talking about when it came to setting up and running a business.”
The result? Sharon launched her business in July, just five months after attending that first workshop. It is the perfect example of what JumpStart is all about– turning a person’s passion into a profitable business.
“A YouTuber called Martin Butler was advertising a business that you could easily do from home – T-shirt printing," she said. "He had run his business from his home successfully for six years and I realised this was definitely something I could do too.”
Sharon's new venture, both exciting and challenging, is set to go from strength to strength as she will promote it through her website, social media, engagement in major Christian festivals and bookshops. She describes the support of JumpStart as “invaluable.”
“It changed my mindset and knowledge-base into that of an entrepreneur," she said. "It has been really great to mix with people in the same position as myself, just starting out in business, and to be taken seriously as a new entrepreneur. The networking sessions were great with lots of nuggets of information and inspiration to keep me going.”
For more information about the JumpStart Programme please visit www.inclusive-enterprise.co.uk, call 07494 442869 or email us at email@example.com.
This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, forming part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme.