A Hemel Hempstead woman who set up her own business after being made redundant from the NHS is the 1,000th unemployed person helped by Hertfordshire-based enterprise agency, Wenta.
Sarah Mullens of Spring Lane set up her post natal support business, called Those Early Weeks, after redundancy in May.
She realised there was little support for new mums and spotted the opportunity.
Sarah said: “I went to my local Job Centre in Hemel Hempstead and told my advisor that I wanted to start up my own postnatal support business for new parents.
“She explained the New Enterprise Allowance scheme to me and how Wenta could help.
“Within a few days, I received a phone call from Wenta business advisor Mike Williams, and an appointment was made for me to meet with him.”
The New Enterprise Allowance provides those that are out of work with the chance to start their own business through a programme of comprehensive support, advice and guidance, with the aim that they will be ready to start trading after eight weeks.
Once the individual has their business up and running, the NEA scheme continues to support them financially for the first six months.
In the first eight weeks, support is provided in the form of business advice, access to free training courses that have been designed for those starting their own business and assistance in applying for any business start-up loans that may be available.
She has been helped to work out a business plan and a survival budget, booked onto free training sessions related to starting a new business and has been encouraged every step of the way.
Sarah’s business, www.thoseearlyweeks.co.uk, officially launched on October 2 and is growing. As a qualified nursery nurse with 40 years of childcare experience, she hopes to provide a service for new parents, particularly mums, in the early weeks of having a new baby.
She offers help and advice to mums who are struggling with new baby headaches such as sleeping, feeding, winding and crying.
“I hope that by the end of the first year of trading I will be supporting a regular number of new mums and being successful at doing so. One thing is certain, people will always keep having babies!
“If I had not had this support I would probably still be on Job Seeker’s Allowance or doing a job that I didn’t really want to do. Wenta have been great and I would happily recommend them to people.”
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Wenta delivers the NEA programme as well as other self-employment programmes.
Executive director Peter Cabon said: “We are now seeing around 150 new NEA clients a month and the majority of them are now successfully running their own business.”