Progressing a hobby into self-employment: Victoria’s story

Victoria, aged 34 from County Durham, joined Making A Difference after being referred by the National Careers Service. She was a single parent of a young child and had been out for work for over a year after taking time out to raise her child. She was curious to explore progressing her small craft business into a self-employed opportunity but also wanted to look at the possibility of returning to the world of work.

Victoria had an appointment with Brenda, a Making A Difference Employment Coach. They discussed Victoria’s goals and what kind of employment she was seeking so Brenda could tailor her support to those needs. They then drew up an action plan to help achieve these goals and monitor progress.

Their next task was to review Victoria’s CV and skills. She was pleasantly surprised by the amount of transferrable skills she could demonstrate and this boosted her confidence. They also had sessions about how to job search online and how to increase Victoria’s digital presence to help her network.

One of Victoria’s main aims was to work from home as she required flexibility due to childcare. Although she had initially considered using her skills and experience to return to work, Victoria gradually became more determined to become self employed – Brenda tailored her support to help her to do this.

While Brenda continued to support Victoria to build her online presence, they also researched training courses. The aim of looking for training courses was that they should help Victoria to further develop the skills she needed to successfully run her own business.

They found a small business start-up course online for Victoria to attend, which she did, and Victoria contacted a training group called Employment Made Simple and undertook their training too. Victoria has now become HMRC registered and is looking forward to building her business. Victoria maintains that it was the support and practical help from Making A Difference that helped her stay focused on her goal and achieve her aim of becoming self-employed.

About the support Brenda was able to provide her, Victoria said:

“I will never forget Brenda and everything she has done for me. It was nice to have someone believe in me and help me push forward.”

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