A 30 -year old woman from Brunswick will be setting up her own social enterprise in the New Year, thanks to a start-up business programme delivered by S4B.

The programme – run in partnership by S4B, social landlord Contour Homes and small business experts, Blue Orchid aims to help local tenants on their journey to self-employment and new business creation.

Alishia Johnson, 30, from Brunswick, was unable to continue with her studies due to personal issue so she was focused on gaining full time employment.

It was this experience of being a young woman facing a difficult period within the society that led her to believe that there could be more support out there for others in a similar situation.

Alishia went along to the ‘Bright Idea’ programme after she spotted a poster outside the S4B Housing office and is now working with advisers to visualise her dream.

Alishia, who currently works for The Big Issue in the North as a service coordinator, said “In my experience, it was extremely difficult to find someone who would listen to my ideas to start up my own business.

“Speaking to advisers at Bright Idea has given me a huge confidence boost. I feel a lot better about my business idea – they guided me through setting up a business step by step, so it didn’t feel so daunting.

“They were also very supportive when I began to doubt myself about setting up a business”

‘Hope is the Key’ is the vision of Alishia, who wants to engage with people in the community and encourage them to find their independence.

Alishia hopes to launch the business in January and said this is all because of the help she received from Bright Idea.

The ‘Bright Idea’ initiative recently scooped the Tenant Enterprise accolade at the Northern Silver Screen Awards – which Alishia was invited to attend.

Alishia continues, “I’m so happy to be a part of Bright Idea and a project that helps others with their business dreams and helps make it a reality.

“It was great to see the project get the recognition it deserves and I would urge anyone who is thinking of starting up their own business to seek support from projects such as Bright Idea –they really inspire people and give them the confidence to take their first steps into self-employment.”

S4B Community Regeneration Manager, Ross Hemmings commented “I am so happy for Alishia! I want to wish her all the best in her new business venture.”

“This is a prime example of how, with the right support and willingness to work hard, anyone can achieve their dream.”

Watch the Bright Idea video