By Salimah Bilal
Having formerly become homeless after a mental breakdown Anil dreamed of starting his own business. As he was not sure how to approach this he began attending short courses for adults out of work, as a step toward achieving his entrepreneurial goals.
This led to Anil being referred to the Big Issue online journalists and he immediately saw the course as a great way to develop his skills. Commenting on how the course benefited him he explained: “Joining the course helped me to establish a daily work routine of getting up in the morning, travelling or getting some work done and that gave structure to my life. I wanted an education so that I would have a good solid foundation, before I started on my business venture. This course was also a great opportunity to meet new people and socialise with those who may be in a similar position to myself.”
As a result of the course photography has now become a personal hobby of Anil’s and one which he said he greatly enjoys. ”It was so helpful just learning the basics of using a camera. It was great going out and taking photos, where we focussed on trying to capture a story from it.”
As well as helping to develop his photography skills the course also boosted Anil’s self-confidence. He said this gave him the belief that his business idea could be successful and helped him stay committed to the project. Speaking of the professional value of the course Anil said: “[It was] a great opportunity to network, as I had different connections that could help me with the startup of my business.”
Since completing the course Anil has put together a business plan and received funding for his Buzz Bike Hire Company; an electric bike hire scheme aimed at tourists, which features a unique delivery and collection system that he hopes will appeal to his target audience.
The Buzz Bike Hire Company is due to be launched within the next few weeks and talking about this next chapter in his life Anil commented: “It’s been daunting going into business because it’s something that I’ve never done before and you don’t know how it’s going to be received. It’s also difficult to set up a business with as little money as possible but I appreciate all the help that I have been given.”