Aiyesha Phelps – Mobile Hairdressing

aiyesha_phelpsMany of the clients that come through the Outset programme have experienced a degree of hardship on the road to starting their own business. Aiyesha Phelps is no exception. Having begun her career as an apprentice in a hairdressing salon in Clifton, Bristol, she found herself unexpectedly homeless aged just 16. There followed a relationship with an older man who was violently abusive, and a short period in a safe house (“it was here that I discovered alcohol and hard drugs”), before – by chance – Aiyesha met with an Enterprise Advisor, at an informal Outset drop-in session in a local library.

After talking through the available options, Aiyesha signed up for an Introduction to Enterprise course, which is designed to help clients overcome any real or perceived barriers they may have to running a business, by building their confidence and helping them to become more aware of their transferable skills. After completing the course, Aiyesha went on to launch her own mobile hairdressing business, signing off benefits once and for all in December 2012.

Her ambition now is to open her own salon. Working on her business, she explains, gave her a sense of accomplishment and the confidence to improve other areas of her life too. She says, “I finally gave up cannabis for my kids. Now I just want to invest the money into my business rather than drugs.”

“Even in the most challenging of life circumstances, Outset can make a difference. I received positivity, support and enthusiasm from the group. I felt really comfortable, enjoyed it and looked forward to going each time. It was nice to hear other people’s ideas and feedback on your own ideas. We all worked at things together even though we had very different business ideas.”

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