As youth unemployment continues to make headlines, one young woman from Batley has turned her back on the search for a job to set-up her own business from home.
Maryam Allad (pictured below right) looked to self-employment as a way to pursue her dream of becoming a beautician after finishing with top marks in Beauty Therapy at Kirklees College.
Just days after celebrating her 21st birthday she signed-off jobseekers allowance to start her new business, Elegant Beauty UK, with the support of a Government enterprise scheme.
The national scheme is being run in West Yorkshire by West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency in partnership with Job Centre Plus on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.
It is designed to give jobseekers with a viable business idea the financial support and professional advice that they need to get their idea off the ground.
As part of her place on the scheme, Maryam will receive a weekly payment for her first 26 weeks of trading to help take the financial pressure off as the business grows.
She said: "I can’t wait to get going and the payments through this scheme will help to support me while I start to slowly build-up the business over the next six months.
"My parents have also helped me to cover the costs of my materials and they’ve put aside some space at home where I can see clients for treatments."
As well as the support of her parents, Maryam has also benefited from having her own business mentor assigned to her by West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency.
Beverley Lyn (pictured left), Director of Lyn Consulting in Wetherby, was matched to Maryam because she has experience of setting up and running her own business.
All the mentors are volunteers from the business community who have offered to give up an hour every fortnight to support a participant as they prepare to start trading and beyond.
Maryam has put together a Facebook page and a website (www.elegantbeautyuk.co.uk) which she will be using as a platform to promote her new business.
In September, she plans to return to Kirklees College to take the NVQ level 3 in Beauty Therapy so that she can add to her treatments with things like hot stones and Shellac nails.
With three sisters, Maryam isn’t short of people to practice on as she gears up for the future and she’s already looking forward to a possible booking for a wedding later in the year.
To find out more about joining the scheme or becoming a mentor contact Melissa Healy on 01924 786500 or firstname.lastname@example.org