Salford mum makes a clean sweep of new business opportunity
Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Communities and also in Housing
Rachael Fitzgerald sets to work with support from Pendleton Together
A HARD working Salford mum’s dream of one day running her own business has come true after an initiative by Pendleton Together to support small business start-ups has its first success story.
With her mop and bucket at the ready Rachael Fitzgerald has set up Salford Cleaning Company thanks to the support and mentoring she received from Pendleton Together – a consortium made up of social landlord Together Housing Group, building and community specialist Keepmoat and Salford City Council.
Pendleton born and bred, 45-year-old Rachael, who lives in Churchill Way, has gone from working as a carer and part time cleaner to running her own small business.
When the £650 million regeneration of the area got underway, which will see more than 1,250 council-homes refurbished and 1,600 new homes built, Rachel spotted a business opportunity right on her doorstep.
Pendleton Together is committed to providing jobs, training, and supporting and encouraging new business initiatives and would like to hear from other local people who have a new business idea.
With true entrepreneurial spirit Rachael approached consortium partner Keepmoat, where she had been working as a part time office cleaner, to see if there were any opportunities for her to get some more work.
Keepmoat, who are refurbishing and building new homes in Pendleton, stepped in with a business opportunity for Rachael and provided her with the advice and mentoring she needed to get her company off the ground.
Rachael said: “I was looking for a new challenge and approached Keepmoat to see if there were any opportunities for me to get some more cleaning work, with everything that is happening in Pendleton. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would lead to me running my own business.”
Rachael is now working alongside Keepmoat to provide a cleaning service for people in need of help and support who are due to have refurbishment works carried out to their homes. She is also cleaning a number of their site offices.
Frank Mondino, Area Director for Keepmoat, said: “The regeneration of Pendleton is not just about the bricks and mortar improvements; it’s about working together to support the local community and the people who live there. Helping Rachael set up Salford Cleaning Company is just one example of this.
“Our intention is not just to start Rachael on her way in business but also to help her sustain and grow her business by regularly meeting with her in the future to provide further advice and support. We wish her the very best for the future.
“Collectively Pendleton Together has a wealth of experience of working with communities to enhance life chances giving real people – real experiences and real opportunities within the Pendleton area.”
Working already on site, Rachael has a van and the equipment she needs to get her business off the ground. She also has the ambition to expand her business and take on a couple of employees in the near future.
Rachael said: “I’m so grateful to Keepmoat for all of the help they have given me - they have given me the opportunity to help me get my business off the ground.
“The regeneration of Pendleton is providing so many opportunities for people. There is something out there for everyone and I would encourage people to follow their dreams and be prepared to work hard.
“This is not about me making loads of money; this is about me running my own business. Each day I want to be able to go to work, pay my bills and come home happy.”
In addition to the new and improved homes, the regeneration of Pendleton is set to generate 500 jobs; create 24 new small and medium business enterprises; provide skills training for 3,200 local people and 2,000 work experience opportunities. A pot of funding has been set aside to support start-up grants for new businesses and enterprises.
Assistant Mayor for Employment and Langworthy Councillor, Paul Dennett said: “I’m very proud of Rachael for spotting an opportunity to start her own business on the back of this huge investment in Pendleton and the local community. Rachael has shown the true Spirit of Salford with her entrepreneurship and determination to succeed.
“I wish Salford Cleaning Company every success for the future and that Rachael’s hard work will create new jobs for local people.”
If you live in Pendleton and would like more information on how Pendleton Together could help you start up your own small business please contact 0300 555 5567.