ALMO’s scheme sees tenant ship in Transylvanian honey
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
A North East ALMO’s drive to help its tenants start up their own businesses has led to one of its residents importing honey from Transylvania.
Your Home Newcastle has teamed up with Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES) to launch its ‘Make Your Own Money’ project, which has already helped scores of budding entrepreneurs with business start-ups.
Tenant Naseem Suleman, from Denton Burn, recently became self-employed when she set up Al-Ameen Honey Products Ltd with her husband Amin.
Her passion for natural food led her to realise how difficult it was to source pure, unpasteurised honey and this obvious gap in the market soon set her mind racing.
She said: “There’s a huge difference between pasteurised honey and pure honey and it’s a product that’s just not readily available here so it all started from that realisation.
“We got a lot of help from SES who offer a very good service because you don’t have to go in with a huge business plan, just ideas.”
Naseem imports the highest quality organic raw honey from mountainous regions of the world and sells it in stores and online at www.al-ameenhoney.co.uk
Al-Ameen Honey also stocks organic bee pollen and these products are already being stocked at Fenwick’s in Newcastle and health stores nationally.
“Everything is going really well so far and it’s a real coup to be stocked in Fenwick’s,” Naseem added.
“We try to keep everything as local as possible and all the jarring and labelling is done in the North East. We’re also keen to help local job seekers and we recently hired three people on work placements so they were able to learn new skills and enhance their employability prospects.”
Clare Henderson, who lives with her mum in a YHN-managed property in Newburn, has also managed to set up a business with the help of SES.
A lifelong dog lover, the 41-year-old decided to try her hand at running her own canine crèche after being made redundant. The initial idea was sparked following her own personal struggle to find somewhere locally for her dog, Maggie, to go while she was at work.
She said: “I adopted Maggie nearly three years ago but she’d had a really bad start to life causing her to suffer from severe separation anxiety so I couldn’t leave her at home for more than a couple of hours.
“When I did have to go out for long periods of time I would have to trek all the way up to Northumberland to find somewhere for her to be looked after and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t anywhere closer.”
She sought advice from friends who already ran their own businesses as well as tapping into invaluable support from SES and within just four months Paws to Play Dog Crèche was open.
Other successful business start-ups include a hairdressers, a deli, custom-made Indian dress boutique, and a will writing service.
YHN’s project, which has been funded by North East Procurement, is open to any tenants from across the city, including those of Leazes Homes and the Byker Community Trust.
Stuart Campbell, YHN’s employability manager, said: “We’re committed to supporting tenants who want to set up their own business, particularly in the wake of welfare reform, and that’s why we’ve teamed up with SES.
“Make Your Own Money is just one of many initiatives YHN has in place to help our customers gain important skills to help them move off benefits and into employment. This project opens up a wealth of specialist business start-up advice and support that will ensure our customers have the best possible launch pad to execute successful business ideas.”
Anyone who lives in an YHN-managed properly who is interested in Make Your Own Money can find out more at an event at City Library on Wednesday May 28 between 9am and 12.30pm.
YHN manages Newcastle City Council in 2004 to manage and improve Council homes and related housing services in Newcastle upon Tyne.