Refugee Week 2022: Naheed’s Story

It’s been three years since Naheed left her home in Pakistan and arrived in the UK with a dream of launching her own business, but little idea of how to do so.

After being issued refugee status, Naheed joined the Positive Pathways programme at Staffordshire Chambers – a business start-up and employability skills programme specifically designed to support refugees across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire with employability skills and business start-up advice.

Naheed explained: “As we were new in the country, we didn’t know how business works here, or how to set one up. We had a lot of questions and didn’t have any answers.

“It was a big challenge to start a business from scratch but the Chambers provided us with step-by-step clarity, guiding us through business structure, how to choose a premises, market research, dealing with cash flow forecasts and much more.

“I gained a lot of confidence and peace of mind through the Positive Pathways programme.

Positive Pathways, as its name says, really puts you on a pathway to starting a successful business. We were given a grant to help start the business and we really felt like somebody was there to care and help us.”

Naheed has now secured her premises in the city and hopes to start trading as ‘Naheed’s Salon’ during July.

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