Business: Entrepreneurs’ back-to-work scheme starts to take off

Muslim leader Bashir Chaudhry, the man behind the project

Muslim leader Bashir Chaudhry, the man behind the project - Credit: Archant

A south Ilford back-to-work scheme that fell flat when it launched earlier this year now has nearly 20 young people involved – and is hoping to grow even more.

The Mini-Enterprise Business Opportunities Support Scheme (Meboss), run by the League of British Muslims, got off to a slow start, with only three signings in the first couple of months.

However, there are now 17 unemployed entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 30, on the scheme.

“We’re trying to help unemployed youngsters because there are not many jobs going around,” said Bashir Chaudhry, who runs the project.

“I think it makes sense to encourage people to start their own small businesses.

“Rather than them looking for jobs, we’re giving them proper guidance and help.

“Starting your business is easy – it just takes proper planning, really.

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“If someone gives you the right guidance, you can do it, you can be the master of your own destiny.”

The project – one of eight across the UK funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland – provides free training, mentoring and support for young people.

Shops have donated clothing, which participants rebrand and sell on as part of the training. Some have set up stalls in Ilford Lane, while others are going door-to-door, Mr Chaudhry said.

Highlighting high unemployment in the south of the borough, he added the scheme was looking for more young adults – as many as 20 – to get involved.

He said: “In business you do not have to be a really intellectual person. You can be illiterate and start your own business.

“I came to this country with nothing, but I took risks and chances and succeeded at the end of the day.”

For more information or to get involved, contact Bashir on 0208 514 0706 or Sam O’Chieng on 07944 618740.

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