Marisa is a 45 year old female who was experiencing numerous difficulties in her personal life. Marisa had only been out of work for a short period and was claiming JSA benefit after being in her last job role for over 6 years. These difficulties included struggling with a large number of debt issues from being on her own and Marisa found it extremely difficult managing even her basic bills. Also Marisa`s confidence was at an all-time low due to her marriage breakdown, she was an ex offender as well as managing custody arrangements for her young daughter.

Marisa was originally referred to Access to Business from Molineux House Jobcentre in Wolverhampton in late August 2016 where she expressed an interest in going into self-employment but didn’t know where to start or what to do as it was just an idea at this stage, her idea was to set up a wedding one stop service as this is where her passion lies.

Previous to this Marisa had quite a varied work background which included being a Care worker, Bar manager, Supervisor with Salvation Army and as a Driver for Her Majesty`s Forces. After leaving her last role as an Office Manager and experiencing a marriage breakdown at the same time it really affected Marisa`s general confidence so she thought that this may be an opportunity in her life to try and do something totally different.

After our first appointment with Marisa it was evident that she required more one to one support with her business idea as she was experiencing numerous issues in her personal life which was becoming a large barrier in moving on with her life as well as pursuing her business idea. The support that Marisa has received since joining the Bridges project has included a lot of one to one support in helping constructing a strong and robust Business Plan so she can access the New Enterprise Allowance.

In early November 2016 Marisa gained her Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace Certificate which will greatly support her with her new business venture. Also Marisa gained her Emergency First Aid Level 2 Certificate which will also prove to be an additional benefit to moving her business forward.

The Bridges project has really given Marisa the opportunity to really move forward in her life. Now Marisa seems more focused, motivated and closer to pursue her business idea and is really enjoying the support that she is currently receiving from Access to Business. Marisa is now ready present her Business Plan to New Enterprise Allowance and start the application process to hopefully secure financial support to get her business idea up and running.

“The project officer on BRIDGES explained things clear and well. Nothing is too much trouble for her, she is a real diamond. The Health and Safety workshop was the most enjoyable and informative course that I have attended.”