Rarely these days are the dreadful problems being experienced by the people of Syria out of the news. Equally all too rarely do we hear of initiatives designed to speed the integration and enhance quality of life of Syrians who have chosen to live here in the UK, especially not those that are designed and delivered by the Syrian Community itself.

At the beginning of 2016 Sameer Hesso, a Kurdish Syrian living with his family and working here in Liverpool approached Alt Valley Community Trust about setting up a social business to improve the wellbeing of his community.

Sameer was introduced to the Business Advisors at Alt Valley Community Trust in Croxteth and immediately signed onto the Enterprise Hub business start up support programme.

Sameer comments:

“There are around 150-200 Kurdish Syrian families in the Liverpool City Region area and we wanted to create a means whereby we can encourage them to become directly involved in the activities we are planning. We are setting out to enhance the physical and mental health of those from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East granted refugee status and their dependents so as to advance their abilities to adapt and thrive in their new communities. “

After being introduced to Enterprise Hub Advisor Roy Meredith at Alt Valley, Sameer began the process of learning how to set up and go about doing business in the UK. After attending an initial start up workshop with 7 other new business starters, Sameer then proceeded to develop his business plan as well as understand the different types of business structure and the obligations of holding a directorship.

In June of 2016 along with 2 other Directors Sameer formed Rojava Kurdish Community CIC to deliver a range of activities to raise awareness of Kurdish Syrian society and culture and thereby promote cultural understanding and cohesion in local communities.

Sameer adds:

“Without the support of the Alt Valley Enterprise Hub team we would not have been able to get as far as we have. The level of detailed information and mentoring that they have provided is amazing – from Kayleigh Clarke on the administration side to Alan Johnson who has helped us set the CIC up correctly from the beginning.

“We are now in position to start making our plans a reality in 2017, in the knowledge that the Enterprise Hub team are always there to help us along the way.”
Alt Valley specialist Advisor on Social Enterprises, Alan Johnson, comments:

“It is very important when forming a Social business of this kind to make sure everything is set up correctly at the start to ensure that the company can access as wide a range of opportunities as possible. Sameer and his colleagues can now move forward with confidence bidding for the support funding they need in order to do the great things they are planning.”