Mum of 3 Michelle Harrison returned to the UK from Tenerife to find a lack of job opportunities. However, her strength and determination inspired her to seize the opportunity to start a new chapter.
Having previously worked in sales and admin jobs, Michelle Harrison returned from a stint living and working in Tenerife wanting to be her own boss. She told us “I’ve been thinking about running a business for a long time now and was thinking about it a lot whilst in Tenerife. I returned to the UK, and saw no opportunities here for me, that’s when I decided that to establish my own business would be the best thing for me to do. I am strong minded and determined and have always had an issue working for other people, and I was tired of other people making money out of me.”
Seeing the benefit of being able to chose hours that fit around her family life, Michelle launched firm Harrison & Mitchell Ltd based in Liverpool, a firm set up to link those needing support with legal issues or fighting injustice with the right services and people to help them.
Both while in Teneriffe and when returning to the UK this is something Michelle had got involved with on an informal basis but said “I realised I could make a good living out of being me, using my skills and identifying people who needed support and ensuring they go the right support.”
Starting up her business was an overwhelming experience, it was unsettling thinking of everything she was needing to balance personally and professionally and Michelle found she faced bureaucratic barriers. That was until she contacted Darren Guy from Enterprise Hub partner Granby Toxteth Development Trust, they knew each other from their days at ELECT, she says, “I remember him being a great business adviser, so I knew he would be my first port of call.”
Armed with a list of contacts, Michelle knew she was in good hands. “Darren put me in touch with ICC who gave me a small grant to purchase a laptop, he also helped me get a better off benefit review which helped ensure I get the child support I needed, more importantly, he believed in me and encouraged me all the time.”
So what did Michelle gained from the work with Enterprise Hub?
“The service was excellent, I received all the business advice support I needed such as writing a business plan, understanding finance and cashflow, dealing with legal issues and learning about research and marketing.”
Now into her 2nd year of running the business, how does she feel about what she’s achieved so far and what are her prospects?
“I feel rewarded for the work for the work I do, running my own initiative and having time for my children, I’m so happy, I work with other solicitor firms, some great, some not so. We haven’t developed a website yet, so we are using social media and word of mouth a lot.”
Finally, asked about her experience with Enterprise Hub at Granby Toxteth Development Trust.
“I am so grateful for all Darren’ advice and guidance, GTDT have provided me with a step by step service, which has given me confidence in starting my own business. Darren also signposted me to the Citizen’s Advice who helped me with my finances and benefit rights now that I am self-employed. He then referred me to various organisations with pots of funding for new businesses. We have been successful with this and have now got the training and tools that we needed to help our business grow and become a success. I can honestly say hand on my heart. I could not have done this without Darren’s support. Thanks you so much for all your continued support. Anyone that is thinking of starting a business, even if it is just an idea contact Darren and the team”.
Enterprise Hub is open to men and women living in the Liverpool City region who want to receive support to start or grow a new business offering a one door access point for appropriate and expert business support. And if like Michelle you would like some support to pursue your dream off starting a business, contact Enterprise Hub to find out how you can benefit from the European Regional Development Funded programme via 0151 706 8113 or firstname.lastname@example.org