Four creative people from Brighton were able to sell their craft products for the first time at Brighton Open Market last week thanks to a new self-employment initiative.
Local residents, Marty Anscombe, Pedro Carvalho, Amy Meachen and Deyanira Giron had all been making art and craft products at home but were unsure of the next step in turning their passions into businesses.
Southern Housing Group, the landlord, paid for the residents to take a self-employment course and sponsored stalls on the market so they could put their new skills to the test.
The course, delivered by Enterprise Exchange, covered the basics of self-employment from products and promotion, through to business regulations and tax. The trainees will get follow-up sessions of one to one business skills and life-coaching in January.
Kate Wainwright, an Employment Skills Officer for Southern Housing Group, said:
“It was great to be able to tap into the creativity of local people. We have a lot of residents who are creative, innovative, and make their own products to a really high standard.
“Most of the people I meet through my work want to turn their passion into viable businesses but aren’t sure how to go about doing it.
“It’s been really successful and we’re really pleased with the reaction to the stalls. All the residents we’ve worked with are now looking forward to developing their businesses.”
Amy Meachen is starting a business selling craft items she makes at home. She said:
“The training was brilliant and really thorough; it’s made me think about promoting my business through social media.”
Pedro Carvalho makes pyrographic art by burning designs into wood. He said: “I learned a lot about the legal side of things, registering for tax and setting up a company. It’s been really useful.”