Mohamad, a refugee who arrived in Nottingham through the UK Resettlement Scheme, started his business planning at the worse possible time in 2020 just as we entered lockdown.
In May 2020, he told his employability caseworker Jane that his relative had a caravan that Mohamad could use, and he asked for help to find a place to pitch and sell food from it. Unfortunately, at the time, due a rise in Covid 19 cases, Nottingham was placed under strict trading restrictions which prevented the start of the business. This had an impact on Mohammad’s self- belief and confidence. Every time Mohammad felt his language let him down, but his caseworker always believed that as soon as he started trading and seeing some success, Mohamad’s English and confidence would grow.
By April 2021, Mohamad was ready to trade, and Jane worked steadily with him, supporting him with:
- A hygiene certificate
- Street trading consent form and trading license
- Securing a trading pitch in town
- Organising public liability and street traders’ insurance
- Securing him a place on the Enterprise Skills in Refuge programme delivered online in partnership with Nottingham Trent University
- Completing a business plan which could secure him an Islamic loan
His caseworker Jane said “As time went by my focus moved on to new arrivals from Syria, and Jordan and I lost touch with Mohamad, believing he had given up on his dream. Until last week I was driving down Gregory Boulevard and saw a brightly lit food stand outside the mosque – I recognised Mohamad immediately, trading successfully as Syriana King of Wraps!
This success was partly due to support from the Refugee Forum and NTU, but mostly it is to the credit of a hard-working individual who did not give up on his dream, despite setbacks. We are proud of you Mohamad!