TVH residents face the dragons!

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Four TVH residents took part in a Dragon’s Den style presentation day, held at Buckingham New University. The presentations were the culmination of 12 weeks of hard work by a group of 15 budding entrepreneurs, who attended ‘Strive’, a programme of free training for those planning to set up their own business, held at the University’s High Wycombe campus.

Sidrah Zahid, Lasharna Williams, Liz Payne and Yemi Ogunekun pitched their business plans to the team of judges, made up of TVH Chair David Clayton-Smith, Buckinghamshire Business First MD Philippa Batting, Ashwinder Sura of Marsh and Micklefield Big Local, and Assistant Director of Customer Services South at Home Group, Andrea Thorn.

The scheme was jointly funded by Buckinghamshire County Council’s High Wycombe Local Area Forum, Thames Valley Housing, Home Group Housing and Marsh and Micklefield Big Local.

From left: Liz Payne, Residents Training and Employment Manager Emildah Chabata, TVH Chair David Clayton-Smith, Yemi Ogunekun, Head of Communities and Resident Involvement Margaret Buchan, and Sidrah Zahid at the event.

From left: Liz Payne, Residents Training and Employment Manager Emildah Chabata, TVH Chair David Clayton-Smith, Yemi Ogunekun, Head of Communities and Resident Involvement Margaret Buchan, and Sidrah Zahid at the event.

Here are the business ideas that the residents pitched:

Sidrah Zahid – Nice & Spice: Food to Go

Sidrah’s plan is to sell food from a market stall, working alongside her husband, who has 15 years of experience in catering. She plans to sell fresh, allergy friendly food that caters to everyone’s tastes, including samosas, pakora, burgers and salads. Sidrah aims for the food at Nice & Spice to be full of flavour, made from the best ingredients, with good sized portions to keep hunger at bay.

Lasharna Williams – Vera Linc

Vera Linc will sell handmade hair products using natural, safe and fresh ingredients. Lasharna got the idea for the business when she became more aware of the harmful ingredients contained within many products after becoming a mum. All Vera Linc products are suitable for vegetarians and most are suitable for vegans. The products are handmade, free from harsh chemicals and use jars and bottles that are 100% recyclable.

Liz Payne – Enid’s Vintage Tea Shop

Liz has wanted to open and run her own vintage tea shop for a very long time. She intends to offer freshly made sandwiches and rolls, afternoon cream teas and also bespoke cakes that can be ordered in store, by telephone or online. Liz’s mission for the business is for Enid’s to stand out for being “excellent in taste and full in flavour, all at a reasonable price.”

Yemi Ogunekun – Yumiyemi Cakes

Yemi has been creating bespoke cakes for two years, and has baked over 300 and counting. Her cakes have already enjoyed some exposure from social media and by word of mouth. Yemi is offering uniquely designed cakes that are also visually appealing. Yumiyemi Cakes caters for a wide range of occasions including birthdays, baby showers and christenings.

To find out more about Thames Valley Housing’s on-going work to help residents with training and employment, such as getting a business idea off the ground, please contact Residents Training and Employment Manager Emildah Chabata on 020 8607 0774 or at emildah_chabata@tvha.co.uk

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