Tuesday, October 8, 2013

News: Rotherham college lecturer has business vision

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An enterprising media lecturer has set her sights on having the best of both worlds with plans to grow her own business that will in turn provide opportunities for the young people she tutors at Rotherham College of Arts & Technology (RCAT).

Joada Allen-Booth has been lecturing in video and animation at Rotherham College for five years. When Darren McDool from Rotherham Youth Enterprise (RYE) told her about help she could get from UK Steel Enterprise and its Kickstart Fund she set about writing a business plan and now she has launched her own company called Visualisedit, specialising in all forms of video production and based at RiDO's Century Business Centre in Manvers.

Joada, who has previously worked for outdoor broadcasters and a range of production companies filming live sports events, said:" Darren comes into college regularly to talk to the students about self-employment so I asked him what I needed to do. He told me about the Kickstart Fund and I realised I could create a business that would help me achieve all my goals.

"I love helping young people create videos and games, I also love creating my own video work so my aim is to keep lecturing part-time and provide experience and work opportunities for students that have completed their studies. If, through my business, I can take young people on as freelancers I'll be getting the best of both worlds and giving the students I lecture a helping hand up on the career ladder."

Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can access a variety of business support services from Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RIDO) and RYE, including finding work space, business planning and mentoring through the early stages. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.

Joada's plans look to be bearing fruit already as she has won contracts with several companies making promotional videos and testimonials and she has a number of weddings booked. One of the reasons she approached UK Steel Enterprise for help was so she could upgrade her equipment to a fully professional level, which she has now done.

Joada, added: "Putting it bluntly I would not have been able to launch the business without the grant. I now have the equipment I need to make professional standard videos for clients, which is a major transformation for me. The College has been excellent in supporting me as has UK Steel and Darren. I'm really excited about what the future holds for me and my new business."

UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.

Allan Wood, regional executive for UK Steel Enterprise said:: "Our aim at UK Steel Enterprise is to support the local economy by encouraging and supporting the creation of new jobs and businesses. Joada has created a great opportunity to be her own boss and will act as a bridge to employment for other young people. We want to talk to and support even more people like Joada so other new businesses are launched in South Yorkshire."

Jackie Frost, chief executive of RYE, added: "Joada has a very unusual business model but the planning she put into it and the way she asked us for help gave us great confidence in her. We hope to be working with her for several years as she opens the door for other young people to start up their own businesses when they finish college."

Visualisedit website
UK Steel Enterprise website

Images: UK Steel Enterprise

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