After graduating with a degree in fashion, Rachel Lowe went on a placement for eight months with a shoe company as an assistant footwear designer. She was keen to follow this with full time employment but she struggled for months to find work and lacked confidence. She was referred to the Work Programme with Avanta, in Bolton. After several discussions with her advisor, self-employment seemed like a natural choice for her. She received support to work on her business plan, facing and overcoming many challenges along the way. Rachel received a £3,000 business loan from HSBC and launched her shoe business.

Rachel said: “I could not have done this without the support from my Business Advisor. I still have a lot of work to accomplish but it will be worth it to see my business grow over the next few years.”

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