2020 ESF case study: The Cedar Foundation - Inclusion Works 2

The Cedar Foundation’s work is aimed at adults with physical disability, including complex congenital and acquired disabilities; brain injury; diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or long term health conditions.

Inclusion Works is a person-centred service supporting individuals to design their own programmes around their needs and aspirations, building confidence and independence to meet their employability and inclusion goals. The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014–2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Starting a business

This participant became involved with Cedar’s Inclusion Works service as a returning service user.

He said: “I had set a goal for myself of starting up my own business. I already had the idea for the business and secured the capital. I wanted support and guidance from Cedar to get me on the right path to realising my dreams.”

The participant had a Case Officer who he met with regularly and who also provided him with support when making contact with Invest NI’s Go For It Programme. Through this programme, they met with a Business Advisor who detailed what the participant needed to do to help formulate a business plan. The Case Officer supported the participant to conduct market research and gather data for the Business Advisor.

Becoming his own boss

The new business was in the retail sector and the participant leased a unit at a business park and began trading. He felt these premises were sufficient to begin with but ideally wanted a bigger space. Along with his Case Officer, the participant researched and made contact with a number of potential premises until he found the one he wanted.

Having moved his business to the new premises he reported increased sales within the first 2 weeks despite the impact of COVID-19.

“The participant’s attitude and resilience is inspiring, he sees the positive in everything, I have no doubt he will be a massive success” said his Case Officer.

The participant added,

“Having my own business has given me independence, I’m my own boss, I love it and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me”.

Related articles

Back to top