A micro enterprise is a small business. It is typically owned by one person, and usually there are not any other people working for the business. The person is usually someone with a disability or disadvantage.
A Micro Enterprise is not a scheme, project or standard package to be delivered to whole groups of people. They require thinking at the ‘micro’ level – about this person, with these interests, living in this community.
Daniel is a 42 year old disabled man. He had worked as a Catering Assistant until he had a stroke in 2002. Following a period of rehabilitation Daniel was eager to return to work. However his health difficulties had left him with restricted movement in his right arm and therefore he had to consider other types of work. He had 2 job choices – cleaning or gardening.
Daniel joined Education and Employment and attended a 26-week work preparation programme. At the end of his programme he was assisted by his Employment Consultant to look for employment in the open market. Because of his previous work history he often secured interviews but this did not lead to job offers.
A review meeting was held to talk about Daniel’s future options and Education and Employment discussed self employment with him. Further meetings were held with Daniel, his father and Bromley Business Focus who provided Education and Employment with a copy of their publication ‘Starting Your Own Business’. Education and Employment also met with the local Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) to discuss the implications of self employment on the Daniel’s welfare benefits. The DEA advised that Jobcentre Plus would consider an application from the candidate for Permitted Work.
Following an initial assessment and feasibility study, Daniel decided to set up a cleaning Micro Enterprise. Education and Employment negotiated on his behalf to secure his first cleaning contract with a unit at Cotmandene Crescent in St Pauls Cray.
In 2007 Daniel expanded his Micro Enterprise. Bromley Y is a counselling service for young people and they wanted to offer garden maintenance work to a person with a learning disability at their premises in Bromley. Knowing that Daniel had an NVQ Level 1 in Gardening, Education and Employment spoke to him about increasing his customer base. He was very pleased to do so and started work at Bromley Y.
Daniel’s Micro Enterprise has just entered its 7th year of trading.