Newham women entrepreneurs graduate from university business project

Finalists Monica Turcan and Halima Khan from Newham who are among the group of women graduates Pictu

Finalists Monica Turcan and Halima Khan from Newham who are among the group of women graduates Picture: UEL - Credit: Archant

A group of aspiring women entrepreneurs have graduated from a university project to help them launch businesses.

Sixteen would-be entrepreneurs graduated from the Make it Real project which was launched in February. It was funded by RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise, UEL’s Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship to provide funding, mentoring support and office space to local women with serious ambitions of setting up their own business.

The project was aimed at women aged 18 plus from the Olympic host boroughs including Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets. It received nearly 120 applications in three months.

From May each has received a designated mentor to support them in their efforts to set up a business, three months office space at UEL’s Knowledge Dock Business Centre, and six expert workshops covering the ‘nuts and bolts’ of starting your own business. On graduation they were each presented with £2,000 start up funding.

Now they are ready to turn their dreams into reality. Their ideas include a beauty website, poetry commissions, a brand of organic chilli chutney, a family-friendly board game with an Afro-Caribbean theme; and a dating app specifically designed for London’s lesbian community.

The graduates from Newham are Ujenny Stewart, UjustCook –who has set up Authentic food seasoning mixes and rubs, Halima Khan with her Rustic Roots – Organic chilli chutney.

Razina Munim has set up useyourcommunity an online database for health and social care professionals to find community-based services for their patients/clients while Sarah-Jane Nii-Adjei has come up with NIADJEI Jewellery – High quality luxury jewellery range, with training opportunities for local young people.

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Susanne Kirlew’s idead is Kirly-Sue’s Kitchen, a range of services and products for vegans and vegetarians while Monica Turcan has come up with, CARE , a Centre for Autism Recreation and Education which provides Services for families with children or adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder who are interested in started an ongoing/short-term therapy programme.