How a Plaistow father, desperate to work, set up own company

Anjum Gill has set up his own events company with help from A4e

Anjum Gill has set up his own events company with help from A4e - Credit: Archant

A father of two who enjoyed a successful career in TV production in Pakistan has set up his own company after failing to find work.

Anjum Gill began a new life in London in 2002 and hoped his career would move on seamlessly in his adopted country.

Despite his language skills and varied CV, Anjum couldn’t find the kind of work he wanted in music or TV. He realised he would have to start all over again.

Anjum, 37, from Plaistow, worked as a receptionist while studying for a degree at the University of East London in computer games technology, hoping the qualification would open new doors. But even that failed to provide the springboard into a promising new career.

It was only when he was referred to the Work Programme, delivered in Newham by public service provider A4e on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, that he considered becoming his own boss.

Now, he is working hard to establish his own events planning business, Stage One UK, organising DJs, sound systems and bands.

He said: “It was frustrating because I have done so much training in my life, I am bright, I have a good CV and I am desperate to work. But I wasn’t getting anything.

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“It was only when I went to A4e that they raised the possibility of self employment. We examined my skills and the market out there and realised events planning would bring all my skills together.”

He was referred to the enterprise branch of A4e, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs set up sustainable small businesses, and was guided through the process by expert coaches.

He said: “They really tested my ideas to make sure they were strong enough, I was taught how to market myself, how to set up.

“It is early days and there is a lot of hard work ahead but I am my own boss. I know I can do this, it’s all down to me.”