We caught up with our newly appointed Enterprise Coach, Imran Hussain, as part of the Build Your Business programme recently. Imran’s a month into his new role and we wanted to get a sense of his influences and experience, what the programme can offer and what we can look ahead to.
Tell us your story Imran – your journey as an entrepreneur, your influences and the experiences that have brought you to this role.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial circle of friends and the idea of having a side hustle to expand my income and broaden my horizons has been a big part of my thinking in recent years. Also, in my previous role at Yorkshire Housing I was an employment coach, helping people increase their income by accessing work, education and training. Once I started my own business – Bradford Bouncy Castle Hire – I found this “side hustle” helped me progress from being an employment coach to business enterprise coach.
My entrepreneurial influences are mostly friends, colleagues and people I have direct relationships with, but I do follow figures like YouTuber Ali Abdaal – whom I find to be a good source of inspiration.
What’s a day in the life of an Enterprise Coach and your work as part of the Build Your Business programme.
On a typical day I am…
Arranging meetings with aspiring entrepreneurs with new business ideas.
Promoting the Build Your Business programmes – most recently at a careers fair hosted by the University of Bradford.
Supporting customers with: developing business plans; cash flows; applying for funding; registering their businesses.
Whom is Build Your Business for and what kind of support and resources are on offer?
The programme is funded by Bradford Council and delivered by different organisations across the Bradford district. I’ve been tasked with supporting entrepreneurs in the City Centre ward, for which Impact Hub Bradford is responsible. Anyone that wants to startup a business or has done so in the last 12 months is eligible for support from the programme.
Though all areas have great potential, I’m finding that being in the city centre does influence how I approach my coaching role, actually, being based at Impact Hub has led to some coincidences that really make it easy to find connections and opportunities for those I’m coaching. Having organisations like Channel 4 and The Unit closely means I can assure entrepreneurs that the city is growing and opening up new possibilities.
I’m here and available as a source of knowledge, connecting people, pointing out opportunities and applying the best practices of being an entrepreneur to assist local startups.
What’re you aiming to achieve in the coming months with the programme and its impact?
My goal is to support the creation of 25 new businesses in the city centre and adjacent areas, whether they’re completely new or established within the past year.
What are you finding interesting about Bradford as a place for startups and entrepreneurs
The city has its challenges and barriers, but it is full of opportunities and its affordability is a big plus. One thing that struck me at a recent careers fair was how many of the attendees were from a BAME background and first generation immigrants. This tells me that not only are there opportunities here, but also the hustle to take advantage of them. I’m really excited to see what happens!
If you’re interested in the Build Your Business programme and Imran’s work – check out his first case study of a local entrepreneur – Sawat Marketing’s Raja Ali.