New business owner ‘tuk’-ing into success

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A once-in-a-lifetime trip to Asia inspired a new business owner from Wigan Borough to set up shop in a tuk-tuk.

And, just seven months since setting up Tipple Time Events, Jenni West, aged 28 from Lowton, now offers drinks across the region from her mobile-bar with help from Wigan Council’s Deal for Business.

With a background in hospitality and leisure management, Jenni felt knowledgeable enough to set up on her own and sought help from the council’s business investment team, who pointed her in the direction of financial support through their Business Booster.

Jenni said: “I contacted the council in February and it took about six weeks from then before I received £2,000 from their Business Booster fund.  “I already bought and renovated my tuk-tuk, which was inspired by my Asian trip, but in order to use it and get around the region, I needed to promote myself and buy stock.

“The money I got from the council really helped me with this and it allowed me to pay for memberships on supplier websites for weddings and parties. Now, with help from family members who volunteer their time, I’ve been able to cover food and drink festivals, parties and much more.”

The Deal for Business is a relationship between the council and local businesses to work together to build a stronger borough. In return for local businesspeople working with the community, supporting council initiatives and paying their business rates on time, the council can provide financial support, training guidance and help with the legalities of running a company.

Jenni continued: “The support wasn’t just financial though. The business investment team worked really closely with the job centre and other organisations to make sure I had all the support I needed.  “They put me in touch with a range of courses to help me with running a business and ensured I was aware of all the necessary paperwork and documentation.

“I’d really recommend other people to spend time with the council because they answered all my questions. Anything I was worried about was addressed and I was reassured by success stories of people who they have helped before.

“Wigan Council has been amazing, I’ve been let down by organisations in the past but Wigan seems to be on it and I’m very grateful.”

Jenni now has plans to find out what type of community groups are local to her so she can look into providing volunteering opportunities and give back to her area.

She also has plans to expand her team and provide employment in the future as Tipple Time Events grows and becomes more sustainable.

Leader of the council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “We have more than 225 businesses signed up to The Deal for Business, which demonstrates our commitment to supporting the local economy grow.

“It’s our job to inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and help them create a business that is relevant, sustainable and most importantly, successful.