Monica has always loved cooking traditional, flavoursome Caribbean food. She dreamed of one day turning this passion into a business and with the help of Universal Credit her dream has become a reality.
As a child, Monica, now 51, would spend her Saturday afternoons making salt fish fritters with her Mum. She dreamed of one day turning her love of family cooking into a business.
In June 2016, Monica began claiming Universal Credit and with the support of her work coach started to develop her business skills.
As recommended by her work coach Beverley, Monica attended a ‘How to set up a market stall’ training class, which kick-started her journey to self-employment.
Through the New Enterprise Allowance, Monica also received business mentoring and coaching to help nurture her business mind.
“My mentor has given me confidence, while guiding me through the journey of developing a business.”
Today, Monica’s Caribbean Kitchen is a popular and growing market stall in Nottingham. Her delicious fried fish, mutton curry, jerk chicken and Saturday Soup special ‘chicken and pumpkin’, have kept customers coming back.
She has also hosted a pop-up restaurant evening, catered for a vegan event and a ‘Women in Business’ event, with plans to do more vegan events in 2018.
Universal Credit has given Monica the flexibility to grow her business steadily as she can have varied hours and earnings each month. As her clientele grows, Monica plans to work more days on the market.
“This has been a journey for me where I have become more confident about getting my businesses up and running, thanks to the encouragement I’ve had from God, my family, friends and UC work coach. The future looks bright – I’m looking into getting more equipment and working on outside catering, summer fetes and other events.”
For more information on how you could kick-start your journey to self-employment with Universal credit, like Monica did, visit: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit