Jamaican-born Jilli-Ann Green moved to Tottenham at the age of five. Being from a Jamaican family, the history and heritage of the country’s food and drink were a huge part of her life growing up in the heavily Caribbean influenced areas of Tottenham. Her dream was to take one of those family recipes and turn it in to a successful business.
By her own admission Jilli-Ann didn’t know where to start; she had no business plan, no idea about insurance or how to open a business account. Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Opening Doors programme, set up to offer guidance and support to young Londoners, helping them to create and launch their own enterprise initiatives, provided the support and stability she needed to realise her dream.
Jilli-Ann said, “I didn’t have a business plan and I’d heard words and phrases like ‘balance sheet’. ‘marketing mix”, and ‘Unique Selling Point’ but didn’t know what they meant or how they applied to me.”
Through regular visits to the job centre, Jilli-Ann met Tottenham Hotspur Foundation representatives who explained the programme to her and with our support she launched her soft drink company, Xaymaca, six-months ago.
Since then we’ve been working with Jilli-Ann to provide opportunities for test-trading at Sainsbury’s Tottenham (who passed her product on to head office), and at White Hart Lane to over 30,000 Tottenham fans at the Tottenham v FC Schalke game.
“This programme is exactly what I needed to help launch my business. I’ve had the opportunity to meet other people like me with a business idea and gain advice from retailers, business managers and financial advisors as part of the Opening Doors workshops at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. I’ve received lots of support with my business plan, marketing campaign and product development, all of which are really beginning to take shape.
“The opportunity to do some test trading at White Hart Lane – as part of the Opening Doors Test Zone – has offered me a fantastic opportunity to talk to potential customers about my product and I feel so much closer to realising my dream now. All of this is quite scary, but in a really exciting way!”
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