Building a business with Doing Good Business

Building a business with Doing Good Business

Tash Bright No Comment

After five years of being unable to work due to ill health, Stuart Jones’ health had improved to the point where he wanted to start working again. Stuart still suffered physical limitations which meant that he would struggle to fit in with a 9-to-5 work pattern, but he had developed good woodworking skills and wondered whether it would be possible to turn that into a small business which would give him the flexibility that he needed.

Stuart was referred to Doing Good Business by his Job Centre. He was unsure what help he actually needed at the time but, along with his coach Paul Davies, he soon drew up a development plan. He had experimented at home by making a few pieces of furniture out of recycled pallets and knew that he would need to find proper premises to work out of. Knowing that he would need eventually to sign off of Employment Support Allowance, Stuart looked at the possibility of using the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) to manage that transition.

Paul and Stuart met regularly and worked on producing a business plan and cashflow forecast, developing his sales and marketing skills, and understanding the legal stuff around running a business. Stuart found that this was more straightforward than he had imagined and his plan soon took shape.

He attended a social media workshop organised by Doing Good Business and got his application in for NEA. Paul also found premises that would be suitable for the business and, before he knew it, Stuart’s new venture was established in a business unit in Clay Cross.

He is now making and selling items of furniture, as well as small gift items on his website. He has also taken on some contract work fitting out a shop for a friend of a friend.

The process of meeting regularly, setting goals and reviewing progress and dealing with specific training needs enabled Stuart to keep focussed on what he wanted to achieve, and helped to build his confidence.

Stuart said: “Thank you for all the support [Doing Good Business] have given me over these last few months in helping me sort out a business plan. Paul has gone out of his way to come and see me at home as I had no transport at the time. Also the help he gave me in securing premises for my furniture making business was invaluable. The social media course was so informative and very professional – they are a great team.”

“I honestly do not know what I would have done if I hadn’t contacted the Doing Good Business programme. A massive thank you for your past and ongoing support.”

You can find Stuart’s business at www.rusticfurnitureuk.co.uk or via his Facebook page.


If you are aged 25+, not currently working and living in one of the above districts, the Doing Good Business programme can help you.
Doing Good Business is funded by Big Lottery and the European Social Fund it provides free one-to-one advice, practical support to manage your personal circumstances, help to develop your skills, personal strengths and expert advice and guidance on key topics.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.