Stockton Sparkie is 'Electrically Minded'Since the mid 80s, Chris Rutledge from Stockton had worked as an electrician for a number of local electrical contractors. All the way through that period, he always fancied doing it for himself.
In January 2009 he got the chance when the recession forced his employer to lay off some staff, including Chris.
After a few weeks of mulling it over, Chris approached his local Job Centre for advice on self-employment, they suggested he contact Five Lamps who signposted him onto Stockton's Enterprise Gateway programme.
He met Chris Butler, Five Lamps' Senior Business Development Officer and over the next couple of months researched a range of issues in order to produce his business.
This not only helped Chris to secure start-up funding from Business Link, but also gave him a blueprint to follow for his first 12 months of trading.
Chris also attended Five Lamps free Enterprise Gateway workshops, which gave him some valuable advice on how to keep his books, register as self employed and market his business.
In June 2009, Chris bought a van and had it signwritten with his business name 'Electrically Minded' and his distinctive light bulb logo. Since then the business has grown steadily. He has taken on his first employee and is regularly winning new domestic, commercial and industrial business.
Calling in to see Five Lamps he said to Chris Butler:
"My only regret is not having had the guts to take the plunge earlier. Even in this recession I'm finding work and most importantly, I feel a lot happier in myself."
Five Lamps run Communities Fund on behalf of Stockton Council to support people who are unemployed. The Enterprise Gateway is delivered by Five Lamps on behalf of Stockton Borough Council.
Are you interested in becoming your own boss? Call us now on 01642 608316.
The Enterprise Gateway project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £380,643 ERDF investment.
The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region. For more information click here.