A business support organisation is encouraging people to turn these challenging times due to the coronavirus pandemic into an opportunity and to think about starting their own business.

While Britain is on lockdown and people are working at home, on ‘furloughed’ arrangements with their employer or even laid off permanently or temporarily, East Durham Business Service believes it is the ideal time to think about going it alone.

It comes as the Peterlee-based organisation continues to provide business support to budding entrepreneurs in the area, and has found that in the past week alone, those people they’re working with have actually been able to fast track their business plans.

Adviser Hina Joshi said: “This is a particularly challenging time for everyone and while many people don’t know what the future holds for them, it could actually be the perfect time to think about self-employment.

“Setting up on your own is a big decision and often, for many people who have thought about it, they decide it isn’t the right time for them or they are reluctant to give up the security of employment.

“But in the current climate when you might be taking additional leave, or are working reduced hours or have even been laid off, we’re suggesting that you could use this to your advantage and think about whether working for yourself could be something for you.

“We’ve definitely seen an increased motivation from the people we’re supporting, who seem to be progressing their business plans much quicker than they would normally be. That can only be a good thing for the area’s economy and entrepreneurial culture.”

Although the East Durham Business Service team is working remotely, they are continuing to offer help to people in the area who need ongoing business support.

Hina added: “If anyone is giving thought to starting up on their own, get in touch with me by email or phone and I will happily work with you to see if you have a viable idea that could lead to a business start-up.

“When times are tough, it sometimes forces us to analyse our circumstances and that can be the best time to make positive changes which can build a more successful future for us and our families.”

If you want to chat to Hina, she can be contacted on email hina.joshi@edbs.co.uk or on 0191 5863366.