Young entrepreneur gains confidence to take on new challenges

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A Newcastle-based entrepreneur specialising in a range of art services has expanded her business by introducing a new clothing range. Tahmina Begum, who launched Tahmina Arts in 2013, has high hopes to be a cut above the rest in the business world.

The most recent addition to Tahmina’s ever-growing business is still in its infancy, but she has ambitious plans for her clothing range.  Currently, the 24-year old’s South Asian inspired prints are only available on T-shirts, but Tahmina has a very clear vision for the future of the brand.

She is determined to make the Tahmina Arts label the main focus of her business, and with that she hopes to launch a casual and premium range of clothing, with much more choice beyond t-shirts. The clothing range is just one aspect of Tahmina Arts. Through her business, Tahmina provides a range of freelance art services including: bespoke paintings and drawings, murals, and henna.

She gained the confidence to launch her business venture after participating in Business Sparks, an enterprise programme led by Reviving The Heart of The West End (RHWE) that helps budding young North East entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground. As well as providing one to one business advice, the programme also offers mentoring opportunities with existing business owners, an office space, and access to grants to kickstart business ideas.

The programme, which has helped dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs since launching, recently started again from October and people are still invited to get in touch to take part.

Tahmina said: “The Business Sparks programme gave me an enormous confidence boost, in myself and in my work. The team were great, and gave me lots of advice, including things I didn’t think about, such as the legal side of setting up a business. They also introduced me to a great network of like-minded business people, which allowed me to build up my contacts.

“It also gave me an opportunity to meet existing business owners, which I found really useful as they gave me lots of practical advice, and it was also really good to hear the stories of how they got in to business. Seeing other businesses succeed motivated me to really believe in my business and the ideas I had.”  

Hannah Marrow, development officer at Business Sparks said: “Business Sparks gives young people a platform to test out their ideas, with lots of support behind them, including meetings with existing business owners, and one to one advice. Tahmina has done exceptionally well since undertaking the programme with us.”

After completing the programme with Business Sparks, Tahmina was raring to get her foot in the door in the business world, initially by selling paintings and drawings. A combination of her own hard work and the skills acquired through the Business Sparks programme led her to expand her business.

About a year into her business venture, the up-and-coming businesswoman noticed a growing demand for henna in the North East, and responded to the increased demand by offering different events including bridal parties.

Growing in confidence, Tahmina repeatedly found opportunities to challenge herself and grow her business. After painting a mural in her nephew’s playroom, it sparked a lot of interest and Tahmina then began offering murals as part of her business.

Reflecting on her own experiences, when asked what advice she would give to young people who have a business idea, Tahmina said: “As long as you have a passion for your product, it will go places. Believe in yourself, and others will believe in you too. Look out for opportunities and schemes like Business Sparks that offer support. It’s a great way to kick start your idea and turn it in to a business.”