After reaching the final of a competition, I realised that my idea for a shoppers creche must be a good one, although I didn't win the competition I decided that it was an idea worth pursuing.
So after talking to a few customers and my local college I decided to take the plunge and look into how I might get this business of the ground. My first job was research, I looked into competitors, the closest créche is in Shrewsbury and is not a social enterprise and I was unable to find any evidence on the internet of such a business already existing, so no real competition exists out there. My next tasks included researching suitable venues and funding, I found several venues and viewed 2 premises, the funding that I earmarked as suitable is the social entrepreneur Charity Unltd and their level 1 fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Community Foundation Merseyside. These funds all support different aspects such as start up costs, wages and capital costs.
I then met up with Jane from employer services at Wirral Met, we discussed aprenticeships and student training and work experience, generally the meeting was very encouraging and positive feedback was given.
I then met up with Marjorie Fagan, the local early years team daycare specialist, she provided lots of useful information regarding OFSTED registration and EYFS best practice. Again positive feedback was offered. Marjorie also pointed out some useful publications with regards to floor the plan of the créche.
Another meeting with a local Business Link advisor was very useful in that I was given networking links and advice about the best legal form Bluey's Community should take, it was agreed that a Social Enterprise with Charitable Trust status would be a good idea.
Armed with information I am now in the process of applying for a level 1 grant, which will enable me to pay all the costs that will prevent this project from getting of the ground.
My to do list has significantly grown as I now have to register Bluey's community with Company House and the Charity Commission, apply for planning permission, write my governing documents and policies and reach an agreement with Warner Estates, the owners of Birkenhead Grange Centre.
I will be attending a networking event for NFP orgs and charities, hopefully I will gain some useful contacts and information that will help with the process.