Most clients who complete the Outset NEA programme have typically overcome their own, personal challenges when starting their own business. For Faisel Ghazghazi, the challenge of finding a job after being tarred with the brush of a criminal record was significant and frustrating.
“I spent most of my life in and out of prison. I was released in December 2011 and initially found it difficult to gain employment due to my criminal record. This is what prompted me to launch my own business.
“I wanted to do something for myself and have total control of my future. With the help of Outset and The Prince’s Trust, I have been able to do this.”
Faisel was referred to the NEA programme and assigned an Outset mentor who guided him through the process of starting his own business.
“My mentor was around to advise me whenever I had difficulties.” He said. “This was very helpful and lifted a huge weight from my shoulders knowing that I was not alone and that I had support if I needed it.”
Over several sessions, Faisel prioritised the needs of his new business and created an action plan to meet these needs. He also worked with Outset’s partner organisation, The Prince’s Trust, to secure a £1700 loan and £300 grant.
“The main challenge I encountered was keeping myself motivated through the initial business growth and the worry that it would not succeed.” Faisel said.
Faisel’s business, Future-Fiziques, provides bespoke, one-to-one and group fitness training sessions. Classes include offering free sessions for local teenagers, rehabilitation from injury and boxing training.
As the business progressed, there was a growing interest in his work, especially around his contributions to the community. His efforts were eventually rewarded by being featured on ITV news:
“I do a lot of volunteer work mainly teaching youngsters boxing whilst trying to get a positive message across at the same time. The equipment that Outset NEA and The Prince’s Trust funded has enabled me to make a real difference to my community and the lives of the kids I work with. A couple of the guys also donate their time to assist the club’s efforts.”
In the three years that have passed, Faisel has made a name for himself through his community work. He continues to hold training sessions at venues around the south west, including YMCA Bridgwater, YMCA Taunton and Street Somerset, with a new class planned for Wellington Youth Centre.
When asked to reflect on his experience so far, Faisel admits he is taken aback by the response to his business:
“The difference that my classes have made in these young people’s lives is truly remarkable. During the day, my intention is to work with children who have been excluded from mainstream schools, the homeless and also offenders who are on probation.
“In the evening I will teach Martial Arts to the paying public, running these classes so the club can make a profit and support itself.”
His main goal in 2014 is to open his own club in Taunton and he has already found the perfect venue that he plans to move in to.
“I am very confident this will be a great success as I teach a variety of different martial arts that cater for men, women and children of all ages and abilities.”
“The fact that my club can be run as a successful business is a bonus, but helping others is my number one priority.”