Entrepreneurial Spark has fired up many a new business man and woman, including Aadam Patel at just age 14, who tells SBT about his ESpark experience and his growing company…

Halal Celebrations1_South_Bank_Centre_Winter_festival What has been the biggest challenge in starting your own business?

As with any enterprise/startup I have found myself juggling with lots of demands and had to be creative in putting all facets of the business together in harmony. I have been stretched in acquiring a business mind and skill-set in areas such as marketing, tax advice and sales to name a few.

For any startup, finance can be a real challenge. With regards to Halal Celebrations, our initial small orders contribute to high start up costs.

 

You’re a very young entrepreneur. When did you know you wanted to run your own business?
My story began when I was 7 years old, when I noticed there was a lack of festive products aimed at the Muslim market for our celebrations. Come Eid there were no cards or crackers to celebrate with. I started my own Eid revolution, at first creating celebration crackers for friends and family.

I quickly realised that my customers enjoyed hosting dinner parties for families and friends, not only for Eid or birthdays, but also through the year just for fun. Halal Celebrations is about bringing friends and family together and giving them a cracking memorable time.

More recently, prior to Entrepreneurial Spark I bought a boarded up property in a run down area in Lancashire through auction. I was hands-on as well as assuming the logistics of coordinating trade for the project. I learnt a great deal, from building relationships to negotiating with estate agents ready for sale.

 

What’s your long-term plan for Halal Celebrations?

Halal Celebrations will be a market leader in faith and culture related greeting cards and crackers – this untapped market potential opens the door to international trade, and I will broaden Halal Celebrations’ products into gifting. I personally hope to embrace more active corporate social responsibility such as being a business ambassador to motivate and support other startup businesses and young entrepreneurs.

 

How have you found the experience of being involved in the Entrepreneurial Spark hatchery?

The experience has been amazing, if I had to summarise it in 3 words it would be: Nurturing, Collaborative and Mind-set. Entrepreneurial Spark has positively challenged me every step of the way. The business mind-set and entrepreneurial behaviour I have developed as a result has been integral to helping my business start up in a very clean and effective way.

 

In what ways has NatWest supported your business’s growth and plans?

Entrepreneurial Spark really takes away the hassle and financial strain associated with setting up a business leaving the entrepreneur to focus on their business from the outset. In my opinion, the creative environment created by Entrepreneurial Spark, especially with their free advice, training and office space, is conducive to #GoDo. Natwest has been at the forefront of accelerating Halal Celebrations through enablement, mentorship and fostering a conducive business space to work collaboratively and accelerate.

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