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Success story - Chris Keenan

A MICHELIN-STARRED chef is one of a growing number of budding businessmen and women in Swansea who have been helped to realise their potential as entrepreneurs.

Chris Keenan had been head chef at Swansea's Morgans Hotel until leaving to be with his wife Lynda as she went through treatment for breast cancer.

The chef has now, with the help of Llansamlet consultancy Business Sense, returned to the world of work and launched his own company providing food business consultancy, cookery theatre, private dining, outside catering, chef development and food safety training.

Mr Keenan was invited to join new owners and management at the Norton House Hotel late last year as a part-time consultant to relaunch the Mumbles business.

He said: "It was while I was at Norton House that I had the idea to create Chris Keenan Food.

"It feels like a great way to make a living."

Business Sense has now created an Enterprise Club to help budding entrepreneurs access support and advice to get their business ideas off the ground.

The service is a joint venture with the Jobcentre aimed at people who are out of work and considering starting their own business or becoming self-employed.

Business Sense spokeswoman Sheran Grey said: "New businesses represent the future of our economy, so we need to make sure that anybody with a good idea gets the support they need to move into self-employment as easily as possible.

"We get quite a few people who have been made redundant.

"There are a lot of people who are over 45 and are struggling to get back into the work market and are keen to get back into work and just can't find anything.

"I think the way people work has changed in the past 20 years.

"They are going away from the idea that there used to be a job for life.

"We are looking to try and make ideas viable, how many hours a week they can spend, whether they have enough clients ready to start and if they don't we can help them find customers and show them how to recruit their own customers so that they can expand in the future.

"When you are trying to grow the business once you take on staff and you are over that hurdle that is a massive step.

"It is an eight-week programme and they can come back to us at any time."

The Enterprise Club will run from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, offering one-to-one-meetings with business consultants.

Experts will also be available in everything from marketing and web design to leaflets, business cards and accounts preparation, taking on staff and forming a limited company.


Business Sense Associates Ltd. Ltd Company number 08636013

Registered Office : The Business Centre, 1-5 Peniel Green Rd, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9AP