Former apprentice blooms as new owner of Sheffield floristry business
A young entrepreneur who left school with no qualifications has bought the eight-strong Sheffield floristry business where she trained as an apprentice.
April Bell, aged 26, bought out Monica Hewitt, whose shop is on Middlewood Road near Hillsborough Park, after 10 years learning the trade.
April left school at 14 and spent a year being taught at home before approaching the shop for work experience.
She said: “If you would have told me when I was 14 that within ten years I would be the owner of a successful and long-established Sheffield business I would never have believed it! I’ve learned so much over the past decade and working in the company has made me realise that anything can be possible.”
April, who was trained at the shop by Annie Valentine, achieved qualifications in floristry as well as English and maths.
She also won a national apprenticeship award and was invited to Downing Street to talk about her experience.
Monica launched in 1971 and when April found out she was planning to leave the business she began exploring the possibility of taking over. She borrowed £10,000 and the business was hers.
April added: “Having worked there for such a long time, I felt confident about what was involved in running it, but securing the finance to complete the purchase was a major problem.
“I received a lot of good advice and support and after hearing about Finance For Enterprise I decided to contact them to see if they could help me.”
FFE investment advisor Pam Goodison helped April develop a business plan and apply for a Start Up Loan.
She said: “April is a truly inspirational individual who has gone full circle, from being given an opportunity to building a career in floristry.
“Entrepreneurs like April are setting a fantastic example that shows with a lot of hard work and a bit of business acumen anything is possible.”
Richard Bearman, managing director at Start Up Loans, said: “What April has achieved with Monica Hewitt is commendable and I’m proud Start Up Loans has played a part in helping her and so many others across the country to realise their ambition of business ownership.”