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Jobless challenged to make a change

A city councillor says the people of Druids Heath can no longer wait for employers to come to them, so she is challenging people to make their own work under the #makechange campaign

Druids Heath around the shopping centre off Bells Lane

Unemployed people in a Birmingham unemployment blackspot are being challenged to set up their own businesses and create their own work.

A city councillor says the people of Druids Heath can no longer wait for employers to come to them, so she is challenging people to make their own work under the #makechange campaign.

And residents who pitch a sound business idea at an open event tomorrow may be able to grab a £500 grant towards their start up costs.

Coun Eva Phillips says that while shows like Benefits Street often present a negative view of Birmingham’s unemployed, she wants to show how people can do something for themselves.

Coun Phillips (Lab, Brandwood) said: “In my first year as a councillor I spent a lot of time talking about poverty, shocked at the number of children growing up in poverty in our communities.

“A third of children growing up in poverty is not acceptable.”

She explained that deprivation levels have barely improved in 20 years and a different approach is needed to change this.

“No jobs are coming to our poorest areas, so I’m challenging people to create their own jobs.”

A group of experts, including representatives of NatWest bank, social entrepreneurs UnLtd and Hot500 and youth campaign group Social Breakfast will be offering advice on how to turn ideas into businesses at the event.

Coun Phillips added: “If this event is well attended it really can be a springboard to transforming our community.

“By increasing income and stimulating our local economy with money going round in the area instead of straight out.”

The launch event is at the Maypole Youth Centre, Idmiston Croft between 3pm and 6pm on Friday, January 31.

There is the chance to pitch a business idea for a grant of £500 and a year of business mentoring, plus further advice on running a business and a free draw to win a laptop.

 

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