Meet the entrepreneur who overcame PTSD to land start-up funding

Naima Ben-Moussa

A Derbyshire-based female plastering service has received a £3,500 Startup loan from First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans through the Start Up Loans Scheme by British Business Bank.

The funds were used to buy the equipment needed to begin trading.

Overcoming her mental health barriers and attaining a qualification in plastering, Naima Ben-Moussa gained first-hand experience by volunteering in the local community. The entrepreneur, then successfully launched The Lady In Red Plastering Service. Described as the first local female plasterer in a male dominated industry, Ben-Moussa has decided to use this to her advantage and target women who are more comfortable with female workers in their home.

“In order to get my business off the ground I was referred to First Enterprise for a Start-up Loan which has helped me to achieve my goals, which I never thought in a million years I could achieve. When I started to work with FE-EL The impossible became possible.”

After receiving funding from First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans Ben-Moussa began repairing the homes of women who had suffered from domestic abuse. This led her to start a crowdfunding campaign. Donations have now rocketed to over £70,000 – and she is able to employee tradespeople to help take her business to the next level.

The business has inspired the launch of Rebuilding Lives UK – a charity that helps beneficiaries recover from domestic abuse; offering repairs to their house with the aim to rebuild the homes and lives of vulnerable women.

Ben-Moussa said: “First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans have been supportive throughout and a pleasure to work with. When I began my journey with First enterprise – Enterprise Loans my adviser supported me throughout.

Due to suffering with anxiety, PTSD, and past trauma I found starting the business very overwhelming. Once I explained my difficulties and barriers to the First Enterprise adviser his approach changed as he took everything into consideration and was extremely patient and kind going the extra mile to put in extra work and time to support me. Additionally, he put me in touch with Steve Nelson from the Chamber of Commerce, who still to this day continue to support me.

“I am now the founder of Rebuilding lives UK charity and I feel like none of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for their support and I can’t thank them both enough!”

Victoria Copestake, operations manager at First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans, said: “We have a long tradition of supporting female tradespeople working in male dominated industries. It’s been a pleasure to support Naima and to see how things have grown since accessing the Start-Up Loans funding.”