Released on 14 August 2019 Archived News
A former teacher took on the role of student to get help launching her successful new business in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Gonneke Hazell decided to launch her own personal tutoring service after taking inspiration from her time as a teacher at Ashbourne College, an independent sixth form college in London.
Gonneke, who moved to the UK from the Netherlands in 2012, began with a home tutoring service in the Stratford area, but the demand was such that she explored the idea of creating a private tuition centre.
She contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for help and was supported by the start-up team to help realise her ambitions thanks to a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
It forms part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale Programme, which is also funded by Warwickshire County Council and the district and borough councils.
Gonneke received one-to-one mentoring from business adviser Tanya King and also attended business start-up courses, which were run by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
It led to the launch of Quality Teach - a tuition centre in Timothy's Bridge Road in Stratford - in 2018 and the company is going from strength to strength.
The business supports more than 60 students at both primary and secondary school ages with everything from SATs preparation right through to A Level. It is also launching a new course to help students who are interested in studying medicine and Gonneke has plans to launch a charity to help children who can't access the centre get support at home.
Gonneke said: "I took inspiration from my time at Ashbourne College, where the teaching is very personal and centred around the abilities of the individual student. I saw how that worked and the real difference it made.
"I thought I could make that difference to more students with the launch of a home tutoring service but, in the end, I just couldn't cope with the demand on my own.
"After some motivational words from friends and family and some market research, I decided to set up Quality Teach.
"I contacted the Chamber and immediately Tanya gave me some great advice on what to focus on and some very useful tools to move the business forward.
"She helped me to make the marketing much more effective and also gave me a simple financial overview to ensure I was up to date with accounting and financial forecasts.
"Tanya also recommended some of the courses that the Chamber runs, which were very informative and a great opportunity to meet other business owners in a similar position to me.
"Of course, there are times when you have moments of doubt when setting up a business and it was at these points where having Tanya and the Chamber behind me was a great motivator and reassurance.
"The business is growing well and we are looking to add more services, which will benefit more students across the area."
Tanya says more start-up businesses should tap into the help on offer.
She said: "It has been great to work with Gonneke and Quality Teach. The company is doing great things with students across South Warwickshire, showing there is a real market out there for these services.
"My advice to other individuals and businesses would be to find out about the support we have on offer and make the most of it in order to give your company the best chance possible of growth."
For more information, go to www.cw-chamber.co.uk or call 024 7665 4321.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575