Village News

Christmas Lights

210329 | Meet entrepreneur who started up business despite pandemic; Rachel Leaver launched Baba’s Mezze with Outset Cornwall

Meet the entrepreneur who started up a business despite the pandemic

With help from start-up programme, Outset Cornwall, Rachel Leaver launched her business, Baba’s Mezze

29 March 2021

By Sarah Brazendale

Rachel Leaver, an entrepreneur based in Hayle, launched her own business - Baba’s Mezze - after receiving some support from Outset Cornwall. Her family has been running the Carn Brea Castle Middle Eastern restaurant for decades and when lockdown happened last year she found herself preparing a lot of Jordanian food to keep busy, and sharing it at home with friends and family.

As the word spread and more people inquired about her food she thought she could launch her own business selling home-cooked Jordanian mezze dishes as a delivery service. That’s how Baba’s Mezze was born. Baba means ‘dad’ in Arabic and is a reference to her father who set up the restaurant and taught Rachel everything she knows.

She said: “I was looking for business help online and came across Outset Cornwall. When my dad was around he was the one who took charge of the business and the rest of my family and I did all the cooking so I didn’t learn the business side of things. I have found Outset really helpful. Like having a second pair of eyes on what you do, giving you fresh ideas.”

Baba’s Mezze has been doing so well that Rachel is now looking to expand with dedicated premises.

Baba's Mezze - Mezze, Middle Eastern

 

More and more people exploring self-employment to be their own boss

One of Cornwall’s longest-running business support programmes has seen an increase in enquiries recently, as the latest figures show more people are exploring self-employment and becoming their own boss.

Outset Cornwall, an award-winning business start-up programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government and the Outset Foundation, is now in its 12th year. Since re-launching in January 2020 and despite a global pandemic and much lockdown upheaval, demand for its services has continued.

Kate Perkin, programme director for Outset Cornwall, believes the support, structure and goals Outset offers people has proved invaluable and will have helped many fledgling entrepreneurs in Cornwall finally take a leap and set up their own businesses.

She said: “The fact we’ve seen ongoing enquiries and referrals coming through proves the entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t diminished in Cornwall, and Outset is in a great position to be able to help these people. Even those few we couldn’t help have all been signposted elsewhere to access the support they need.

“There’s been a real variety of ideas coming through; from people wanting to repurpose their existing skills and experience to turning their hobbies and passions into sustainable businesses.”

Outset Cornwall will continue to deliver its fully-funded package of tailored business support until the programme comes to an end on July 31, 2022.

outset Cornwall

For more information or to join Outset Cornwall’s free business start-up support programme, visit www.outset.org/cornwall or book a place on an information session here.