Painter and Decorator - Jackie Burke
After years in a wide variety of jobs, ranging from trainee chef to forklift truck driver, Jackie Burke was bored with her latest job as a dinner lady and, as a single parent on income support, wanted to do something which would benefit her family. She took the plunge and undertook a two year City and Guilds/NVQ Painting and Decorating course.

She also sought help from In Biz who put her on a six month test trading programme and directed her to the Rural Women’s Network. In September 2004, at the end of her test trading, Jackie came off income support and launched her business as a Painter and Decorator based in the South Lakes.

Jackie had always done painting and decorating at home and for family and friends. As all trades are in short supply she felt that there would be a demand in the market for this type of business. Also, knowing women can feel vulnerable with male tradespeople, Jackie feels she has found her niche market – ‘I’m a bit of a novelty … people feel comfortable and like my bluntness!’

Although she has had to overcome lots of obstacles, Jackie would encourage anyone to start their own business. With the help and support available, the 6 month test trading provides a secure and confidence-building route into self-employment.

“Life’s too short to stay in a job you’re not happy in - just go for it, the job satisfaction is great.”