From education to employment

New City College ESOL student Ruby set to fulfil her business dream

ESOL adult student Ruby Halim is inspiring others after setting up her own business selling delicious home-baked savoury snacks.

Ruby is studying ESOL Digital Skills and Writing at NCC’s Tower Hamlets campus in Poplar, having already successfully completed Reading, Speaking & Listening and ICT courses.

A busy mum-of-four, Ruby 37, has always enjoyed cooking and has been told numerous times by her friends, family and neighbours that she should use her talents to start her own business.

Now, having studied at college, Ruby has built up the confidence to branch out and was one of the first to join the Go For It High Street Enterprise Start-Up Support programme – a free initiative funded by Tower Hamlets Council particularly for women looking to develop their business ideas.

Budding entrepreneur Ruby started cooking at a young age by helping her grandma prepare family dinners, picking up lots of advice, secret spice mixes and traditional recipes. During lockdown she started an Instagram account to share her recipes, tips and hints.

Ruby’s advice to others is: “Be patient with your cooking. Cooking is like art. If you give it time and practise, your food will be amazing.”

Her business idea of selling homemade Shingara – a Bengali Street Food snack with a variety of nutritious fillings – really took off and she gave a presentation on it to her class at New City College.

ESOL lecturer Mafalda Giudice said: “Ruby’s presentation about her business idea was fantastic. She has gained so much confidence since she started studying here and everyone in the class felt she was so impressive and inspirational.”

Ruby has planned her time so that she can focus on her business as well as fitting in her college work around her family commitments.

Her coach at Go For It, Stephen Macintosh, said: “We hope to be able to support many talented people just like Ruby to bring their dream projects to life – and this in turn helps communities and high streets thrive.”

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