"I want to be my own boss." — Beth

8 June 2018

Beth is a busy single mother of six children aged between one and 14. Her goal to get off the single person’s benefit was threatened because the sleep consultancy training she aspired to was not approved by NZQA and therefore not covered by Work and Income.

“I heard about Community Finance a couple of years ago – somebody mentioned that The Salvation Army offers loans to low income families or single people,” Beth says.

Community Finance is run by BNZ and Good Shepherd NZ with support from the Ministry of Social Development and delivered by community providers such as The Salvation Army.

“My partner and I had split up, and I applied for the benefit, but the benefit is not a way of life. It’s really hard."

Beth used a StepUP loan to pay for her training and she’s now well on her way to setting up her own business in the Manawatu once she’s qualified as a sleep consultant.

“That’s working with babies helping them sleep and helping the parents get some more sleep,” Beth says.

“It has worked in with my personal philosophies and what I really enjoy doing. I really like babies and kids and helping people.”

She finds the loan repayments really manageable.

“I needed to bring in a few documents showing my income and my outgoing expenses just to make sure I could cover the loan and it wasn’t going to leave me too short,” Beth says.

“Lisa (the loan worker) was very responsive to emails and questions and she was always available to help me out. It was all very stress free.”

Beth is proud that her kids now see her studying.

“It’s definitely an investment for my future,” she says.

One of the unforeseen benefits of the loan is that Beth has been out in the community meeting people as part of her course.

“My hopes for the future would be to get off the single parent benefit and just be able to earn some money and to be able to take my kids on holidays,” she says.

“I am planning on setting up my own business – I have a name and everything so watch this space!

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