'YOUNG & JOBLESS': MEET DANIELLE

I'm Danielle, I'm 28 and from County Durham.

 I am currently in the process of starting up my own business producing wall murals.Here's a bit of background: In 2004 I became a company director in our family run business and after winding the business down and closing in 2006 I joined the local police force as a detention officer. In 2009 I had my first child. As both me and my partner work night shifts it was impossible to juggle with childcare - so I finished work after my maternity leave and became a full time parent to my daughter.

I've been actively seeking work for the past eight months; I have sent out countless CV's but never seem to get any replies. I have often found my past experience to be a barrier depending on the role I'm applying for. When applying for jobs, the fact that I've been a company director is often a hindrance as many feel I'm over qualified for the roles. After applying for many positions I started to think ‘outside the box’ and looked at all the skills I had and whether they were transferable to a business that I could run myself which would fit around family life. After asking at my local job centre I was told about a government allowance that could help with starting up a new business – the new enterprise allowance. They also pointed me in the direction of the Derwentside Enterprise Agency (DEA) who have been such a helpful resource.

Earlier in the year I had decided to paint my daughters wall with her favourite character to try and entice her into sleeping in her own room. Needless to say it worked and she started to ask for all her favourites on each wall until her room was full. And so from tiny acorns... I went back to the job centre with the idea of starting up a business providing hand sketched and hand painted children's wall murals. They thought it was a great idea and started the ball rolling with the government allowance. I began writing a business plan and handed it into DEA who signed it off and passed me back to the Job Centre to transfer me from Job Seekers Allowance onto the New Enterprise Allowance. This is a grant that provides new businesses with £65 per week for the first 13 weeks the business is trading, dropping to £33 for the next 13 weeks. After 26 weeks the allowance is stopped and the idea is that by this point your business should be fully functioning and providing you with an income. While in receipt of the allowance you are also assigned a mentor who can give you business advice. This has helped so much with the start up of my business and I have high hopes now for the future. Keeping everything crossed! Danielle Devlin, 28, from County Durham - starting her own business on the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

This is a guest post from Danielle who took part in the 'NOISE Young & Jobless' radio documentary series, broadcast over 4 months on BBC 5Live in 2012. The programme followed four unemployed young people as they looked for work, hooking them up with mentors and advice on their journey. For more information about this project, the particpants and mentors --See Here--