Lætitia Algalarrondo Ahmed is a mixed media artist who set up a Community Interest Company (CIC), The Arty-Crafty Crescent Club, to encourage Muslim women and children to explore their creativity and boost their mental health through different types of art and crafts.

When applying for the Re:Create 2023 programme Lætitia indicated that she wanted to:

– improve her general business skills
– find ways to increase her income
– make her business more financially sustainable
– get a clearer insight into pricing and how to access funding
– improve her levels of confidence in running her business

Lætitia was matched with business mentor, Nat Harrison. In her three one-to-one mentoring sessions, they prioritised key action points such as:

– approaching local venues, libraries, and schools to collaborate
– investigating potential funding pots
– doing financial forecasting
– creating a number of artworks for her own exhibition
– curating her Instagram channel more carefully
– embracing her neurodiversity for new projects

Lætitia was extremely positive about the impact of her one-to-one mentoring sessions, saying:

“…it was a transformative experience. Nat's abundant positive energy and empathetic approach created a nurturing environment where I felt supported and understood from the very beginning.

“Not only did Nat provide insightful tips and excellent templates, but she also took the time to thoroughly explain concepts, making them easily digestible and actionable. Her personalized approach catered to my unique needs, ensuring that I felt empowered every step of the way.”

In addition to her mentoring sessions, Lætitia also fully engaged in the other parts of the Re:Create programme – signing-up to the Re:Create Business Skills e-learning course as well as attended the in-person breakfast networking event on 1 February at the Bedford in Balham. Having attended the event, she said:

“I had the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people who shared a wealth of knowledge and practical tips related to the industry. We exchanged contacts, which has since led to fruitful connections and further opportunities for learning and growth.”

Self Evaluation

When self-assessing her level of skills and confidence related to key topic areas, Lætitia scored herself out of 10, before and after completing the programme (where 10 = Highly skilled & confident and 1 = no skill/confidence):

When thinking about her understanding of how to build professional relationships and networks:

Before the programme: 1/10

After the programme: 9/10

In terms of her skills and confidence, related to finding, applying for, and securing funding:

Before the programme: 1/10

After the programme: 10/10

Overall, the Re:Create 2023 programme has had a hugely positive impact on Lætitia and her work:

“The Re:Create 2023 programme has had a profound impact on both me and my business, prompting significant changes and improvements across various aspects. (…) I anticipate seeing improvements in several areas, including brand visibility, audience engagement, and overall organizational effectiveness."

“By aligning my business practices with the insights and strategies learned through the Re:Create programme, I feel more confident about the future and optimistic about the potential for growth and success.”

“Looking ahead, I am committed to leveraging the knowledge and skills acquired from the programme to continue evolving and refining my business operations.”