Enterprise club visits start-up cafe ‘Suvai’ and hears from hard working entrepreneur with a passion for community inclusion

Suvai sittingIt was a bit of a rotten day weather wise but 5 start-ups made it over to Horns Road in Ilford to experience this new cafe with a difference and to benefit from Joel’s experience.  Here’s our report for the enterprise club on 25.8.15:

Dishan Joel is in his 20s and is a powerhouse of vision and hard graft.  He runs two Ilford-based businesses, both which give work to deaf people.

Mr Clean ServiceMr Clean Service has contracts all over London both domestic and commercial.  The cleaners are deaf and so there are often some fears/concerns on behalf of the client about how to communicate.  Joel took the decision to be up front that the cleaners are deaf although for him this makes no difference to the  quality of the work. He understand that part of his work and the value of this company is to break down barriers and build confidence for both the deaf cleaners and hearing clients to communicate.  He has support from local deaf charity EDS to recruit potential deaf cleaners.

What stood out for me is that Joel is prepared to do the cleaning himself.  Joel knows all aspects of the business including sometimes stepping in and doing the cleaning himself. This is very impressive.  (Yvette Jones – performance coach start-up)

Joel is a very hard working person and this helps to make his business work.  How much time he puts in to his businesses is an inspiration to me (Rubina Anjum – beautician start-up)

Suvai cafe photoSuvai community cafe in Horns Road, Ilford is not the best location for a cafe but Joel needed to test out the idea of a hearing/deaf cafe where the rents are lower.  He piloted the idea for the cafe at the end of 2014 and opened up in January.  He had to learn everything from designing the space, upholstering chairs, all things food hygiene through to making  a great cappuccino.

This front line work has been challenging to the deaf staff but very, very quickly they gain confidence.  This cafe is a short stepping stone so that they can go on to find other work. Custom is building up well and I am looking for ways to develop. DISHAN JOEL, MANAGER.

I found it very helpful hearing how Joel has managed the finances.  I like his system of putting all receipts and invoices in a box and then going through them each month.  It was helpful to know how much he spends on rent and rates (shockingly high!), that he does his own books but pays for an auditor and how much that cost.  Very detailed help and advice including a reality check about how long it takes to make a profit when you are paying for premises. (Jaswant Matharu- tuition start-up)

This cafe has a very good vibe!  I plan to use this cafe to meet clients – it’s a good find.  (Amita Sharma, network sales)

This cafe could be used in the evenings and at weekends (when it’s closed) and Joel is looking for ideas and contacts for using this space.  It would bring some welcome extra income in, utilise a pleasant space rather than leaving it empty and also be a great venue for meetings and events.  Currently it does not have a licence for cooking food but food can be prepared in it.  Joel is able to open weekends if a meeting wants to order/pay for food, or to look at an affordable rent.

Sophia Hubs would like to build up a Directory of business spaces that can be utilised by start-ups, businesses and the community when not in use :). This is in line with our asset-based approach to community and business needs.  Please do get in touch if you know of any!



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