AN entrepreneur from Abbotts Ann has received a £500 Business Incentive Grant boost from Test Valley Borough Council.

Mel Bulpitt, who lives in Bulberry, Abbotts Ann, had been on Jobseekers Allowance for nearly a year and was advised about the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, and, with the help of its mentor, she started MbM – Made by Mel, in June.

The Business Incentive Grant is intended to make a positive contribution towards the cost of creating a small business.

Companies are eligible to receive the cheque after operating for six months.

Mel said: “I have been making various craft items for as long as I can remember, so turning a hobby into a business seemed the sensible thing to do as it fits in with my family commitments.

“I have recently made bridesmaid dresses, exploding boxes for wedding favours, personalized greeting cards and pew cushions for Abbotts Ann Church.

“I enjoy working with both paper/card and fabrics and so am able to make home furnishings, decorations and gifts.

“I am happy to work with customers to turn their ideas into bespoke items.”

Mel hopes to have her website up and running in the new year, but can currently be contacted on 07541 093850.