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Business Name: Farhang Food Ltd

Virgin Loan Amount: £7,000

tahnminaRecent press coverage of Afghanistan has detracted from its rich and beautiful culture, including its unique cuisine. Tahmina Farhang hopes to bring Afghanistan onto the plates of UK households. Her new startup business, Farhang Foods specialises in exotic jams, desserts and delicious ready-made meals.

Farhang Food is the brainchild of ambitious entrepreneur, Tahmina Farhang who has high hopes for her new business venture. Growing up in an Afghan family, Tahmina has always been around Afghan cuisine, but it wasn’t until some of her Mum’s friends came over for dinner and tried Afghan cuisine for the first time that Tahmina realised there was a demand in the UK for such distinctive flavours.

Tahmina continued to study Law at University but knew in her heart that a job stuck in an office wasn’t the life for her. She has a strong work ethic and has had various small jobs since the age of 13 and has also had 3 jobs whilst studying. It was also whilst studying at university, she met more people enjoying her Afghan cooking but completely oblivious to its existence beforehand. She did some further research to learn that surprisingly there was no mainstream suppliers in the UK.

With her heart set on starting her own business and raising the overall profile of Afghanistan in a more positive light as a proud ambassador for her country, Tahmina began to research around the area of entrepreneurship and stumbled upon Virgin StartUp whilst browsing online. She filled in the online registration form and was put in touch with Enterprise Coach Jo Prosser who guided her through the startup process and helped her with set action points and to build a business plan. “Jo has been so helpful! The face-to-face mentoring has been great. She told me exactly what I needed to do; get market research, get real feedback for my products and also reassured me about finance and what exactly I was getting myself into. I think it’s vital for young people thinking about the same thing.” Tahmina comments.

FarhangfoodThe future for Farhang Foods looks very bright indeed; Tahmina plans to launch her range of products into large high-end retail chains within her first year of trading and has already set wheels in motion to achieve this via contacts made through BES and Virgin StartUp.

Tahmina also emphasises how important her family network and best friend Haseena have been in supporting her through starting her business venture, particularly through the more difficult hurdles she has managed to overcome in building her business.

Tahmina’s advice for other budding entrepreneurs would be “When you have an idea, research it. If you have the passion, just go out there and do it. You have to live and breathe it to make it work though. There’s so much help out there, for any young person, I would advise you need dedication, drive and to research into it.”