A young businesswoman has spoken about how she set up her own company as a university student with just £5 in her bank account.

Karishma Raichada, 21, from Harrow, set up her company Glitz Events when she was just 18.

At the time, she decided to set up her own company because she felt there was a lack of community events in her area.

She said: “I was sitting in my school accommodation one day and I had a free hour. It was there I decided to set up my company.

“When I was growing up there used to be quite a few events but in the past five years there hasn’t been much to bring the community together.

“Our company aims to include everyone in community, we have events for Diwali and in the summer we do boat parties for younger people.”

Ms Raichada’s company also organises live music, dinners and dances events.

Harrow Times:

Karishma at one of her organised events photo: Glitz Events

She said: “I studied business and management at university so I always had an interest in setting up my own company.

“The business has been a good learning curve and where now it may be hard to get a job it helps me stand out from the rest the crowd with my CV.

“It has provided a great learning opportunity and lessons about time management.

“There are not many entrepreneurs who are women and being 18 at the time, it built good awareness and I hope I can motivate young people through being a role model.”

Ms Raichada set up the company with just £5 in her account and admits there were struggles with support along the way.

She said: “When I told my friends I admit a few of them did laugh and asked why I was doing this still at university because I had student loan debt.

“But setting up my own business allowed me to see who my real friends and family were.

“It was a challenge. Sometimes you fail or succeed, but you just have to take on board all the feedback you get from customers.

“As a woman, a lot of the people I was dealing with in the industry, such as for venue hire, were men.

“But being around them boosted me and encouraged me to continue with running events. I changed positively as a person by being in that environment.”

She added: “I got a lot of support from my family. I think there are benefits and challenges when working with your family.

“When you start from scratch you don’t have the budget to employ people, but I had my family to help me.

“They are a great motivation and my dad is my right-hand man through all the events. You can’t shout at your family which can be a challenge in any family-business relationship.

“You have to keep it strictly business and then family time is for after.”

Ms Raichada’s business aims to create multi-cultural events to include people from all ethnicities into the community.

She said: “We would like a mix of different ethnicities to attend our events. We do not just target the Asian community we want every community to come all together.

“Harrow is so diverse we see a range of different people at our events. Especially for the boat party we had people come internationally from Canada.

“When the event is finished, I’m thrilled.

"The events make people happy and I have created it and been through the long process. To see the final product, it inspires me to do it again.”

Ms Raichada also held a charity event for Dementia UK last Saturday (September 21) at Harrow Arts Centre.

She added: “We are raising money for Dementia UK because I believe the community are not that aware of dementia and it has not been spoken about much.

“My grandmother passed away with dementia so it is something that is close to my heart.”

When asked about advice she would give to aspiring business owners, Ms Raichada said: “I would say never give up.

“If you enjoy what you do and if you have a passion in an industry then pursue it. No matter how little the idea is you can make it work.

“You never know you may become a multi-millionaire. As a woman do what you love and do not let anyone else stop you.”