Deafness is no barrier to opening a business

Elizabeth Lafferty from Maid4U and Natasha Reynolds from RBS
Elizabeth Lafferty from Maid4U and Natasha Reynolds from RBS
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An entrepreneurial-spirited woman from Denny has overcome the odds to open her first business.

Elizabeth Lafferty has taken control of a laundry despite being profoundly deaf and unable to speak.

She will communicate with her suppliers and customers with the assistance of a sign language interpreter.

It is estimated that there are 637,000 people living in the UK who are severely or profoundly deaf.

The new firm, which is based in Stirling Street, will offer laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, sewing and alteration services.

Elizabeth was supported by Natasha Reynolds, an RBS business manager based in Stirling. Natasha was well-placed to understand the additional requirements her client would require as her sister is also deaf.

The bank employee helped Elizabeth secure a start-up loan as part of the Westminster Government’s Funding For Lending scheme.

Speaking through an interpreter, Elizabeth said: “It was a chance opportunity that became available and I decided to seize the moment.

“I am the only employee of the business at the moment and am solely responsible for all the services. However, I am expecting it to grow and I am intending to employ a member of staff to assist me.

“I needed help to get the business off the ground and to fund a refurbisment of the premises.

“I decided to choose RBS as it was reccomended to me by a friend who said its business manager was very helpful.”

Natasha said: “Elizabeth has done an amazing job. To be a successful businesswoman is not easy, and Elizabeth has done incredibly well.

“We’re proud to support Elizabeth with her businesses and wish her every success.”