Bunmi Ganiyu of Walfinch Edinburgh South explains how she incidentally found her passion
Bunmi Ganiyu came to the UK from Nigeria to study marketing at Edinburgh Napier University. She says: “I did not start out with any thoughts of a career in the care sector but while studying I took a job as a healthcare assistant. I soon discovered that I loved the work. Making my clients happy made me happy – and it still does.
“Even today, as the franchisee MD of Walfinch Edinburgh South, I still love chatting to our clients when I go out doing spot checks. The rewards in this sector are wonderful.”
Getting into care
Once Bunmi completed her postgraduate in marketing, she stayed in Scotland. “After that, I tried to get jobs in marketing, but it wasn’t working out, so I used my care experience to get a job as a care coordinator,” she says. “It meant office work, but it also meant getting out to see the clients, a combination I enjoyed.”
Three years ago Bunmi decided that she wanted to use her expertise and energy to start her own business in the home care sector. “I concluded that a franchise was the way to go because you get the benefits of the franchisor’s experience and their extra support,” she says.
“I did lots of research and chose Walfinch because I felt that their support would be good. I was right – they helped me find funding to start Walfinch Edinburgh South and have provided great support throughout.”
Bunmi, who was recently awarded Walfinch’s fastest-growing franchisee award, frequently hears gratifying stories from clients and their families. “Recently we took on a new client, a Pakistani Muslim lady, whose family had been caring for her themselves. Realising that they needed extra help they engaged us, but they were a bit concerned about what it would be like,” she explains.
Bunmi sent two of her team – a Muslim lady, and Joseph, a Christian man. “She always greets the lady with as-salaam alaikum, the traditional greeting among Muslims that means peace be upon you,” says Bunmi. Joseph explained that she called him Joseph, as the name is rendered in the Bible, or Yusuf, as the name is rendered in the Quran.
She helps the lady with exercises and goes the extra mile by reading parts of the Quran to her. “The lady says it brings back happy memories for her,” says Bunmi.
Meanwhile, her family told Bunmi it was the last thing they expected. “They were unaware that such culturally appropriate care would be available,” Bunmi continues.
Growing the business
Bunmi recently recruited six new carers for her team – not easy in today’s market, when carers are hard to find. Her secret?
“Referrals,” she says. “I generate referrals from carers’ family and friends, which I like because you have a connection to the candidate before you start. That said, Walfinch can also provide a lot of help with recruitment, along with support on other issues.”
Among Bunmi’s team are some students working around their studies, as she did. “I don’t think any of them have the ambition to get into the care sector right now – but then neither did I until I fell in love with it. They may come back to it later, as I did because it’s a sector that welcomes people with a passion for care,” says Bunmi.
“If you have the commitment and energy to work in the homecare sector, Walfinch supports you to build a thriving business that delivers huge rewards and a good living.”
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