EMPOWERING Asian women to get into business is at the heart of a new venture for one Swindon woman.

Sharn Khaira first became a wedding planner after being inspired by her own big day nearly three years ago.

Since then the 31-year-old has gone on to achieve unprecedented success – gathering quite the reputation for putting on showstopping Asian weddings.

Now Sharn wants to pass on her pearls of wisdom to other women and inspire them to follow in her footsteps by hosting a series of business workshops as part of the Asian Female Entrepreneurs Collective.

“I knew I was meant for better things and destined for freedom," said the former marketing executive. "Having four weeks holiday a year just wasn’t my idea of an ideal life. So, one day, I wrote out my notice in my lunch hour. I didn’t have a plan but I knew I wanted to get into the billion pound Asian wedding industry.”

Her entrepreneurial journey started with a blog in 2014, documenting her journey to getting married and despite having no experience in the Asian wedding industry or in the blogging world, her website Desi Bride Dreams soon found itself ranked number one in Google for Asian wedding blog within nine months.

While the last couple of years have been a resounding success for Sharn, before starting her business she said she was often subject to bullying at her old marketing jobs – something that spurred her on to succeed.

“I feel like Asian women are held back a lot of the time and we have become scared what people in our culture might think and I guess it is a diversity issue," added Sharn who grew up in North Swindon but now lives in Milton Keynes.

“I wanted to live life on my terms.

“Work places can be quite inflexible and I think that is what made me want to pursue this business and I think the bullying I experience has played a part in it too.

“Everyone loved the workshop and people have started to put in practice what we discussed on the day. A lot of people think that they have the best marketing strategy in the world but a lot of it is about having the right mind-set."

Shar founded the AFEC after feeling fed up that there was nothing like it in her community where she could interact with like-minded women and find the support she was looking for.

Since being founded, the group has grown exponentially with over 300 members joining in just over a month.

The first Shine Bright workshop held in London late last month was attended by 20 ambitious Asian women and a date has now been set for another workshop in October.

For more information about Sharn's work, visit www.desibridedreamsplanning.co.uk.