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Nayden Creates Hope for Unemployed

Paska Nayden worked in management at IBM for 29 years and loved it. But after suffering three bouts of cancer in the last five years, working a rigorous corporate schedule became too difficult.

So she began brainstorming. "From my bed, I'm like, 'I've got to do something because I'm just way too young to be disabled for life,' " she said. "I just can't be disabled because my chemo and radiation have done such havoc, I can't just not work."

In January 2008, Nayden and her sister, Lena Gjonaj, bought a franchise of The Entrepreneur's Source , a Southbury-based company that helps the unemployed find a business to buy.

"I help match-make you, help identify your strengths, your weaknesses, where you want to go and then help you do the research so that you don't feel you're getting into something over your head or you're getting into a scam," said Nayden, who works out of an office she built next to her Easton home.

Nayden holds weekly informational seminars using "Go To Meetings," a program that allows her to make presentations via computer. She coaches clients using Skype.

"Some days I have bad days where I'll literally take my headset and my computer and I'll work in bed," she said, adding that that would not be acceptable in corporate America.

"It's not about selling a franchise, it's about helping someone pick up their lives and make something new out of it," said Nayden, adding that in her role as advisor she keeps clients on track to meet their career goals. She said people need career guidance, whether they're looking to return to what they had been doing or start something new.

"Now, more than ever, people need to have hope that there are options and there are possibilities if they're just open to it and work hard."

E-mail her for more information or call 203-522-5106.

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