Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week: How long has it been since you took time for you?

Mental health is just as important as physical health and has a direct impact on the way we think, feel and act in all aspects of life. If we don’t have a good state of mind, how can we truly live our life to the fullest? 

Every day at The Women’s Organisation, we are helping women to start or grow a sustainable business, something which requires determination, self-belief and confidence – three qualities highly dependent on good mental health.

Therefore, we know that only when a woman believes in herself and the possibilities will she have the confidence to make change, and that’s why personal development is such a vital part of our services at The Women’s Organisation.

An environment that takes positive action to ensure that everyone is supported to reach their true potential is one that thrives. When we have high levels of well-being, we are happier, more satisfied and motivated. Therefore, it is in the remit of individuals, organisations and communities to be an advocate for good mental health.

Every year, the Mental Health Foundation run a week-long campaign to raise awareness around mental health, with the current focus looking at ‘stress’ and encouraging us to ask ourselves – ‘are we coping?’ They found that 74% of people have felt so stressed ‘they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope’.

Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. The NHS identifies ‘me time’ as an important stress-buster. 

We encourage you to ask yourself, how long has it been since you took time for you?

Our personal development programmes give women the time and space to really think about themselves, begin building a more positive outlook, and as a result start looking to the future with new hope.

When it comes to putting time aside for you, whether it’s a one-day course or a 4-8-week programme, we have something for every woman. This time gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and begin making better choices for your future, alongside like-minded women.

The outcome ..

‘I leave feeling fired up. I don’t go back home to bed and pull the quilt over my head, I do something. I’ll say to myself, after the course I’ll go and meet a friend or do something different.’

‘It has helped in all aspects of life, including my family life, my career goals and my self-worth’

‘A fantastic course that has helped me in many ways. I have my bad days, but I now have the strength, confidence and knowledge to deal with it.’

‘Thank you for understanding me. I’ve finally got my confidence back and know that we women DO matter’

If you want to take some time for yourself, find out more about our one-day course Become a More Confident You and Change It over on the website, or by contacting us on 0151 706 8111 or


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Business Club: Getting Vocal At 'Show Me The Money'

Entrepreneurs know that sales mean everything to a business, but what can you do to start increasing them sales? You need to engage your customers! This months business club 'Show Me The Money!' was all about using your best tool YOURSELF in order to drive those sales but also leave you feeling confident in your abilities on the way. 

We welcomed Su Graingera singer, performer, choir director and voice coach to 54 St James Street along with The Women's Organisations very own Jenny Wallwork. The event focused on lessons in what you need to be focusing on when delivering a speech or presentation and also NLP tactics for sales. 

Being passionate about singing since a young child, Su spoke about how the fear of singing in front of anyone put her off this passion for 20 years, especially after receiving a negative comment from a stranger about her ability, and spoke about how we always focus on people that tell us we can't do it rather than the people who tell us we can. 

"I decided to pick singing back up after my young daughter told me that my singing made her heart melt, that's when I realised that she wasn't trying to just compliment me, being so young she actually meant it and that gave me so much confidence"

Taking us through some of the exercises that can help when making a public speech, Su spoke about the importance of the voice and how it can be used as one of the most powerful assets "A lot of women have the fear of talking about themselves or making a pitch whilst networking, and that makes me sad"

Su spoke about the workshops she has to offer in breathing control, posture and vocal confidence and how since growing her confidence she has been able to do more things, such as accepting to host a Women's Organisation event, something in which she said she wouldn't have the confidence to do years ago! we also got advice on content for public speech, adding humor into your script and how to portray the key messages to an audience.

She also spoke about the basic things to remember during public speaking, like how to use a microphone properly and the importance of practicing before going into anything!

Next Jenny Wallwork was up to talk all things NLP tactics for sales, speaking of the importance to build a rapport with customers, she commented "If I don't feel engaged with the person i'm buying off, then I'm not going to buy it!"

She delved more into the world of Neuro, Linguistic and Programming (NLP) before asking people to start thinking about "zoning into their customers sensory styles". She invited the audience to then complete a sensory style quiz, letting us work out whether we were visual, auditory or kinesthetic but also allowing us to know the signs when engaging with our customers of what type of person they may be and how we can tailor our engagement to what they want. 

One of the audience commented "That's really surprising, I've always thought I was Kinesthetic but i'm swaying more towards the visual side now!"

Speaking about engagement, Marissa from our audience shared "I'm always engaging with the families of the customers I work, through doing this I found someone to help me with marketing and it's only been beneficial for my business"

Lindsay from Link Mortgages and Insurance asked about working out the sensory style of a business that naturally has content that maybe not the most exciting thing to promote, with Jenny talking about the importance of creating engaging and user friendly content through video and info graphic creation.

Su and Jenny offered a lot of great advice at the event, Feedback included:

“Excellent! Very informative and relevant. Just the right balance of presentation and interaction”

“Informative event! I feel that I will be able to implement NLP into my client meetings moving forward”

“A thought provoking session”

“It was very good to be encouraged to keep going and see the positive thinking ahead”

“Very insightful hearing Su’s real story. Lots of advice on confidence and positivity”

Thank you to Su Grainer and Jenny Wallwork for speaking at the event, and thank you to everyone who came.

Our next event is all about getting visual with your marketing with ‘Visualise it’, taking place on Tuesday 14th June 18:00-20:30 at 54 St James Street, L1 0AB. Book your ticket HERE!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The WO Team Get 'Learning at Work' with Advice Skills Academy

Building skills and encouraging staff development has been key to the success of The Women's Organisation for the last 22 years, so when the opportunity came up to be part of a new programme supporting just that we jumped at the chance!

Our team full of new ideas and inspiration

Advice Skills Academy is an innovative programme bringing together the Citizen's Advice services from across the city region in partnership with The Women's Organisation to co-ordinate learning and development opportunities specifically for those working in the advice sector. 

Through Advice Skills Academy, which is part funded by European Social Fund, our team have benefited from a number of tailored training sessions, but have also been offered encouragement to take up independent learning and development opportunities.

This 'Learning at Work' week we've added some extra activities and given extra encouragement to the team to ensure we can maximise the opportunity to invest in the great staff we have here.

Maggie John, Cynthia and Laura from our team examine the Business Model Canvas

Learning at Work Week Signage

As part of this our team enjoyed a brilliant session looking at using the 'Business Model Canvas' as a tool for both organisational development and a to offer advice and guidance to those looking to start or grow a business. 

The opportunity was open, not just to those who are directly client facing, but the wider team including those involved in finance, administration, marketing, training and development. This meant that everyone who participated could understand how we could potentially use this tool through our programmes to further improve the level of advice offered to our clients, and how we can use the Business Model Canvas to look at how we work and could work more smartly as an organisation.  

The session was delivered by Amanda Brooks, Enterprise Education Development Manager at Lancaster University, and was a chance to not only hear about how they have used the Business Model Canvas in practice, but an opportunity for our team to take part in an idea's sharing session to compare methodology and experiences.  This helped to strengthen the understanding across the wider team of how our advice services work, and to build best practice models for moving forward.

Our team moving around the space to explore different BMC methods

Some of the comments from our staff following the session included:
"It was great to be given the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our organisation and the work undertaken by my colleagues. Great for team building as well as building my knowledge"

"I really enjoyed exploring the Business Model Canvas in this session.  It was interesting to see how each of us had used it so far to offer advice, and I think sharing our ideas had helped to strengthen our toolkit for supporting a diverse client base."

"It's always nice to feel like your organisation is investing in you, so having time out from the day to day during Learning at Work week is a real boost on a personal level as well as for professional development."

Also during learning at work week The Women's Organisation are encouraging their team to ensure they are putting time in their diary to focus on personal learning and development.  Some of the team have expressed an interest in taking time to explore Google Digital Garage modules as part of their development, while others are opting to shadow colleagues or join in smaller discussions to further their knowledge.

To find out more about the Advice Skills Academy project please click here. 

Advice Skills Academy

Are you ready to get visual with your marketing?

There's just one month to go until the Business Club returns, and this time we're getting visual with our marketing.

Do you need effective tips on how to grab your audience's attention? Or perhaps your social media channels need reinvigorating? From Snapchat to Instagram, live streaming to creating evergreen content, this session will teach you the simple digital tricks needed to take your marketing to the next level.

We've enlisted the expertise of Arriva and BBC Radio Merseyside to share how they use visual marketing to create big impact and drive results.

Get your tickets here!

Arriva's head of marketing, Lisa Pearson, has the know-how to create impact using visual marketing on the local and national stage. While Steve Coleman, producer at BBC Radio Merseyside, is a firm believer in producing high quality photos and videos to support your business' persona online.

Lisa Pearson, head of marketing, Arriva North West and Wales

Lisa Pearson is an accomplished media expert and is currently head of marketing at Arriva North West and Wales.

Having worked with a wide variety of companies, from commercial radio group Bauer, to some of the region’s leading law firms, as well as within the leisure tourism industry, Lisa knows how to create impact on the local and national stage.

Lisa has delivered an extensive variety of local, regional, and national advertising and marketing campaigns across radio, television, outdoor, press direct marketing and digital platforms.

Steve Coleman, producer, BBC Radio Merseyside

Steve Coleman is currently the producer of the Tony Snell Breakfast show at BBC Radio Merseyside. He’s also social media lead and is responsible for social media strategy and training. Although he’s been with the BBC for the past 11 years, his previous work and passion in photography and film making saw him as Director of Design Fault Media, a video production company that worked with major corporations such as Nintendo, Orange Phones and International club operators Cream.

He’s a firm believer that social media platforms are the gateway to improving the profile of individuals or businesses alike, and understands the need to be focused on your message, your clientele and achieving high quality video/photo’s to support your real life or business persona, you are missing out.

Join us at 54 St James Street on Thursday 14th June from 6-8.30pm, for Visualise It..

With two major brands on the bill this one is not to be missed!

You can book your place through Eventbrite here, or by e-mailing

See you there...

Monday, May 14, 2018

Angelica Makes A Fashion Statement With Incabrit

Angelica Elliot launches Incabrit, a business creating fashion accessories such as wool scarves, jewellery and leather bags. 

Angelica Elliot, The founder of Incabrit approached us seeking business support and was excited about finally starting her own business with support from The Enterprise Hub.

Before starting up, Angelica Elliot had worked a number of different jobs, from working to help the homeless to being a full time special needs teacher in Chile. When asked about venturing into self-employed, Angelica said

“At this stage of my life I wanted, for many years, to create different products from the comfort of my own home but continue being financially independent from my husband.”

Speaking about the barriers to starting up her own business, Angelica spoke of learning everything she knows about running a business from scratch and how being a housewife does give her time to focus on building her business in a sometimes too laid back environment, something that hasn't deterred Angelica from her work. 

When speaking about the support she received from the The Women’s Organisation, Angelica said

“I received support from my business adviser, Francine Taylor. The free courses are also very good in quality and it’s a process of constant learning which is what I need to keep doing”

Incabrit launched in December 2017 and Angelica is starting to focus more on her marketing and gaining social media knowledge. When asked about the advice she would give friends looking to jump into self-employment, she said “Go to The Women’s Organisation and be brave enough to jump into it and give it a good try”

Angelica is confident that her business is now going to grow and wants to reach social areas that help vulnerable people and has recently been in contact with a financial consultancy to work towards starting her own social enterprise, something which Angelica says is her main goal in life, to be able to help others. Speaking about her start-up experience, Angelica spoke of the importance of contacts and business planning

“When I can’t go any further I always ask for help, even though I haven’t been living in Liverpool for long I have already got some good contacts that are willing to assist me. I want to say thank you to Francine, who helped me a lot and pushed me to finally complete my business plan”

You can contact Angelica and keep updated with Incabrit on Facebook here

If you have an idea for a business and would like to receive advice and support we can help you get started! Contact our team on or 0151 706 8113.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Surely Not ‘Everyone’ Needs To Be Enterprising? 💡🤔

The question as to whether entrepreneurs (like leaders) are “born or made” is often asked.  But after some years of debate, this discussion is finally settled as UK Universities and Colleges embrace enterprise education into their teaching to support the future ambitions of their students. The next question is then, who is this for? Surely not every student needs to be enterprising?

Alison Price, Principal Consultant at “Enterprise Evolution” the consultancy arm of The Women’s Organisation, feels that her work in China answers this question clearly, having been asked to share her approach to staff development with the Shanghai Customs College.

With 2000 students focused on their ambition to work in customs, the Shanghai Customs College invited Enterprise Evolution to develop a staff workshop that would help staff develop an entrepreneurial mindset within their learners.

Shanghai Customs College – Uniformed staff and Alison

Graduates from Shanghai Customs College typically work in airports and commercial shipping, but with many supporting private companies with trade and export, recognition of the need to be enterprising is clear, and the opportunities to set up consultancy services are increasing.
Staff welcomed the opportunity to work with Enterprise Evolution to experience entrepreneurial approaches to teaching and consider how to adapt these for their own teaching.

With strong links between The Women’s Organisation and partners in Shanghai (and Liverpool and Shanghai being “twin” cities) this work deepens the connections between the two cities and supports the enterprising spirit.

Alison was also invited to open the 2nd International Conference ICEEE (International Conference Entrepreneurship Education Ecosystem) speaking to 200 educators about the need to embed entrepreneurial teaching methods into their subjects.  Sharing case examples and practical experience, Alison shared the latest approaches from UK and Europe, such as QAA (2018) Guidance (translated into Chinese) as well as Entrecomp before providing support and resources to delegates by showcasing ETCToolkit

She was joined from the UK by keynote speaker, Emma Robinson, Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Liverpool John Moores University who provided an overview of their institutional growth and experience of supporting students to start, followed by a 2-hour workshop, that shared the realities of LJMU practice. 

Emma said “As my second opportunity to address this conference, I was delighted to seek the progress made in creating a clear direction for enterprise education.  It is brilliant to share the LJMU story in order to support others as develop their own approach and I applaud the organisers for their focus and vision in supporting colleagues on this journey”.

There was also an opportunity to run the CEO course “Creating Entrepreneurial Outcomes” providing a 2 day structured programme of staff development and support.  Working directly with staff to change their teaching is one of Enterprise Evolution’s specialisms.

“It is great to share “tried and tested” approaches with colleagues around the world and see how they can bring entrepreneurial teaching techniques into their own teaching.  I have worked with a whole new range of subjects since working in China (Maoism and Customs to name two! and I thought I had worked with them ALL before that!) so it is great to see how enterprise can be embraced by educators to help all learners” said Alison Price

For more information about Enterprise Evolution and the work Alison and Lisa are doing be sure to follow the Twitter, and check out the Enterprise Evolution website. You can read our previous blog about all things EntreComp here

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Business of Science Conference tackles City Region’s cluster growth challenges

Growth challenges facing the Liverpool City Region will take centre stage at this year’s Business of Science Conference which is being held in the city for the first time on Thursday 17th May.

The conference will tackle some of the key issues laid out in the City Region’s growth strategy such as Brexit, the image of science, and skills, whilst highlighting the city’s successful role in the development of ground-breaking scientific innovations.

The event, which has been held in Manchester for the past two years, will cover topics such as the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) attraction, business engagement and the acceleration of product development for the region’s future.

Opening the conference will be vice-chancellor, University of Liverpool, Professor Dame Janet Beer DBE, who will be exploring Liverpool’s role as a centre of science. Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region will be closing the event.

The conference will include presentations, panel discussions, and interactive breakout sessions where attendees can listen, challenge and learn about the business of science within the city region.

Steve Bennett, managing director of Business of Science Limited said: “We’ve chosen Liverpool to host the third Business of Science Conference because the city offers so much in terms of technology and innovation.

“The conference is an opportunity for the sector to come together to hear from industry leaders, and raise awareness of the technological, environmental and political challenges required to support the region's thriving science-related ecosystem.”

Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) added: “As one of Europe's largest health and life science clusters, we’re delighted to welcome this event to the Liverpool City Region.

“Hosting such an important event for the science-related industries reflects our ambition to position the city region as an international centre of excellence in tackling scientific challenges, like infectious diseases, and ensure the city continues to thrive in globally competitive sectors.”

The last wave of tickets for the Business of Science Conference are on sale now. To book yours, visit here.