Thursday, March 23, 2017

Learn The Secrets of Media & PR With Business Club’s Meet The Media Event!

It’s one of our favourite events of the year – it’s our annual Meet The Media Business Club evening! And Monday 24th April marks our fifth consecutive year of this exciting event. Each year, as part of our Business Club events calendar, we invite experts from the Media and PR industry to come along and share their secrets.

If you’ve ever wanted to find out how to get your business in front of all the right people, this this is the perfect event for you!

The evening will be packed full of practical hints and tips from media experts about how to raise your profile with the local and national media. Our panel will represent local radio, print, PR and online news – so this is a great chance to meet the experts.

On our media savvy panel we will be joined by…

Tony McDonough – YB News

We’re delighted to welcome back Tony McDonough who has been speaking at Meet The Media for the past 2 years! Tony has been a journalist for 25 years, working mostly in newspapers, but also in television and radio. In 2004 he was named Business and Financial Journalist of the Year at the UK Regional Press Awards. In 2002 he joined the Liverpool Daily Post as a business reporter, eventually becoming a deputy business editor. After the closure of the Post he worked as a senior multimedia business journalist at the Liverpool ECHO and now writes regularly for YB News, an online new platform.

Ngunan Adamu – iWoman Media & iWoman Academy

Ngunan Adamu, a long-time friend of The Women’s Organisation will be joining us too! Ngunan presents her show; Upfront on BBC Radio Merseyside and has been working within the radio and broadcasting for the 11 years. She has recently launched not one but two businesses; iWoman Media and iWoman Academy – a training academy and radio station that will create opportunities for women in Liverpool through teaching them about journalism and broadcasting.

Jimmy McCracken – BBC Radio Merseyside

This will also be Jimmy’s third time appearing on our Meet the Media panel, and we’re delighted to have him back! Jimmy is a reporter, producer and a presenter. He says that he ‘gets sent out on jobs and has to make them interesting on the radio!’ Jimmy is the person who decides what items get included into a programme and also who gets on air to talk about them. He’s happy to say he also does some acting as well, when he can find the time!

Rebecca Keegan – Good News Liverpool

Rebecca Keegan is the founder and editor of Good News Liverpool Newspaper, the only tabloid which prints positive news. She is also a marketing manager at Morecrofts Solicitors, Chair of Future Boss club and a committee member of the Lord Mayor (Elect's) Charity Committee. As well as this she organises and manages the Merseyside Independent Business Awards and the Liverpool Domestic Abuse Conference, both presented by Morecrofts. Rebecca qualified as a journalist in 2005, and worked in newspapers for five years before launching her first publication in 2010 and beginning her career in marketing in 2013. 

So! What are you waiting for! Meet The Media is always a sell-out event, so get yours quickly and join us for an evening all things media-related. Our expert guest panel will be spending some time giving us their best hints and tips for interacting with the media, before we hand over to the audience so you can ask the experts all your questions!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Vanessa Boateng-Ukoro Took Her Passion For The Environment And Made It Into A Full-Time Career; UNOF Environmental Solutions Limited.

After starting her business with husband Felix in 2012, Vanessa came to The Women’s Organisation for business development under our growth programme; New Markets 2. Vanessa and Felix run their own environmental and waste management company; UNOF Environmental Solutions Limited. Their company is based in Liverpool, carrying out operations anywhere in the North West of England. Vanessa summarises her business as “Making people and businesses know waste is a resource but not a problem.”

“I decided to start my own company where my expertise would be unleashed to the best of my ability.”

Vaness, Co-Founder of UNOF Environmental Solutions Ltd. 
Ambition drove Vanessa to start up her own business as she had gained invaluable experience from her Master’s Degree and working in Environmental Management. Vanessa has always had a key interest in having sustainable communities. “I am always a goal getter, making sure I achieve my vision and not giving up.” For Vanessa, the key to her success has been her “Dedication and focusing on what you love.” Whilst Vanessa’s passion is an inspiration for us all, she tells us of her own role models; “My role models are businesses in Merseyside who promotes Environmental and waste management sustainability such as Veolia, Refood, Olleco etc.”

The Women’s Organisation supported Vanessa’s business to flourish and develop to its full potential. Janine Hyland, Senior Business Adviser at The Women’s Organisation, provided this. “Janine has been very supportive in giving us information and introducing us to other businesses.” Since starting up UNOF, their growth has been steady with both the customers and staff. The company has had recognition from the Eco-Innovatory project and Liverpool City Council on Food Waste Management in Merseyside.

Vanessa found herself juggling between her family and business life. Any problems faced, Vanessa dealt with; “It is good and at the same time tough running a business” Ultimately, Vanessa stresses to “Never give up but keep trying even in difficulties…There are challenges but never give up.” Her determination drove her to success, Vanessa overcame the initial complications of starting up her business but it has all paid off.

“Be innovative and creative.”

Upcoming events such as working alongside the Liverpool City Council as part of the food waste project is just one exciting aspect for Vanessa. As well as this, her business is soon to be working with the eco-innovatory project with Lancaster University. UNOF is growing and building up strong relationships across the North West.

Sustainable energy
What does the future hold for their business? Vanessa hopes to have an anaerobic digestion plant of her own where she can sustainably use the food waste we collect to generate electricity and other uses to sustain the environment.

If you’d like to find out more about UNOF Environmental Solutions or access the services that Vanessa offer, you can use the contact details below:

Telephone: 0151 345 8729

And if you’ve been inspired by Vanessa’s story and would like to see how The Women’s Organisation can help you with your business, get in touch with us. Email or ring us on 0151 706 8111

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

£400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund opens for business in Liverpool! 💪 🌟

Business leaders from across Liverpool have welcomed the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) as a new source of regional economic development funding to boost the local economy. If you are an entrepreneur, or starting up and are in the North of England, the NPIF could provide the funding needed to help your business reach its full potential.

NPIF has combined £400 million of UK Government, European Regional Development Fund and European Investment Bank funding to help businesses in the region to scale-up. The funding group has been set up by the British Business Bank in conjunction with the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and nine other LEPs across the North West, Yorkshire, Humber and Tees Valley.
The funding is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UK Government. NPIF provides three different funding options designed to help your business grow. The available finances range from £25,000 to £2 million Equity Investments, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development. Working alongside the LEPs and Growth Hubs, as well as local managers and banks, will provide a balance of debt and equity capital to SMES at all stages in their development.

Following a successful launch in Manchester, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity this fund represents for those small and medium sized businesses in Liverpool that with the right support, could transform the Northern economy. It is important that we now collaborate with our partners to put this money to work and get in front of those businesses that have a real appetite for growth.”
Patrick Magee, Chief Operating Officer at the British Business Bank.
"Liverpool City Region has the potential to make an enormous contribution to the economy of the North and the wider UK.  It has the highest proportion of high growth firms in the UK outside London and the South East…It will provide valuable support to our business community, particularly those with high growth potential.”-
Mark Basnett, Managing Director of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
NPIF business partners are excited to reach out to Liverpool City Region and offer businesses the opportunity to make significant growth development.
Who can apply? Applications are welcomed from businesses that are based in or have significant activity in the North of England. Eligible businesses may include: New start-ups, Early stage companies and many more. For more information visit
Why apply? The funding options can act as a boost for your business in several ways. For example, by: Funding expansion projects, hiring a new team and filling in gaps in working capital.
How to apply: Make an enquiry direct to the fund manager on the website. The fund manager will then contact you to see if your business qualifies. From there, you will make a formal application that will be evaluated by your manager and the investment decision will be made.
If you would like to find out more, click here.


Local Growth Hub Showcase Event – Thursday 30th March 💪

Change is happening. The Government's reforming rules regarding apprenticeships from April 2017. The reforms introduced are designed to give employers more control over the apprenticeship roles they offer and will affect how employers can design, choose their training provider and fund them. The reforms will also include the introduction of an Apprenticeship Levy for employers with larger payrolls.

Because of this change, businesses in Liverpool City Region are invited to a FREE event taking place on Thursday 30th March from 8am-1pm, hosted at Anfield Stadium. This event will offer invaluable information about what the reforms will mean for your business. Various business support programmes that are currently active in Liverpool will also be at the showcase event to provide any information. This is the perfect opportunity to gain some helpful information and support if needed.

Joining the event will be several speakers who will answer any questions based on the benefits of taking on apprentices.

Speakers include:
- Mark Basnett, Managing Director, LCR LEP
- Julie Byrne, Skills for Growth Programme - Locally available
funds for training alongside Apprenticeships
- Gareth Jones, Greater Merseyside Learning Provider
Federation - Apprenticeship Reforms
- David Millet, Head of Academy, Alstom
- Julie Johnson, Morecrofts solicitors

Here's an overview of all the information you need:
Venue: Chemistry, Main Stand, Anfield Stadium
Date: Thursday 30th March 2017
Time: 08:00 - 13:00

If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP to:


From Helping Family And Friends To New Clients, Louise Tregenza Turned Her Passion Into A Business - Home...Sorted

When helping friends and family out with decluttering their homes, Louise discovered her passion for this. She has now developed it into her own business; Home…Sorted. Home…Sorted is an de-cluttering and organising service working across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. Services include de-cluttering and organising all aspects of the home, home staging ready for selling and home styling. I believe everyone needs their own sanctuary where you can just kick off your shoes and chill.’

Before starting up her business, Louise worked part time as a teaching assistant in primary education. Louise has a Sociology degree from Liverpool John Moores University. Helping with decluttering, organising and styling for her family and friends is something Louise has always loved doing. ‘I adore all that embodies interiors.’ Louise wanted to set up her own business. ‘However, I then had my second daughter and focused on raising my daughters.

With her family and friends urging Louise to start her own business, she took the plunge and contacted The Women’s Organisation for support.  A friend had recommended the organisation and so Louise called and met with her business adviser, Claire Pedersen. ‘I felt very excited and nervous!’ Louise met regularly with Claire for guidance and attended several free courses on business plans, marketing and social media strategies.

There were no barriers for Louise during the process of starting up her business. Although, the social media aspect of her business was initially ‘So daunting’ for Louise. With the help of The Women’s Organisation courses in social media, Louise tackled her fear. For Louise, the courses were ‘Very informative.’

Whilst running your own business can be hard, having something that ‘Belongs to me’ outweighs any problems for Louise. The professional decluttering and organising is a niche industry, so there are some frantic times for Louise particularly in Spring and Christmas. 

However, ‘This suits me and my life.’ Setting your own schedule and flexibility is just another aspect of Louise’s business that she loves.  Being a mother, wife and business woman can be a challenge. Louise works three days with her clients and delegates a day for admin, networking, marketing, etc. Her flexible schedule allows her to balance out her family and business life. And Louise is proud that; ‘Above all is I am able to help and advise my clients who are experiencing different life changes i.e. moving house, divorcing, etc.’

 Home…Sorted will have been running for a year in April and Louise is delighted with how far she has come; ‘I am so glad at this stage of my life I am embracing what I want to do and have always wanted to do.’

Louise’s advice for anyone thinking of starting up a business is to, ‘Go straight to The Women’s Organisation for advice and support, get networking and if you have a passion for something, go for it!’

'Remember, it’s never too late to do what you want to do …go for it!’

To find out more about Louise’s business, you can find out more using the details below:

Telephone: 07557056009

And if you have a passion that you would like to turn into a thriving business, like Louise, then why not get in contact with The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or email

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Toolkit for Change: Supporting Women with a Mental Health Condition 🙌

Following the success of our last ‘Toolkit for Change’, we will be running our next programme on Tuesday 21st of March from 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation.

Toolkit for Change, led by Training Coordinator, Bernie Cox, is an empowering 8 week programme for women in Liverpool who have a diagnosed mental health condition and are looking for support to build a more positive future.

We launched Toolkit for Change last year and have since run five programmes, impacting the lives of many local women along the way. Through weekly sessions, Toolkit for Change covers many topics including; positive thinking, learning about yourself, becoming more assertive, managing change and presenting yourself with confidence.

We interviewed the women who had completed the programme and asked them what differences it had made to their lives and found out whether or not they had ‘changed it’.

We asked the women what they enjoyed most about the programme, one course attendee told us; “I think that the activities we’ve done have been really self-reflective. Some of them really resonated with me and helped me understand what stage I’m at, how I can move forward, what’s important to me and what’s not important to me. Now I’m ready in my day-to-day life, to implement things that I’ve learnt here and take it away with me.”

Another said:  “What we’ve done over the last 8-weeks has been a lot about self-care and looking after ourselves. Not beating ourselves up too much and just realising that actually we are okay and we can do this. We’re not by any means at the end of our journey – but who is? We just need that nurturing and for someone to say; ‘come on, you can do this’. It’s given me the tools to help myself and to believe in myself”

Toolkit for Change offers a fantastic opportunity to meet likeminded women. One course attendee told us that the ‘best thing’ about Toolkit for Change was; “Building relationships - to come into a room where people understand innately what’s going on, rather than having to explain everything.”

Another said: “We want to stay in touch, and that’s a really nice thing. Generally in life it can be hard to meet people and make new friends, especially when things are tough.”

When we asked the women if they thought they had ‘changed it’, one course attendee told us: "whilst being on this course, I have come off my anti-depressants. I’ve been off them for 5-weeks now and if I came here and didn’t have this support network, I don’t know whether I would have - I’ve ‘changed it’."

When we asked the women what they had planned for the future, one course-attendee had moved onto our business planning course; “The Women’s Organisation nurture your business idea and ambitions, but also the personal side too. Having that really nice balance and working with the same people, building trust with the same people that have your wellbeing at heart – having that all intermingled is really nice actually.”

Thanks to all the women who took part in the interview!

If you are a female living in Liverpool with a diagnosed mental health condition and looking for support to building a positive future, or if you would like to refer someone, our next Toolkit for Change programme will commence on Tuesday 21st of March. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with our Engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Monday, March 13, 2017

An Inspiring International Women’s Day With The W.O! 💪

Wow! Wednesday was officially brilliant! Firstly we’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who got involved with all that we were up to on our favourite day of the year…International Women’s Day! Here’s what we got up to…

During the day, amidst all of the excitement that we were witnessing on social media, we had our own fun in the offices and asked the team what they ‘Be Bold For’ honouring IWD17’s campaign hashtag for the year. We had some great responses including ‘I will be bold for empowering and inspiring women’ and ‘I will be bold for others who can’t’ Check out the rest over on our Instagram!

We also joined the Women’s Equality Party on the steps of St George’s Hall to clutch a ‘big cheque’ made out for £23.7 billion to the ‘North West Economy’ – which represented the amount that could be added to the region’s economy if women were able to work the hours they wanted to, at the same rate of pay as men. Take a look at what Tabitha Morton, the Women’s Equality Party candidate for Liverpool’s Metro Mayor has to say on this issue here.

Elsewhere, some of the team were out representing the The W.O around the city. Our trainer, Alison Blackhurst, headed over to commercial law firm, DWF to speak on 2017's International Women's Day theme, be bold for change! Alison hosted a proactive discussion to think about what it means to be bold and just how exactly we can be bold. Following this, DWF made a 'bold wall' where students could make their pledges for the future, pledges included;

"I am going to try and battle my anxiety with a councillor"
"I want to use my social media to spread positivity and challenge inequality"  
"Learn how to drive a car to give me better opportunities"
"I am going to qualify as a solicitor"
"Get a teacher degree"
"Do volunteer work"
"become more confident"

Feedback included "You were so inspiring and the interactive element definitely helped!" and "it was lovely to see the girls engaging and putting up some really personal and admirable goals onto the bold action wall!" - Thank you to DWF for hosting us! 

And in the evening – it was our big event! We were looking forward to welcoming over 50 women to 54 St James Street to celebrate International Women’s Day and hear from a panel of inspiring women. The event was fantastic, the panel (Irene Afful, Helen Lord and Rebecca Jones) shared with us their stories of success and were honest and open about the difficulties that they had faced and how they overcame them. Our host; Pamela Ball was incredible as usual and it a great discussion opened up.

Bernie Cox, Caroline Mitchell from UoL, Pamela Ball and Rebecca Jones

A full room of amazing women! 

Rebecca Jones, Helen Lord and Irene Afful

We had some fantastic feedback too!

‘It’s so amazing to be surrounded by so many inspiring women. You can feel the positivity in the room. Thank you The Women’s Org!’

‘It was my first time at The Women’s Organisation and I’ve got to say the enthusiasm, confidence and vibe in the room was amazing. Great things happen when the right people get together.’

‘What an inspiring evening! Couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day, than here at The Women’s Org.’

So overall, what a success! We always do have a fantastic time on International Women’s Day, but this year felt particularly special and important! 

We’d like to say a massive thank you to our event sponsors; University of Liverpool Management School, our panel and host and everyone who joined us to celebrate – You’re all fantastic!