Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Celebrating Success Award Winners

Train 2000's Celebration of Success Awards at Aintree Racecourse proved to be a winning event all round.
The Awards ceremony was opened by Councillor Gary Millar before a welcome from Train 2000 Chair, Pat Shea-Halson (both pictured with Train 2000 Executive Director Maggie O'Carroll).
Host Su Grainger led the ceremony with her trademark wit and style and the room was inspired by the amazing stories of success from women across the whole of Greater Merseyside who had changed their lives and the lives of many others by opening up their own businesses.
A list of winners is produced here but scroll down below to see the pictures.

The winners were:
Progressed To Success
Arty Pants - Faith Withers and Jo Mitchell.

New Start Award
Melecoton Office Interiors Ltd. - Yvonne McDermott and Karen Clarke

Community Involvement Award
Norris Green WEN (Woman's Empowerment Network)

Innovation and Technology Award
Before The Stork - Joanne Marsh and Diane Carthy

Creative Business Award
Ceri Hand Gallery - Ceri Hand

International Business Award
Expert Language Solutions - Jessica Houghton

Health, Beauty and Well Being Award
Frodsham Laser Clinic - Jan Williams

Empowering Women Award
Gardening Angels - Pauline Gillett

StepClever Business Award
Little Halos - Clare Hancox

Special Recognition Award
SCS Kinder - Jaci Quennell & Elaine Allison

Business of the Year
Elaine Cunningham Interiors Ltd - Elaine Cunningham

For information on the category criteria and to see the full list of winners and finalists visit our new facebook fanpage discussion.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Businesswomen of the Future's Design For Success

Businesswomen of the future are showcasing their talents with a key role in Train 2000’s prestigious 2009 Celebration of Success awards.
Ten Merseyside businesswomen will be rewarded for their achievements by the Liverpool based women’s enterprise agency at its first annual awards on Wednesday November 18th, at Aintree Racecourse.
And behind the scenes a team of Year 10 students from Archbishop Blanch School have been working on projects to design the awards, certificates and programmes as well as training to film the event for future Podcasts.
Students Ashleigh Thurston, 14, and Georgina Meade, 14, said the project has provided a fascinating insight into how the business world operates.
Ashleigh said: “My mum is setting up her own business as a wedding photographer and this has inspired me to think about setting up my own business in the future.
Georgina added:“I wanted wanted to get involved in the Train 2000 work as it is a good experience. The Women in Business Awards appeals to me because one day I would like to run my own business.'
Teacher Linda Deaves added:
“Encouraging the students to be creative and innovative and to adopt a 'can do' attitude to life is what enterprise is all about. We hope that students grasp these opportunities to work with outside organisations such as Train 2000 in order to inspire and motivate them to develop skills that they will need in the working world. “
Lynne Evans of Train 2000 said:
“These students are businesswomen of the future. I have been amazed by the range of skills they are able to offer at such a young age and hope the experience will encourage them to be business leaders and role models of the future.”
Train 2000’s Celebration of Success Awards will take place at Aintree Racecourse on Women’s Enterprise Day (Nov 18th) and is hosted by Su Grainger of The SoSo Club (Singing Our Socks Off). The categories will include Business of the Year, International Business and Innovation and Technology Awards.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WICED Plans Approved!

Following a meeting with Liverpool City Council, the plans for the new Women's International Centre for Economic Development were officially approved! The design which was drawn up by Nightingale Associates, was congratulated by the planners.

Kier North West have now been appointed to head up the contruction of the scheme which will begin later this year and expects to be completed in late 2010. Wiced, which will run as a social enterprise, will be housed in a £5.3m building in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle area.

New Start Magazine interviewed Maggie O'Carroll, Executive Director of WICED and Train 2000 regarding the project. Read more about her thoughts on how the centre will be a fantastic research hub for female entrepreneurship here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Business Success is Child’s Play For Southport Mums

Business is booming for two enterprising mums who are set to open a second successful business employing 20 local people – all in less than six weeks.
Rachel Clarke and Gill Ashcroft opened Southport’s Play Town in August and are set to expand their play centre with a creche and babysitting service on November 2nd.
The two friends who each have two young children were enjoying dinner one night and talking about looking for a flexible family friendly career when they realised the answer was lying tucked up in the bedrooms above.
Rachel who lives in Southport said:
“We both have very active children and the answer came to us almost immediately – “let’s open a play centre.”
The couple contacted the women’s enterprise agency, Train 2000 and scoured Southport looking for a suitable site and found a large area on the busy beachfront site at Ocean Plaza.
After refurbishing the building and completing essential health and safety qualifications the mums invited The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Alf Doran to officially open the doors during the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
“We have had plenty of support from our partners and Train 2000 who have given us lots of practical advice and help over the past few months. It has been so busy we are both working 15-hour days but luckily we see lots of the children as they can spend some of the day with us,” said Gill.
The creche will open between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday and the babysitting service runs between 6pm and 11pm on a Friday and Saturday evening.
She added:
“All our staff are hightly trained and qualified to care for children between the ages of two to twelve – it means parents can enjoy some much needed me-time by shopping , watching a fim or enjoying a meal while their children are happily and safely entertained.”
And the two women don’t intend to stop there.
“We are busy planning our Halloween Ball at the moment but in the future we would like to franchise the business and open a Play Town in locations across the UK,” Rachel said.
For more information about the centre and its services call Rachel on 0754 591 4568 or visit www.playtownsouthport.com

Caption:.Play Town.
Left to right, Mayoress of Sefton, Cllr Gill Cutherbertson, Gill Ashcroft, Rhian Pavitt of Train 2000, Rachel Clarke, Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Alf Doran.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

StepClever Unveils Creative Hub

StepClever in partnership with Merseyside ACME welcomed local Creative Businesses to network and take a tour of the Liverpool Film Academy's business development.

The building which was once St Lawrence School in Kirkdale is undergoing massive refurbishment thanks to StepClever investment, and it is hoped to host a number of new businesses in the incubator space there. Some local businesses have already jumped on board and started to rent out the old classrooms and other space.

Megan Finlinson of Finns Cheesecake Company, who received help from Train 2000 and StepClever in order to launch her business, has happily settled into the premises. As testiment of this Megan was asked to cater the networking event. Having been based at the Film Academy since May Megan has already benefitted from the networking opportunities the site offers and commented "There's a really relaxed atmosphere between all the businesses based here."

Train 2000 Engagement worker Joanne Wadeson who attended was lucky enough to sample some of Megan's tasty treats and also enjoyed a local history display from another Train 2000 success story, Jackie Waters (pictured).

Jackie of Memory Catches specialises in preserving memories, and her display offered a number of memory prompts regarding the history of the building and Liverpool life.

For more information on what Jackie can offer you can visit her website. If you would like to contact Megan for information about her products or catering services then you can email mfincheesecakes@googlemail.com

Women from the core wards of Anfield, Everton, Kirkdale, County, Linacre and Derby who are thinking of setting up their own business can receive support including funding to develop their idea with help from Train 2000 and StepClever. For more information on the support on offer call the Engagement team on 0151 236 6601 or email info@train2000.org.uk

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Marketing Your Business

Sara Wheater of Brief Communication was the guest speaker at our recent free Networking evening.
Sara shared her expertise in the field of marketing and branding.

And here’s the verdict from just a few of our clients who attended.

“This was my first networking event. I was interested in everything everyone had to say, the hints and tips were extremely helpful and the guest speaker was really informative."
"Thank you so much for a really lovely opportunity. It was welcoming and inviting, and we were all well taken care of and made to feel really settled in and happy.”

"Great night, time flew by with interesting guest speaker - thanks Sara. Inspiring women, great company and positive ideas."

" I enjoyed the event, quite helpful. The networking tips were really useful and I enjoyed hearing everybody talking and interacting, and listening to other people's experiences."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Celebrating NVQ Success

A diverse group of women from Merseyside and Manchester wanting support in their supervisory roles for voluntary or paid employment were delighted to join Train 2000's NVQ Level 3 Course in Business Management this year.

The training involved monthly workshops as well as one to one support from the training assessors within the workplace in order to gather a porfolio of evidence and gain the qualification.

Train 2000 were thrilled to welcome the successful candidates to an evening of celebration and presentation at Train 2000's new Manchester home, Ada House.

Executive Director of Train 2000 Maggie O'Carroll presented the women with their certificates.

She said: "I know that you will recognise the benefits of having this qualification. Whether you see the effect it has had immediately, or whether it is a key to your future success, we at Train 2000 would encourage you to continue in your pursuit of learning, and are proud to have maybe helped you to further your career. "

Photographs of all the women who attended to receive their certificates, and the assessors involved in the training can be found in our Flickr photo album.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Designer Makes Global Splash

Print designer Marisa Hopkins is creating a splash in the global fashion world .
Marisa, 27, of Liverpool whose designs are snapped up by the likes of Calvin Klein, Gap, Anthropologie and Amanda Wakeley is also working on a special project with Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton and model turned designer, Jasmine Guinness.
And that’s not all Marisa, who has a Print Design degree from Nottingham Trent University, recently set up her own online vintage clothing shop, Akako Rose Vintage
The former New York based designer said:
“Since graduating I have worked for other people and built up lots of skills, experience and contacts. I just decided that now was the right time for me to go it alone.
“My Ebay shop is going really well and I am beginning to build up some good freelance work, with companies such as Littlewoods where I used to work. Both sides of my business go really well together - I get a lot of my inspiration for print design from the vintage clothing I am selling on Ebay.
“I love working for myself. It has given me so much flexibility and the freedom to do my own thing.
As part of her work for Littlewoods, Marisa is currently working on a number of celebrity brands including Jasmine Guinness, Fearne Cotton, Caprice, Ann Louise Roswald and Amanda Wakley.
“I became self-employed because one day I am hoping to develop my own prints and clothing range. When you work for some one else as a designer, you never really get to use your creativity as you would like to. But, now that I am my own boss I will be able to get creative and develop my own range is something I’ve looked forward to doing.”
Marisa came to Train 2000 after hearing about the organisation from a friend who had also become self-employed.
“I told my friend I was thinking about becoming my own boss and that’s when she told me about Train 2000, I’m so glad I went along as the help, free advice and support I received was fantastic. An adviser helped me to put together my business plan and they answered any questions I had along the way.”
Anyone who would like to find about more about Marisa’s work can visit www.ebay.co.uk and put in Akako Rose in the search box.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You Read It Here First

Last week Train 2000 told you about our client Susan Comer who designed a tippet for her muse, Tilda Swinton.

Today The Liverpool Echo featured Susan.

Read about it here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Susan Meets Her Muse

Merseyside businesswoman Susan Comer has turned a dream into reality by seeing Hollywood superstar Tilda Swinton wear her hand-made design.
Susan, 46, graduated in 2006 with a First Class degree in design from Hope University and creates one-off wearable art pieces by deconstructing vintage garments, which can either be worn or displayed.

“Tilda has always been my muse because I feel she personnifies my customer - free spirited with a strong personality; a woman who is confident in who she is and will wear what she wants as opposed to what fashion dictates,” said Susan who lives in Crosby.
And when she heard that Tilda was visiting the UK for a Scottish Arts festival Susan took the tippet (a type of scarf) she had made for Tilda and presented it to her.

“At first I didn’t have the courage to talk to Tilda. Then I realised I may never get the chance again and I took a deep breath and walked up to her.
We chatted for ages and she loved the tippet so much she put it on and was very happy to have her photograph taken. It was a wonderful experience.”

Susan’s business which is based at Creative Space in Knowsley began as a childhood passion for creating new pieces of clothing but it wasn’t until she completed her Design degree that she felt ready to transform her creative ideas into a business.
“The skills, enthusiasm and passion for design, which I had developed throughout my studies, was the starting point and inspiration to look at the possibility of starting my own design led business. I then started to look for support and guidance to enable this to happen and found the advice I required through Train 2000 and Creativebias.
“Train 2000 has been an invaluable asset to my company.
They helped me put a business plan together and sourced where I could get a starting up grant from, which I couldn’t possibly have done alone.
I have attended a variety of workshops ranging from finance to PR which I wouldn’t have had access to without their help.
Susan was recently awarded an Entrepreneur Fellowship from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has set herself a new goal.
Her next dream is to create a red carpet piece of work for Tilda Swinton to wear to the Oscar’s.”

Susan’s work will be on display at The Liverpool Design Festival’s Fashion Lab between Friday 30 October and Sunday 1 November 2009 at the Crypt Hall in The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
To find out more about Susan Comer’s work visit www.susancomer.co.uk or call 07950 176 611.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September's Featured Client Offers Meals for Home

As a single parent and working mum Debbie Roberts knew all too well how difficult it was to cook a family meal at the end of a long day – and it was this that inspired her to set up her own business Meals For Home.

“My business is a bit like meals on wheels” said Debbie, “only I provide the service to anyone who wants it. I know how difficult it is to come home and cook, so hopefully through my business I can ease that burden from other people.”

Debbie was made redundant from her position as a legal assistant at a Liverpool law firm last year and it was following this that she came along to Train 2000, starting firstly on the Be Enterprising programme, which begins with personal development training, before she accessed business planning support and one-to-one advice.

She said: “The help and support I have received from Train 2000 has been fantastic. Going on the personal development programme really helped to give me the confidence I needed to turn my business idea into a reality.”

Train 2000’s Be Enterprising programme prepares and gives women the self confidence and belief they need to move forward and become self-employed.

Debbie said: “I would recommend personal development courses to anyone, they are extremely helpful in enabling you to learn about yourself and in giving you greater confidence. The business training and working one-to-one with an enabler was also extremely useful for me, as I knew nothing about running a business.”

Through Meals For Home Debbie provides home cooked meals to families and individuals throughout the South Liverpool area and says that despite having only just set up, her client base is growing fast.

“Already I am doing well and getting requests for meals. The business is open five days a week and I have a set menu for people to choose from.

“I am delighted with how well my business is going so far and after spending so much time out of the house, I am thoroughly enjoying working from home.”

50-year-old Debbie, who is mum to her now grown up children aged 23, 21 and 17, says that this is the happiest time of her life.

“Whilst I was bringing up my children and working full time I seemed to spend my life rushing around” said Debbie, “Now, I can enjoy my time and my work. I really enjoy cooking so this doesn’t even feel like work to me. And, I honestly feel as though I get to spend more time with my children now, than I ever did. My children are really supportive of my business venture.”

Prior to setting up her business Debbie gained her food hygiene certificate and had her kitchen approved by Liverpool City Council.

To find out more about Meals for Home please visit www.mealsforhome.co.uk or for further information call Debbie on 0151 475 1540, or to find out more about the Be Enterprising Programme and other services on offer from Train 2000 visit www.train2000.org.uk

Train 2000 unveils the £5m shape of Women's Enterprise in Liverpool

Train 2000, has unveiled a first image of the £5.3 m Women’s International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) which will open in the city centre in 2010.
WICED is to be located in the Baltic Triangle on the corner of St James Street and Norfork Street and will be the hub of international research on female entrepreneurship.
It will also provide a range of enterprise support services including space for up to 80 business units to help women start and grow their businesses.
The 2,000sqm centre aims to ‘break the gender gap’ in starting businesses and is expected to help 3,000 women set up businesses in the next 10 years creating 4,500 new jobs. Initatives planned for the centre by Train 2000 and the WICED team have already been hailed as “amongst the best I’ve ever seen” by the world’s leading expert on women’s enterprise , Professor Patricia Greene of Babson College, USA who visited Liverpool to review the plans in May this year.Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director of Train 2000 said:“We are creating the most advanced centre for women’s’ entrepreneurship and economic development in the world - right here in Liverpool.
It will connect to a global network helping to create the conditions for more sustainable and high growth women’s businesses”.
“In the 13 years since Train 2000 was set up we have shown how to provide innovative support mechanisms to accelerate the pace of creating and growing women-owned businesses and the WICED centre will only accelerate that process.”
The new-build project will contain a range of offices, training & conference facilities and incubator space for new businesses.
It is being jointly-funded by WICED
Deputy Council Leader at Liverpool City Council, Cllr Flo Clucas said:“Liverpool City Council is fully behind the WICED plans and we are delighted that the plans are being internationally recognized for something that will happen right here in
Work on the building which has been designed by Liverpool based architects, Nightingales will begin in October and is expected to be completed in late 2010.


The £5m Womens’ International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) will comprise of 2,000sqm located in the heart of Liverpool and is expected to help 3,000 women set up business creating 4,500 new jobs over the next ten years. The WICED will be the hub of international research on female entrepreneurship as well as providing a range of enterprise support services including space for up to 80 business units to help women start and grow their businesses.The new-build project, expected to reach completion in late 2010, will contain a range of offices, training & conference facilities and incubator space for new businesses. It is being jointly-funded by WICED, the North West Development Agency, Future Builders and Liverpool Council. WICED, a registered charity, was re-launched this year with the merge of two organisations, Train 2000 and the Women’s Electronic Village Hall.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Making a Splash with Stepclever

Oakmere Community College proudly welcomed visitors to the opening of their new state of the art Glaciere Sailing and Diving Centre on Friday 14th August. The new facility includes a large diving tank which was funded by a £50,000 capital investment award from the Stepclever regeneration project.

Neil Francom the Administration Manager for Oakmere Community College said “The capital investment award from Stepclever is allowing us to provide an exceptionally well resourced facility which is unique in Greater Merseyside. At Oakmere we are all about helping the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people of Merseyside gain the skills they need to move into employment and further learning, and this project really offers our young people a way into activities that were previously completely inaccessible to them.”

Train 2000 have also benefited from Stepclever funding, in order to offer free business support services to the target areas of Anfield, Everton, County, Linacre, Derby and Kirkdale. Enterprise Enabler Jackie McGee and Engagement Worker Laura Taylor who offer outreach support in the Stepclever areas were invited to join the event. Whilst marveling at the new centre they were fortunate enough to grab a few minutes with renowned yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur who was there to open the centre and encourage local young people to take advantage of the new facilities.

For more details on the support available to Stepclever residents through Train, visit http://www.train2000.org.uk/
Pictured left to right: Nikki from Positive Futures, Joan from Stepclever travel team, Laura Taylor from Train 2000, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Jackie McGee from Train 2000

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Networking News

Women in business from across Merseyside gathered together for another successful night of networking courtesy of Train 2000.
The event was aimed at women within the first two years of tradiing to provide an opportunity to hone those networking skills.
After some informal networking Train 2000's Lynne Evans shared some hints and tips on how to be a successful networker while Engagement worker Joanne Wadeson offered an insight into online networking
The evening also doubled up as our Step Clever women’s group meeting for this month which was led by Enterprise Enabler, Jackie McGee.
Those business women who attended were from the Step Clever areas of Anfield, Everton, Kirkdale, County, Linacre and Derby.
Here's what they said:

“Very interesting. Good to meet women in business”

“I loved it. The butties were fabulous. I’ve learned a little bit more about the computer”

“Fab, well worth getting out of my PJ’s”


“Great Facebook, social network interest”

“Thank you Train 2000 for the networking. The Networking was good”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Train 2000 client featured in The Liverpool Echo

When office worker Helen McCann was made redundant she got on her bike and contacted Train 2000 to set up her dream business.

Find out how she did it here in The Liverpool Echo.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beating The Recession Is Child's Play

A Southport businesswoman is showing that beating the recession can be child’s play.
Sandra Darwin who owns Hogey’s Coffee Shop was determined to avoid joining the other credit crunch-hit coffee shops closing their doors in the town and made a bold move to expand her business.
“I had worked so hard to get the business established and decided that I would maximize the space that was lying empty by converting it into a children’s play area,” said Sandra.
Now Hogey’s offers the chance for busy mums and carers to take the weight off their feet and enjoy a coffee break while their children have fun in the supervised play area.
“It was such a shame to see other coffee shops close down which is not good for the town’s image. I wanted to keep the business going and keep my staff employed during a very difficult trading time.”
Sandra who has also branched out into childrens’ parties at the cafĂ© has been helped by Train 2000.
“I read about Train 2000 in The Visiter and signed up straight away. Although I had been trading for a while Train 2000 provides excellent business support and advice which has been invaluable.”
Hogeys is located at 54, Nevill Street, Southport. Tel: 513402.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Train 2000 at Halewood Festival

The Halewood Festival held on Sunday 5th July at Halewood Leisure Centre saw hundreds of Knowsley residents enjoying family fun. From stilt walkers to birds of prey demonstrations and local musicians showcasing, there was something for all the family to enjoy.

Train 2000 could be found in the 'Infozone' along with the Knowsley Fresh Start team giving out information on what support is on offer for those thinking of going self employed.

Engagement worker Joanne Wadeson who manned the stall said "It was lovely to meet budding business women from the local area and have the opportunity to take part in this great event".

For more information on the FREE business advice and support services open to women in Merseyside and Greater Manchester log onto www.train2000.org.uk or to find out more about the funding opportunities for Knowsley residents needing business support log on to www.myfreshstart.co.uk

Friday, July 3, 2009

Breaking Barriers Into Self-Employment

“Train 2000 helps you to think about the things you don’t know you needed to think about,” said Sylvia Walker .
Sylvia, a self-employed consultant was the guest speaker at out latest Beautiful Beginnings” evening aimed at helping women across Merseyside, Cheshire and Manchester who are thinking of setting up their own business.
Sheila Jones from our training team ran a taster workshop around entrepreneurship, encouraging women to think about overcoming barriers and taking that bold step into self employment.
The evening ended with Engagement workers Joanne Wadeson and Laura Taylor providing additional information on Train 2000’s business support services.
So how did the evening go?
“Very informative and encouraging. Everyone was very friendly and helpful”
“I found the evening inspiring”
“I thought it was very helpful and useful. I am planning on coming back to do a one to one with one of the staff”
“Very useful. I know what my next step will be. Friendly”
“Well organised, friendly, approachable speakers.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Get Passionate about Dance with July's Featured Client

CLARE Roberts has always had a passion for dancing – so it was only natural that she would set up her own business Dance Passion.

The 27-year-old professional dancer opened up the Liverpool-based dance agency in 2007, providing dance training, choreography and performance to dance organisations and individuals of all ages, who love to dance.

“I started ballet dancing at the age of four,” said Clare “and I later went on to learn Latin American. I have always been a dance enthusiast and through my agency, I am now able to pass on my enthusiasm and passion to others.”

Clare, who has danced on the international stage and has represented England at a professional level, is now using her skills, expertise and passion to help other people achieve their dancing dreams.

As a fully qualified dance teacher, prior to starting up her own business Clare was employed at all-girls school Broughton Hall, in Liverpool.

She added: “It was a big decision to become self-employed, but I’m so glad I did it s I am thoroughly enjoying working for myself.

Clare, who lives in the Walton area of North Liverpool, received support through the Step Clever programme and specialist support for women through enterprise agency Train 2000.

“I have been really impressed with all the help and support I have received” said Clare, “with the Step Clever grant I was awarded, I was able to finance my website, a new laptop and some advertising for my business.

“I have also attended a number of training courses through Train 2000 and have found them all to be extremely useful. Not only did the courses provide me with an excellent opportunity to learn all about the business side of things, but attending them has also enabled me to meet other women who are self-employed.”

Clare has also joined the newly-formed Step Clever Women’s Group a network that has been set up by Train 2000 through the Step Clever programme, which enables self-employed businesswomen in the six Step Clever wards to meet on a monthly basis to share ideas, support one another and get advice from guest speakers.

Clare said: “The Step Clever Women’s Group is a real source of inspiration and information and I am particularly glad that this has been set up, as sometimes being self-employed you can feel on your own.
“I am so passionate about dancing and the work that I do, but the business side of things has been much more difficult for me, so the support of the women’s group and the training sessions on areas such as Tax and National Insurance and PR have been invaluable to me.”

At present Clare offers a wide variety of services including choreography and performance to theatres, Latin American dance classes for children, young people and adults as well as a ‘wedding dance’ service.

“There are so many different reasons why people might want to learn to dance” explains Clare, “a lot of people only ever dance for the first time when they get married, so I decided to add to my services support for people with getting ready for their wedding dance.”

Clare is extremely positive about the future of Dance Passion and believes that her business will grow from strength to strength.

“I absolutely love what I do” she said, “I love being self-employed, am really busy at the moment and just seem to have endless enthusiasm for what I do.”

For further information about Dance Passion please call Clare on 07751 240 230 or visit her website at www.dance-passion.co.uk

For more info on Train 2000's StepClever grant follow this link
and for information about the StepClever Women's group go here
Or for general information about the support Train 2000 can offer to women in Merseyside, Cheshire and Manchester call our Engagement team on 0151 236 6601.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Read All About It

There was a full house at today's PR Workshop with 14 women sharing their hopes and ideas for media coverage.
Led by award-winning journalist Jane Gallagher the PR Workshop provided a comprehensive behind the scenes insight into how the media works.
"The workshop sparked ideas to create a greater awareness of my company."
"I learned how to approach newspapers, how to write press releases and how to run a PR campiagn."
"I had never heard about blogs and now I'm ready to enter a brave new world."
"I found out how to source details for freelance journalists and feel more confident in approaching them with ideas now."
Not bad for a morning's work!

The next PR Workshop takes place at Train 2000's Liverpool offices between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday July 28th. To book your place call Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inspirational social entrepreneurs needed

Author Shilpa Unalkat is looking for inspirational social entrepreneurs who have stared an ethical business and who would like to share their story for her next book.
She is the author of 'Business Head, Spiritual Heart' available on Amazon.
If you would like to be featured contact Shilpa via email at shilpa.unalkat@googlemail.com

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sarah's Story - June's Featured Client

Sarah Humphreys - Freelance Graphic Designer

WHEN Sarah Humphreys was made redundant last October it gave her the push she needed to set up her own business.

The 35-year-old graphic designer has worked in the industry for more than ten years, gaining four design awards and two commendations along the way – so when her job ended it seemed like the perfect time to try something new.

She said: “I have worked in design studios and headed up an in-house design team for companies in Liverpool and Manchester over the years and I have thought about becoming self-employed, so when I was made redundant it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

“It feels quite daunting, but I’m sure I can make a go of it, as I have gained a great deal of experience throughout my career which I can now put to good use.”

Sarah came to Train 2000 after a friend recommended the organisation to her.

She added: “at first becoming self-employed was just an idea, but once I heard that there was somewhere I could go for advice and support, I felt very determined."

“I received business advice and was made aware of the many courses and workshops available to me. Train 2000 has really helped me and I still can’t believe that all the services they offer to women are totally free.”

Sarah, who has worked in all areas of design has a particular specialty in property, but is keen to work across a variety of design projects from brand development through to print and packaging. She initially trained in graphic design at John Moores University in Liverpool.

As a mother to her two-year-old child she is optimistic that the benefits of becoming self-employed will make a huge difference to her.

“I used to do extremely long hours” she said, “and there are still times when I do, but now that I am my own boss it is much more flexible.”

Sarah has already secured her first couple of clients and is extremely keen to build her business up over the forthcoming months.

If you are looking for a graphic designer or would like to find out more about the design services that Sarah can offer you, please call her on 07837 347 394 or email shumphreys@sky.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Women’s Enterprise Is Real Apprentice Winner

Women’s entrepreneurial spirit is the real winner in the 2009 BBC competition, The Apprentice, according to the Liverpool based agency, Train 2000.
The Liverpool based centre for women’s enterprise says the fact that four out of the five Apprentice semi-finalists were women, is proof that when it comes to displaying the skills and creativity needed to establish and grow a business, the fairer sex lead the way.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final when Yasmina Siadatan and Kate Walsh will battle it out in the boardroom for the top prize as Sir Alan Sugar’s £100,000 a year apprentice, Train 2000’s executive director Maggie O’Carroll said:
“It comes as no surprise to me that women are making up the majority of the of the finalists as women’s enterprise is finally getting the kind of recognition it deserves.
“But women in Merseyside do not have to put themselves through Sir Alan Sugar’s gruelling selection process to prove themselves, Train 2000 provides free business advice, support and training to help them become their own boss.”
To find out more about Train 2000’s award-winning support packages phone 0151 236 6601 or visit www.train2000.org.uk

Train 2000 urges parliament to end gender pay gap

Train 2000 is urging North West women to support a new campaign to end the gender pay gap.

The enterprise agency is joining forces with UNISON and the Fawcett Society who will be staging a rally at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, June 8th to campaign for tougher proposals for the Government’s Equality Bill.

The Bill, expected to come into force by autumn 2010, is set to replace nine laws and more than 100 other measures with one single Act to make it easier for employers and staff to understand their legal rights.

However, Train 2000 say the measures are inadequate and the Bill will only allow the Government to enforce pay audits in 2013, and even then it could only apply to a tiny 0.4% of employers.

Train 2000’s executive director, Maggie O’Carroll said:

Women cannot afford to wait another four years for such limited action.

“Sir Stuart Rose CEO of Marks and Spencer said this week that there is no glass ceiling and women have never had it better!!

“Maybe if he had to look after young children or an elderly person and if we reduced his salary by 20% he might feel a little differently.

“There is wide spread discrimination in term of pay and promotion for women and the notion that all the potential female boardroom candidates make a choice to stay at home and earn less is not supported by the research – what research does however highlight is that the design and structure of work gives a Hobson’s choice for women and the fact that a senior CEO’s of a UK plc holds these views clearly indicates the breath and depth of inequality that women face.”

It is nearly 40 years since pay discrimination was made illegal but research reveals that women working full-time are still earning 17% less than men for work of equivalent value while women working part-time earn 36% less than men.

Train 2000 is urging women across Greater Merseyside to support the campaign.

Helen Millne, Operations Director at Train 2000 added:

“If you can’t attend the rally you can still write to your local MP and join the online petition by visiting The Fawcett Society website .

Caption: Train 2000 Campaign shows left to right, Maggie O’Carroll, executive director and Helen Millne, operations director at Train 2000

Equality Pay Rally

The rally will take place on Monday 8th June between 6.30pm-8.30pm at the Committee Room 12, Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA.
Speakers include: Dr Katherine Rake (Fawcett), Bronwyn McKenna (UNISON), Lord Lester, and Sarah Veale (TUC).

Monday, June 1, 2009


Train 2000 is running FREE PR workshops for women who own or are setting up their own businesses.

The half-day workshop is run by journalist, Jane Gallagher, and offers a behind the scenes insight into what journalists want and provides top tips for maximizing PR opportunities.

Jane, who has written for numerous local, regional and national publications over a 20-year career said:

“By the end of the session everyone will go away with an understanding of how the media works and a list of ideas to help raise the profile of their businesess.”

Jan Williams who attended the course last year after setting up the Frodsham Laser Clinic said:

“Since attending the Train 2000 PR workshop I have appeared in local, regional and national publications. Next week I am off to London to be interviewed and photographed for Essentials magazine.

“I found the workshop invaluable in providing the skills I needed to put together a PR strategy which has got my business noticed. Frodsham Laser Clinic continues to be busier than ever and it is in no small part due to its media profile."

The next course takes place at Train 2000’s city centre headquarters on Monday, June 22nd.

For more details contact Jackie Williams at Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Networking News From Train 2000

“Met some like minded people who offered a lot of support. Great to know I'm not an island!”

That was the verdict of one satisfied businesswoman after Train 2000’s latest networking evening.
Train 2000’s training manager, Bernie Cox offered some top tips on getting the most out of any networking event before clients had the opportunity to put it all into practice with a speed networking session run by Train 2000’s Engagement workers Joanne Wadeson and Laura Taylor.
A handful of brave attendees then stepped into our podcasting booth to share their thoughts on being a woman in business while the evening finished with further informal networking.
“Very friendly and relaxed”, “Nice and easy going” and “would definitely do this again “ were just some of the comments from the 16 women who attended the event which was also facilitated by Enterprise Enabler Anne Sharrott.”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nightingale Associates appointed architects for £5m international womens' enterprise centre

Liverpool’s £5m international centre for women’s economic development (WICED) moved a step closer today as architects’ Nightingale Associates were appointed to design a bespoke building. The 2,000sqm centre - which will be located in the heart of Liverpool - will be the first of its kind its kind in the UK and is expected to help 3,000 women set up business creating 4,500 new jobs over the next ten years. Train 2000 and WICED’ s Executive Director, Maggie O’Carroll said: “The Women’s International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) will be the hub of international research on female entrepreneurship as well as providing a range of enterprise support including space for up to 80 business units to help women start and grow their businesses. ”We wanted the building itself to be an iconic building and we awarded Nightingale the contract on the strength of its design team.” Katy Heath, Principal at Nightingales’ Liverpool studio, added : “We are very much looking forward to working on what will be an exciting project and are delighted to be playing a part in creating a bespoke building that will have such a positive impact on so many women starting businesses.” The new-build project, expected to reach completion in late 2010, will contain a range of offices, training & conference facilities and incubator space for new businesses. It is being jointly-funded by WICED, the North West Development Agency, Future Builders, Train 2000, Liverpool Vision, and Liverpool Council. Nightingale Associates will shortly start the design stage of the project, will provide a full architectural and interior design service. Construction is due to start on site in October this year.

Nightingale Associates is a leading practice serving the public sector. It specialises in the fields of health, education and science. Nightingale Associates is part of the Tribal Group plc and has eight offices in the UK, as well as one office in Cape Town, South Africa. Nightingale Associates’ commitment to innovation and research has placed it at the forefront of design developments in areas such as modern learning environments, mental healthcare, environmental sustainability and laboratory design.

Pictured: Left to right: Alison Price WICED Chair, Cllr Flo Clucas, Deputy Leader Liverpool City Council, Katy Heath Principal, Nightingale Associates, Maggie O’ Carroll Executive Director WICED and Train 2000 Ltd.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Liverpool Womens’ Enterprise Model Hailed A World Leader

Liverpool Womens’ Enterprise Model Hailed A World Leader
A model for the Liverpool based Women’s International Centre For Economic Development (WICED) has been hailed a world leader by experts from eight nations.
Plans for the £5m centre were examined by delegates from Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland, the UK, the USA and the Middle East who were so impressed they plan to replicate the centre across Europe and the Middle East.
Speaking at the top level summit which took place at Train 2000’s city centre headquarters, Professor Patricia Greene of Babson College, USA said the initiatives planned by Train 2000 and the WICED team were “amongst the best I’ve ever seen.”
Cllr Flo Clucas and Nicola Gleave of Liverpool Vision met with the delegates to show their support for the plans.
Deputy Council Leader at Liverpool City Council, Cllr Flo Clucas said:
“Both Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision are fully behind the WICED plans and we are delighted that the plans are being internationally recognized for something that will happen right here in Liverpool and which will lead to the creation of up to 4,500 jobs over the next ten years.”
Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director of Train 2000 said the meeting was a great success.
“It is our aim to create the biggest and most advanced centre for womens’ entrepreneurship and economic development in the world - right here in Liverpool.
“We have shown how we provide innovative support mechanisms to accelerate the pace of creating and growing women-owned businesses and the WICED centre will only accelerate that process.”

Picture Caption: Liverpool Womens’ Enterprise Model Hailed A World Leader (Left to right:Nicola Gleave of Liverpool Vision, Professor Patricia Greene, Cllr Flo Clucas, Professor Sue Marlow, Maggie O’Carroll)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

International Summit Will Help Shape 4,500 new jobs in Liverpool

An international panel of experts from eight nations is to meet at Train 2000’s Liverpool offices to prepare the framework for the “biggest and most advanced centre for womens’ entrepreneurship and economic development in the world.”
The summit will draw upon the experiences of some of the world’s leading researchers ahead of the £5m WICED (Women’s International Centre for Economic Development) which is due to open in the city in late 2010.
Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director of Train 2000, said there were a number of key issues to be discussed at the meeting:
“It is our aim to create the biggest and most advanced centre for womens’ entrepreneurship and economic development in the world - right here in Liverpool.
“We will be looking at how we can provide innovative support mechanisms to accelerate the pace of creating and growing women-owned businesses.
“We will also be looking closely at the green market and how we can help grow low carbon enterprises.”
The panel will include representatives from Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland, the UK, the USA and the Middle East.
The keynote speaker is international expert on women’s business leadership, Professor Patricia Greene of Babson College, USA.
Cllr Flo Clucas, deputy council leader welcomed the group to Liverpool.
She said:
“This summit will mark a significant step forward to extend international links between Liverpool and the rest of the world creating not only a world-leading facility right here in the city but the reality of creating thousands of new businesses and jobs across the region.”
The meeting will take place at Train 2000’s Strand headquarters on Thursday, May 14th.

Pictured: Cllr Flo Clucas (left) and Maggie O'Carroll.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Vacancies at Train 2000

£32,000 per annum - 35 hours per week

£16,000 per annum - 30 hours pro rata

Train 2000 are seeking to extend our Manchester team through recruting an experienced Enterprise Enabler to provide business advice and a skilled Reception Administrator to welcome visitors and provide administrative support at Ada House Women's Business Centre.

So if you are committed to women's economic development and want to work with an award winning social enterprise please contact Sarah for an application pack on 0161 833 8800 or info@wevh.org.uk

Closing date for receipt of applications is:
Reception Administrator - 20th May 2009
Enterprise Enabler - 26th May 2009

Train 2000 is committed to equality and diversity, and we welcome applications from all sections of the community particularly disabled women and women from BME communities.

Train 2000 Leads European SME Week

Liverpool based women’s enterprise agency, Train 2000, is urging small and medium enterprises to take advantage of international trade opportunities as the UK celebrates its first European SME Week.

European SME Week, which takes place from May 6th – 14th , is a campaign to inspire enterprise across Europe and encourage small and medium enterprises to reach their full potential by informing them about support available for them at European, national and local level.

Train 2000 has spent several years forging networks with European partners which has ensured its clients have continued to benefit from international trade.

Aigburth film producer Sarada McDermott who set up Northern Soul with writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce and director Carl Hunter works extensively across Europe to promote her work.

Sarada was recently selected to take part in a four-day Rotterdam Lab, designed to help her build up an international network, and to enhance her experience at an international festival and market.

“The success of any film rests on raising funds and I contacted Train2000 to explore funding avenues not just at a local or regional level but across Europe. It is easier to access funding if you are London based but we want to keep Northern Soul in Liverpool and I travel extensively across the European Union to attend film festivals.

“Next week I am off to Cannes to raise finance to shoot Frank’s latest screenplay, Triple Word Score which we will shoot in Liverpool this summer.”

And Polish-born Emilia Sielska came to Train 2000 after moving to Liverpool to set up a business as an interpreter.

Emilia who lives in Liverpool said:

“My dream was to be able to travel abroad for bigger jobs like conferences, government meetings and other large scale events. Train 2000 has helped me get a step closer to achieving that dream.”

Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director of Train 2000 added:

“European SME Week provides an excellent opportunity to focus on women’s SME and provide information which can support its development on a Europe-wide basis.

“European SME Week essentially means we can help women to develop international links enabling them to benefit from the huge market opportunities that exist within Europe union.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Women in Business Marketplace Event

Merseyside businesswoman lived life in the fast lane with a networking event at Liverpool’s Audi showroom.
A panel of judges including Train 2000’s Jackie Williams voted for the three best stands at The Women in Business Marketplace Event event which attracted women from across the county.
Two of the three winners included Jacqueline Boylan (Great Company) and Kelly Riley (Cha Cha Jewellery) from the Stepclever Women’s Group.
Big thanks to the Engagement Team for recruiting to the event and to Jax and Sabah for all of their hard work at the event.
Lots of new contacts were made by our clients and a good time was had by all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Big PR Ideas For Small Business

Train 2000 staged its monthly PR workshop this week.
"Graduates" of the course have gone on to appear in newspapers, magazines and on radio.

Here's what Gerry Johnson of Talking Heads had to say.....

"Thank you for an excellent ‘Introduction to PR’ session.
"It was so enjoyable and informative and has generated so many new ideas for me, not just around PR but also for my wider marketing campaign and even my mission statement! "

To find out more contact Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

From Train 2000 PR Workshop to Full Page Liverpool Echo Story

After attending the February Train 2000 PR Workshop, family lawyer, Tracey Miller secured a full page feature about her new business in The Liverpool Echo yesterday.
Read the full story here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

More Beautiful Beginnings

"Excellent Day. Well planned and presented. Thank you so much!!"
"Fun and Interactive. Enjoyed it all thank you."
"Lovely Day! Informative, well planned, motivated and want to know more"

These are just a few of the comments from the many women who were inspired to attend our Beautiful Beginnings events.
The most recent events were held at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pub boss says Cheers to Train 2000

After attending Train 2000's PR Workshop Jennifer Price has appeared in this week's Liverpool Echo.
Read the full article here.

And don't forget International Women's Day on March 8th. Check out the latest news and views on Train 2000 here in this specially commissioned video.

Monday, March 2, 2009

“The best event ever,” that was the verdict on our recent networking event.
Women who have been trading over the past two years were invited to find out more about the benefits of networking.
Guest speaker Karen Hughes of Wirral based K Hughes Business Development talked about how networking has been one of the most important elements in drumming up her client base.
Train 2000 Training Co-ordinator, Bernie Cox offered some helpful hints and tips before Business advisers Claire Pedersen and Anne Sharrott ran a speed networking session.
The event was rounded off with an invitation to step into the Train 2000 Vox Pop Video Booth for a special video of women’s experiences in the business world which will be screened on You Tube and Facebook to mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Beautiful Beginnings - your verdict.

Thanks to everyone who came to our beautiful Beginnings event. This is what you said:

“Really inspiring!
Really useful information for my business
Don't give up! Can do! Will do! Motivated! I can do it!
I really enjoyed hearing from Ellie, Jackie & Fiona.
Very inspiring. Just what I needed!
Thank you.
Made me more positive to go for it.
Self belief.
Wonderful day - looking forward to my business venture.
Inspired! Feel Positive about doing this, has made me want to do this.
Fiona's talk was really good Brilliant!
I know I can get support while I plan for my journey into business
If you want it just go for it! Don't be scared, butterflies are good
I thought Fiona's talk about building her business was very inspiring
Inspired to go for it Motivation!
Felt all the information was very relevant and will be back.
Made me think I can do it, don't give up
Helped to make me more determined
I've realised that I do have the self belief.”

Caption: Fiona McMath talks about setting up her chain of sportswear shops

Monday, February 9, 2009

Resolve To Be Your Own Boss

There’s still time to make a New Year’s Resolution with Beautiful Beginnings.

It may well be February but Spring is just around the corner and on Tuesday February 10th the women’s enterprise agency, Train 2000 is staging the Beautiful Beginnings event, a chance to find out everything you wanted to know about becoming your own boss.

Your business idea may be just a thought or you may have taken steps into self-employment - whatever stage you are at Train 2000 can help take you to the next level.

Train 2000 provide women across Merseyside with free business support and training together with advice on how to seek funding and fulfil business dreams.

But don’t just take their word for it, meet some women who have taken the plunge and whose businesses are flourishing.

Guest speakers will include former PE teacher Fiona McMath who opened Kitted Out, a chain of school uniform outlets across Merseyside.

Fiona (pictured) said:

“Train 2000 is the first place to go if you are thinking about setting up your own business, they have been with me every step of the way from when I opened my first shop 12 years ago.”

Jackie Williams, Enterprise Coordinator for Train 2000, said:
“Each year at Train 2000 we help hundreds of women to become self-employed. At first it can seem like a daunting career move but we are here to give you the support you need. We hope Beautiful Beginnings will leave you with inspirational ideas, and a buzz of confidence to try something new in 2009.”

Sessions take place between 12.30pm and 3pm or 6pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday February 10th. For further information about the events or to book your place please call Joanne, Sabah or Laura on 0151 236 6601 or freephone 0800 587 0383.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Liverpool business unveils new £250,000 resource centre and announces 21 new jobs

Picture: Denise Cashmore.

Childwall social care company, Home-Carers Liverpool Ltd (HCL), this week unveiled a £250,000 training and resource centre creating 21 new jobs.
The state of the art centre located adjacent to the company’s existing premises in Childwall Valley Road was officially opened by Nicola Gleave, (centre of pic) of Liverpool Vision.
She said:
“Liverpool Vision are pleased that the support we have provided through our partners Train 2000 has helped HCL build such a successful business. HCL investment in this new office facility is a testament to their commitment to the local economy and the creation of excellent business infrastructure such as this is what the city needs going forward.
"Liverpool Vision’s effective partnership working with Train 2000 has supported the diversity and sustainability of women owned businesses across the city, and it is through this successful partnership approach that we have been able to continue to support the growth of HCL and it is great to see the business go from strength to strength creating an enormous impact in terms of jobs created, improved staff skills and development and excellence in service delivery that we as a city can be proud of."
HCL provides care, support and cleaning services to anyone who is referred by the social services or primary care trust and for those who wish to purchase their own service.
The company, which has taken on 27 new staff since September, will appoint 20 new members of staff in February and have plans to recruit more through a separate brokerage service throughout 2009.
HCL founder and managing director, Karen Caffrey said the new premises marked a significant expansion for HCL.
She added:
“The personalization of social care is something HCL has always been passionate about and we have been working very closely with our partners in local government, the health authorities and education to achieve this.
“We are committed to training our staff to the highest standards as well as working with outside companies to train skilled workers for the social care services. The new premises have been completely refurbished and fitted with the very latest high-tech equipment to maintain our role as market leaders in social care training.
“Since we began trading in 1994 we have remained fully committed to providing the highest professional and personal service in the Social Care sector. Choice is very important to us and to our clients and our new fully accessible resource centre will help clients make the right choices for them.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming the new members to our team and we are planning to recruit a bank of personal assistants in preparation for the personalisation of services proposals.

HCL has worked with the Liverpool women’s enterprise agency, Train 2000 since 1996.

Maggie O’Carroll, executive director of Train 2000 said:

“We have worked with Home-Carers to support them in sustaining and maintaining their position in tough trading conditions. The fact that Home-Carers has invested in providing the highest level of products and services in its sector is one of the reasons why it is able to progress in this current climate.”

Nicola Gleave unveils HCL's new resource centre.
Left to right: Karen Caffrey, Managing director of HCL, Nicola Gleave of Business Liverpool and Maggie O’Carroll, executive director of Train 2000.

• Train 2000 Ltd, the Centre for Women’s Enterprise and Employment, is an award-winning social enterprise, which has been operating on Merseyside since 1996

• All services offered by Train 2000 are FREE to women resident in Merseyside

• Any woman interested in starting up in business or to find out more about Train 2000 should drop into the offices on 5th Floor Wellington Buildings, The Strand, Liverpool or call 0151 236 6601. Alternatively visit the website at www.train2000.org.uk

Friday, January 23, 2009

Welcome to Train 2000

Welcome to the Train 2000 blog.
For information about our range of services visit our website.
Here is a place you will find out more about what we are doing on a weekly basis and the chance to meet some of our inspirational clients.