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.