Friday, April 30, 2010

Former Soap Star Launches Sefton Business

FORMER soap star Rachael Lindsay has teamed up with her sister Nikki Lindsay to launch their own drama business.

Face 2 Face which provides drama therapy workshops to companies, schools, homes, the probation services, unemployed people and other organisations, aims to build confidence, self esteem and self awareness. And, through their workshops Rachael and Nikki help attendees to improve communication skills, empathy, listening skills and personal development.

Mum-of-two Nikki, who has worked in television casting and as a drama teacher for more than 20 years said: “this is an excellent opportunity for both myself and Rachael to combine our skills and expertise, using drama as a means to help people gain a better understanding of themselves and those around them. We use role play, listening skills, debating and many other techniques in our workshops that are both lively and interactive and seem to be very much enjoyed by everyone who attends.

“We hope to help change learned negative behaviour into positive. We encourage the individual to become aware of their true potential and to not only have regard for themselves but also for society and diversity.

37-year-old Rachael, who played ‘Sammy Rogers’ in the popular soap opera Brookside and is now studying to become a counsellor said: “Face 2 Face is here to help young and older people gain confidence and self awareness through using drama as a therapy. We are not about teaching people how to act; we are more concerned with empowering individuals.”

Rachael and Nikki came along to women’s enterprise agency Train 2000 where they received help and support under the ISUS (Intensive Start-up Support) programme in starting up their business. They worked on a one-to-one basis with an adviser who met with them regularly to help put together their business plan.

Nikki added: “Our adviser Rhian was extremely helpful and we had a number of meetings with her where she sat down with us and gave us ideas and support.

“Being self-employed is extremely hard work, but it does have a lot of rewards and it would be very difficult to go back now and be employed by some one else.”

Both Rachael and Nikki are based in the Formby area of Merseyside but will offer their workshops throughout the region. Between them they have worked with young offenders and children in the past and have gained qualifications in counselling.

“We are really excited about our new venture” added Nikki, “people are already taking up our workshops, we did one earlier this month at a children’s home, it went really well and it was great to see the children getting so much out of it. We are also working with lone parents and unemployed people to help build confidence and communication skills for when they attend job interviews. It is extremely rewarding when you see people develop and move forward in a more positive way.”

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Face 2 Face should call Rachael or Nikki on 01704 831235 or email them at face2face1@btinternet.com

Train 2000 offers FREE support to women in the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas. For further information visit www.train2000.org.uk or call 0800 587 0383.

WICED Development Gathers Momentum

The new Women's International Centre for Economic Development is now on its way to being reality as building work has begun.

Newly appointed President of WICED, Councillor Flo Clucas said of the project

"There is a huge untapped resource which our society needs to harness effectively - the enterprise of women. The visionary development of the Women's International Centre for Economic Development is, I believe, a significant step forward in harnessing that resource, with implications for the global economy, as well as for Liverpool and the rest of the UK.

By bringing together the elements of research; gendered business incubation and high quality business support, we will achieve our aim of more women's businesses, creating more wealth and prosperity.
That is what WICED is all about."

You can follow the progress of the development by visiting our flickr album showing monthly photos of the site.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Creative Boost For Liverpool Businesswoman


FREELANCE Print Designer Marisa Hopkins is delighted with her decision to become her own boss believing it will be the key to unleashing her creativity.

The 27-year-old set up Akako Rose Vintage in May last year and through her business Marisa works as a designer in the fashion industry, selling her work to top designers such as Etro, Tommy Hilfigure, Calvin Klein, Gap and Anthropology through to high street brands including Monsoon, Topshop, Fatface and Firetrap.

And, Marisa is also selling vintage clothing through an Ebay shop to compliment her print design work, as she builds the business up.

“My Ebay shop is going really well and I am beginning to build up some good freelance work,” said Marisa “I have only been in business 12 months so I am hoping that over the next few months things will really start picking up.”

Marisa completed a Degree in Print Design at Nottingham Trent University and worked in London before moving to Liverpool, where she took up a position as a Print Designer for Littlewoods.

Back in 2004 Marisa also worked as a print designer in New York and she believes that all of her experiences to date are helping to develop new contracts with both designers and print houses.

She said: “Since graduating I have worked for other people and during this time I built up a lot of skills and experience and I just decided that it was the right time for me to go it alone.

“And, I love working for myself. It has given me so much flexibility and the freedom to do my own thing. After working for them for two years, I am now freelancing for Littlewoods and am building up other similar high profile clients.”

As part of her work for Littlewoods, Marisa has worked on a number of celebrity brands including Jasmine Guinness, Fearne Cotton, Caprice, Ann Louise Roswald and Amanda Wakley.

Marisa enjoys working in the fashion industry and through her business she designs the artwork and graphics on clothing.

She added: “One of the main reasons I became self-employed is because one day I am hoping to develop my own prints / 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 really be able to get creative when I develop my range and this is something I’m really looking forward to doing.”

And, through her Ebay shop Marisa sells vintage clothing including dresses and shoes, from the 40’s through to the 80’s.

“Both sides of my business go really well together” said Marisa, “I get a lot of my inspiration for print design from the vintage clothing I am selling on Ebay.”

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” she added: “and that’s when she told me about Train 2000, I’m so glad I went along as the help, advice and support I received was fantastic. An adviser helped me to put together my business plan and they answered any questions I had a long the way.”

Anyone who would like to find about more about Marisa’s work can visit her blog at www.akako-rose@blogspot.com and to buy any of the vintage clothing she is selling through Ebay please visit www.ebay.co.uk and put in Akako Rose in the search box.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

GOSH - Film Success with Train 2000 Support

AFTER being employed in the New York film industry when Hannah Quinn returned home to the United Kingdom finding work was not easy – so she set her sights on opening up her very own production company.

Now, Gosh Productions films corporate and wedding videos and Hannah produces one-off films and pieces of work, some of which have been shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

“After completing my degree at John Moore’s University I went over to New York and gained experience in the film industry there,” said Hannah.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for me, but when I returned to the UK finding work was extremely difficult. I got some small jobs, but they just never seemed to amount to much, I didn’t want to do anything else, so I decided that the best way forward was to start up my own business.”

23-year-old Hannah came along to Train 2000 where she received help and support in setting up her new venture. “I knew plenty about the film industry” said Hannah, but I had never put together a business plan before and wasn’t sure of the best way to go about setting up on my own, so I went to Train 2000 and received the help and support I needed.

“It was great to have somewhere to turn for advice. I worked with an adviser and put my business plan together. I also received support from the Princes Trust.”

Hannah has also taken advantage of a number of the business training courses offered by Train 2000.

Although Hannah is keen to pursue the corporate side of Gosh Productions she very much enjoys putting together her own films and has produced short pieces on a variety of subjects including Alzheimer’s, science fiction and comedy. Hannah screens her work at private viewings and festivals.

She said: “It’s really good to be able to produce my own work and to get the opportunity to show it at private screenings. Often my ideas are simply inspired by something that springs out at me in mid sentence when some one is talking. I take the idea and make it into a film.”

Through the corporate side of her business Hannah produces wedding videos, training videos, promotional videos and much more all with a creative flair – and despite being based in the Liverpool area she offers her services throughout the country.

Although Hannah says there are some obvious difficulties when being self-employed she is glad this is what she decided to do. She continued: “It can be really hard constantly trying to find work, but there is so much more freedom when working for yourself. I also feel that I have got a much better opportunity to work on the projects I actually want to work on now.”

To find out more about Gosh Productions or to contact Hannah visit her website at www.goshproductions.com or email info@goshproductions.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

With stable jobs scarce, young women opt for entrepreneurship

Source www.chicagobusiness.com
by Sandra A. Swanson April 12, 2010

As the economy skids along, and secure, rewarding employment remains out of reach for many, a few young women are creating their own dream jobs, working for themselves.

Erin Estell, 27, took that path when her sales job at Sealmaster Inc., a Northbrook-based fabric-protection company owned by a family friend, evaporated last year in the downturn.

Rather than encouraging her to find another job, Ms. Estell says, her husband pointed her in a different direction. "He said, 'Why don't you start selling your jewelry?' "

Ms. Estell planned to turn jewelry-making, a hobby since age 10, into a business someday. But, "It was something I wanted to do way down the line in the future, when I have kids in school," she says. "And then I thought, 'Why not now?' "

In November, she launched the Web site for Estell Designs Inc., which features her works of 14-karat gold and semiprecious and precious stones; prices range from $150 to $350.

Concentrating on keeping costs low, Ms. Estell found a site designer via Wahm.com, a resource for work-at-home mothers, who charged her about $4,000 — a fraction of the $10,000 to $15,000 quotes she'd fielded elsewhere.

Ms. Estell's goal for 2010 is to break even. There's the thrill of being her own boss, but there's also a lot of uncertainty; indeed, U.S. Census data suggest that the 10-year survival rate of startups is only around 30%. Despite the long odds, Ms. Estell says being her own boss is giving her a lift. "It's exciting, scary — all those things mixed into one."

Data from the Center for Women's Business Research in McLean, Va., suggest that more women under 35 have been moving into entrepreneurship in recent years, compared with men of the same age group. At this point, the shift is too subtle and too new to call it anything like a revolution. But, "traditionally, entrepreneurship has been viewed as a male occupation," says Maija Renko, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

And more than any previous generation, people in their 20s today have a new attitude toward entrepreneurship. Namely, is it riskier than entrusting your career to a corporation? Should I invest my time in a job — or, for that matter, an employer — that might not exist next year?

To read more on this story click here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Is Self Employment for You?

Train 2000 were delighted to launch new course this month in Stockport and Liverpool. 'Is Self Employment For You' is a one day introductory session that helps women who want to consider this option to do so in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The course is split into two half day sessions covering:

Session 1: How to turn your interest or hobby into a business

 Identifying any barriers that may stop you working for yourself

 Identify the benefits and disadvantages of working for yourself

 Understand the support available to help you become self employed


Session 2: How to successfully plan for your business idea

 Identify the key components of a business plan

 Understand the benefit of exploring your business idea thoroughly before starting your business

 Understand how to undertake market research activities prior to starting your business plan

The women who joined in with the first run of the course left buzzing with ideas. Some comments included:

"The day has really helped me to see how I could establish a business idea"
"Great to meet other like minded people, air our ideas and talk and feedback. Very Inspiring"
"Thank you Bernie. Loved the assertiveness and motivational aspect, hints, tips and techniques, and thinking outside the box"
"This is the first course I've been on where I've been made to feel I can really achieve my goal"
"Thank you, a highly informative, helpful and encouraging session"


The next dates for this session are Wednesday 19th May Liverpool, Tuesday 25th May Stockport. To book a place or for more details call our Liverpool team on 0151 236 6601 or our Manchester office on 0161 833 8800.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where There's A Will There's A Way for Southport Businesswoman


WHERE there’s a will there’s a way – that’s the attitude Corrine Sankey adopted when she took early retirement and was looking for something new in her life.

“I had been working in the Court Service as a Legal Adviser for six years” said Corrine, “and due to cutbacks they were looking for people to take early retirement, which I opted for. But there was no way I was ready to retire so I started thinking about what I’d like to do”

That’s when Corrine, who is a qualified solicitor, decided to start up her own will writing business Where There’s a Will, which offers a variety of will writing services including Will Drafting, Appointment of Executors, Trustees & Guardians, Document Storage,Residential/Nursing Home Care, Advising the Elderly, Lasting powers of Attorney, and Video wills to support the written will, as well as much more.

She said: “Once I had made my decision I set to work quickly. I knew if I was going to set up a will writing business I had to do it properly as making a will is a huge responsibility”.

Corrine became a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW) and passed a number of exams to become fully qualified in this area.

Corrine believes passionately the Will Writing industry should be regulated, she said “there is a growth of DIY, internet and unqualified Will Writers, offering a service which leave many people misled into thinking their will is sound when it is not. Getting it wrong could bequeath a potential nightmare for bereaved and grief stricken friends and relatives to deal with.”

Corrine, who is based in Southport, received free help and support through women’s enterprise organisation Train 2000 as part of the ISUS (Intensive Start-Up Support) programme. She worked on a one-to-one basis with an adviser to put together her business plan. “Train 2000 was great” she added “everyone I came into contact with was extremely helpful and supportive. My adviser Rhian was always willing to help and it was so nice knowing there would always be some one at the end of the phone to support me when I needed it.”

Corrine also attended Train 2000’s Business Planning course as well as the PR workshop and is hoping to undertake further courses in the future.

Despite only launching the business this March, Corrine has already gained several clients and has received very positive feedback. She is now about to launch a marketing campaign to make people aware of her business. She continued: “It’s so important for people to do a will or to update an old one if their circumstances have changed but where my service differs to that of going to have a will made at a solicitors, is that I will go out to clients’ homes to write the will and I offer a very personal and flexible service; my rates are also extremely competitive.”

She also believes that being a woman is a massive advantage to her business. She said: “Anything in the legal sector is very male dominated and a lot of people, particularly women, feel more comfortable talking to another woman, particularly when I am going into their homes.”

Corrine, who is married and has two sons aged 18 and 22, says that her family has been extremely supportive. “My boys are so interested in what I’m doing” added Corrine “and they are always looking for ways to help me develop my business.

“I am thoroughly enjoying being my own boss and am so glad this was the path I chose”.

To find out more about Corrine’s will writing service visit her website at www.wheretheresawillsouthport.co.uk or email info@wheretheresawillsouthport.co.uk
Alternatively you can contact her on 07824631077 or 01704 213979

And to find out more about Train 2000 and the FREE services offered to women throughout the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas visit www.train2000.org.uk or call 0151 236 6601.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gender Pay Gap Day

The issue of the gender pay gap is not confined to Europe, the US report that a woman must have worked all of 2009, and continue working until April 20, 2010 in order to earn as much a man earned in 2009 one US report quoted this morning.

According to www.trib.com nationally in the US
"The average full-time working woman earns 77 cents for every dollar that a full-time working man makes -- in Wyoming, the average is 67 cents. Equal pay for equal work has yet to be realized."

These shocking statistics come just weeks after the latest gender equality bill was passed in UK parliament. Train 2000 support the bill and hope that it will be a catalyst to seeing gender equality issues such as the pay gap continue to be addressed at government level.

To read more of this report click here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

First Hand Account of Gender Bias

CANDACE FLEMING’S résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.

But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”

Another potential backer invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan.

Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.

“I didn’t know things like this still happened,” says Ms. Fleming, 37. “But I know that, especially in risky times like the last couple years, some investors kind of retreat to investing via a template.” A company owned by a woman, she adds, “is just not the standard template.”

Though many people say that outright sexism is rare in the tech world these days, the barriers that Ms. Fleming encountered aren’t unusual. Tech communities in Silicon Valley and in other hubs — like New York, Austin, Tex., and Boston, where Ms. Fleming lives — pride themselves on operating as raw meritocracies ready to embrace anyone with a good idea, regardless of education, age or station in life.

For women, though, that narrative often unfolds differently.

Women own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. But they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups, according to Astia, a nonprofit group that advises female entrepreneurs.

That disparity reaches beyond entrepreneurs. Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And among venture capitalists, the population of financiers who control the purse strings for a majority of tech start-ups, just 14 percent are women, the National Venture Capital Association says.

That reality is even more complex when race is factored into the mix. Small percentages of workers in information technology are African-American, Asian or Hispanic, and that number is even smaller for women.

“It’s not like people are making an effort to exclude people, but I see very little diversity in the candidate pool,” says Aileen Lee, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the big venture capital firm. She says this could reflect the different educational paths men and women follow in high school and college: men, for a variety of reasons, are more likely to pursue computer science and engineering degrees and subsequently rise through start-up or management ranks.

WOMEN now outnumber men at elite colleges, law schools, medical schools and in the overall work force. Yet a stark imbalance of the sexes persists in the high-tech world, where change typically happens at breakneck speed.

And analysts say more than social equity is at stake. A dearth of ideas and participation by women in the technology churn has business consequences as well.

The latest Web start-ups — for socializing, gaming and shopping — often attract more women than men as users. And many products from tech giants are aimed at women. But when Apple unveiled its new mobile computing device, it called it the iPad — a name that made many women wince with visions of feminine hygiene products.

Research indicates that investing in women as tech entrepreneurs is good for the bottom line. Venture-backed start-ups run by women use, on average, 40 percent less capital than start-ups run by men and are increasingly involved in successful initial public offerings of stock, according to a recent white paper by Cindy Padnos, a venture capitalist who compiled data from 100 studies on gender and tech entrepreneurship.

“When you have gender diversity in an organization, you have better innovation, and I don’t know where innovation is more important than in the high-tech world,” says Ms. Padnos, who recently founded Illuminate Ventures, which invests in start-ups led by women.

Firms like hers, along with nonprofit organizations like the National Center for Women and Information Technology, Astia and Springboard Enterprises, are trying to fix the problem by raising awareness, mentoring entrepreneurial women and introducing them to investors.

“The good news is that Silicon Valley will see this change,” says Monica Morse, a trustee at Astia. “They will chase the person they think will make the money, regardless of whether they wear a skirt.”

Even so, some people say substantial barriers still confront women trying to scale the technological peaks. “It all boils down to education and accessibility and role models,” says Anu Shukla, who has founded three tech start-ups. “There aren’t enough women entrepreneurs because they don’t see enough women entrepreneurs ahead of them and successful.”

Taken from NY Times. For more on this story click here.

Top Businessmen Fight for Women's Rights

AUSTRALIA'S top businessmen are vowing to fight for women's rights, forming a powerful new advisory group to improve pay and conditions for female workers.
The Male Champions of Change, a 10-man group formed by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, comprises bosses of major employers Woolworths, Telstra, Origin Energy, IBM, Deloitte, Citi Group, Goldman Sachs and Westpac.

Equal pay, more female board members, flexible work arrangements and senior female managers are all on the "agenda for change" the men will push through their own companies and by pressuring other businessmen.

They have promised to debate gender equity in their own companies, host regular gender-focused lunches, dinners and other events to try and influence colleagues, and act as Ms Broderick's advisory board.

Women cannot close the 17 per cent pay-gap without the support of powerful "men talking to men", Ms Broderick said after the group's first "brainstorming" meeting in Sydney this week.

"It is strong male leadership that's going to change the picture for women in Australia - which in a sense is a little bit depressing," Ms Broderick said

"Unfortunately in the workplace, women don't make the rules - the rules are made by men."

Female executive numbers are actually declining in "a worrying trend", said Telstra chief executive David Thodey.

"We need to find out why this is happening, and reverse what is a worrying trend. Unfortunately, the corporate sector has slid backwards."

Man's problem

Telstra already employs three times as many women (31 per cent) in executive management roles as other big firms, and has targets of 30 per cent in middle and senior management. Last year Telstra appointed its first female board chair, Catherine Livingstone.

Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe, whose 191,000 workforce is 55 per cent female - including 27 per cent of leadership roles - said gender equity "makes a great deal of sense for the community as a whole".

"Our population is ageing and there will be a growing need for some managerial talent," Mr Luscombe said.

"It would be silly for the future of this company if we didn't ensure that ... both parts of the gender divide are part of that."

Citigroup chief executive Stephen Roberts said he will demand managers set rigid targets and push more female candidates to apply for senior positions: "To be candid, it is a man's problem. The country needs this, we have got to make these changes; we are a significant underperformer on a global stage."

Passionate bosses must drive the change, said Origin and Westpac board member Gordon Cairns: "The worst outcome is that if women are put into positions simply because they're women. "We have to get [CEOs] to deeply believe this is a moral issue and a business issue."

Women earn 17 per cent less than men overall, according to the National Centre of Social and Economic Modelling, because of career choices, industry segregation, work-hours and poor bargaining power.

Source: www.news.com.au Lisa Mayoh From: The Sunday Telegraph April 18, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Train 2000 Support 'Year of Thread'

Local anti fashion, anti label, fashion label 'Year of Thread' proudly presented their new eco urban range at a launch event held in Parr Street Studios last night.

Owner Johannah Aynsley received support from Women's Enterprise Agency Train 2000 and Stepclever in order to launch her clothing range, which she passionately introduced at the event. Models from LFC took to the catwalk showcasing her casual urban chic designs.

Being based in the North Liverpool Film academy in Kirkdale has given Johannah a great passion for seeing other creative businesses move into the area. She expressed her desire to see a local creative hub develop and invited John Anderson from Stepclever and Joanne Wadeson (pictured with a Year of Thread model) from Train 2000 to share with the attendees what FREE support is on offer to local people who would like to follow in her footsteps and turn their creativity into a thriving business.

To find out more about 'Year of Thread' and their clothing line visit www.yearofthread.com. If you would like more information on the support available through Train 2000 and Stepclever for business support call 0151 236 6601.

Northwest Lasers to Launch in St Helens


Winner of Train 2000's 'Health, Beauty & Well Being Award' 2009 Jan Williams is thrilled to have opened a second branch of Northwest Lasers (formally Frodsham Laser clinic) in St Helens. To celebrate this success Jan is hosting a grand opening of the new branch in North John Street, St Helens on Wednesday 21st April from 4.30pm-8.30pm.

The event will offer one lucky attendee chance to Win £500 worth of free treatments, while all can experience FREE demonstrations on laser treatments including male and female laser hair removal, vein removal, tattoo removal, anti aging injectables and skin fillers, radio frequency (RF) fat reduction and skin tightening.

If you are interested in attending the opening or would like to know more about the clinic then contact Jan via info@northwestlasers.co.uk or call 0845 8331 583 by 16th April.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Liverpool Businesswoman Seeks Recruitment Success


AMBITIOUS businesswoman Emma Lees is driven by success and at 32-years-old she is determined to make her new venture work.

“I started up my business in January” said Emma “I offer permanent and fixed term contract recruitment solutions in a number of sectors such as marketing, sales and administration. I offer a very personalised service and work hard to ensure that my clients are satisfied.”

Emma, who graduated with a French degree from Liverpool University, back in 2000 has worked in the recruitment industry since but decided that after nine years of working for other people, it was time to go it alone.

“The recruitment industry is extremely demanding” added Emma, “The hours are long and I wanted a better work life balance and now that I am my own boss I have achieved that. Also because I work for myself I can be very flexible and am able to interviews candidates at the weekend or in the evenings if it suits them best.”

Due to the nature of the business she has set up Emma has been working tirelessly to build up candidates looking for work, but also to develop relationships with employers.

She said: “For me, networking is extremely important. I have been working hard to develop relationships with potential employers and from working in the industry for so many years I have developed a number of useful contacts.”

Just one month after starting up the business Emma placed her first candidate into work with a brand new client and was confident that her business would develop well and be a huge success.

Prior to starting up Integrity Recruitment Solutions Emma came along to women’s enterprise agency Train 2000 where she received help and advice in starting up her business and she received a business start-up grant from Liverpool Vision.

She worked on a one to one basis with an adviser to put together her business and marketing plans. “I found Train 2000 to be extremely helpful and supportive” continued Emma,

“I thoroughly enjoy being my own boss and firmly believe that if you have the confidence and the drive it can work. I just want to be successful and to have a nice standard of living and am very determined to make this work.”

Whilst Emma is more than pleased with her latest career move she does admit that the most difficult thing about being self-employed is that suddenly you have to do everything yourself!

She said: “When you are employed, you just have your own job to do. Now I am responsible for everything, from marketing to administration, finance and many other aspects of running my own business. It is definitely a steep learning curve, but luckily I very much enjoy a challenge and multi-tasking!”

If you are looking for work and would like Emma to help you out or if you are an employer with vacancies to fill contact Emma on 07772 460 220 or email emma@integrityliverpool.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit her website at www.integrityliverpool.co.uk

And, if you would like to find out more about the FREE services available to women in the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas, through Train 2000 please visit www.train2000.org.uk or call 0151 236 6601.

FREE Energy and Waste Audits for Merseyside Businesses

Groundwork Merseyside is the local deliverer of the ENWORKS funded business support programme which is designed to work with businesses on Merseyside.

The support is completely FREE and focuses on key areas - energy, water, waste, raw materials and fuel consumption - to provide significant cost saving opportunities for your business.

Any business in Merseyside who employs at least 5 staff could benefit from this free energy and waste audit.

As Green Ambassadors for Liverpool Year of the Environment, Women's Enterprise agency Train 2000 would encourage those of our clients who fit this criteria to check it out. As well as potentially saving you money you would also be doing your bit for the environment.

For more details and to register vist Groundwork Merseyside.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Women backed by MONUC in their quest for equality

Kinshasa, 12 April 2010 - The Cadre permanent de concertation de la femme congolaise/ Permanent Framework of Dialogue for Congolese Women (CAFCO) held a press conference on 7 April to provide an update on developments in its advocacy work to get political parties to promote gender equality, in accordance with both Article 14 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and international legal instruments ratified by the country. The conference took place in the presence of numerous representatives from political parties.

The president of CAFCO, Madame Rose Mutombo, at the outset made it clear that her organisation’s role is not to "steer” the vote, but "to conduct upstream work and allow women access to decision-making bodies to which they are entitled. Moreover, CAFCO’s work is not limited to conducting advocacy activities targeted at political parties,” Madame Mutombo said. “That is just one aspect of CAFCO’s work.”

The MONUC Electoral Division’s Gender and Elections Unit, in support of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), is supporting CAFCO’s action because the current Electoral Law does not reflect the constitutional gender balance objectives and must eventually be brought into compliance with the Congolese Constitution.”

Supported by the MONUC Electoral Division’s Gender and Elections Unit and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Political Governance Programme, CAFCO’s initial advocacy efforts for the inclusion of gender parity in the draft law on the establishment of a new electoral body, the National Electoral Independent Commission (CENI), had floundered in both Houses of Parliament. But encouraged by the two aforementioned partners, CAFCO is now targeting its advocacy efforts at political parties which will be called upon to select from their ranks the future members of the INEC office.

Under the assumption of a revision of the Electoral Law, CAFCO is continuing to advocate with political parties for greater participation of women in party decision-making and strategic structures and for women’s inclusion on party lists of election candidates.

Despite uncertainty in the pre-electoral climate, it is clear that some political parties are already beginning to "woo" women’s votes. So far CAFCO have held discussions with nine political parties to deliver its advocacy message. Other parties have also expressed their wish to have similar discussions with CAFCO.

Most often cited obstacles

- Women face "social and cultural barriers”, which allegedly explains why they are hesitant and timid in committing themselves politically;

- Male preconceptions of women’s inability to hold political office are allegedly still prevalent; not to mention men’s alleged obstinacy to maintain internal party structures that leave women at a disadvantage.

Conference participants generally agreed on the following recommendations: intensifying advocacy activities targeted at political parties; raising women’s awareness of their role in political life; and mobilising women to vote for female candidates.

However, views expressed by party representatives highlighted the challenges lying ahead. The representative of the RCD party argued that including a large number of women on party lists of election candidates would amount to “political suicide”, given the prevailing social and cultural perceptions of women’s roles and status. “Congolese people, men and women, are not inclined to vote for a woman, however competent,” he said, adding: “undoubtedly the safest and fastest way to achieve equal representation for women is to introduce appropriate legislation.” To illustrate this, participants pointed to Rwanda where 30 per cent of all parliamentary and cabinet seats are reserved for women and the remaining 70 per cent left to electoral competition.

Many participants said that women’s political competence is no longer in question and that it matches that of men. The problem, then, is "a lack of will within political parties to promote women”.

The head of the MONUC Electoral Division’s Gender and Elections Unit said it is important to continue advocacy work not just because this is the wish of political parties that have been consulted, but because this is the beginning of the pre-electoral period and "political parties in search of women’s votes seem to have finally understood that it is in their interest to pay attention to gender."

Article Source: http://monuc.unmissions.org

Self Evaluation Valuable for Entrepreneurs

Christine Davis of the Women's Business Center Portsmouth USA makes some good points in her article:
Published April 12, 2010 2:00 AM, source:www.seacoastonline.com

"If you are a business owner reading this, you have at some point during your entrepreneurial venture asked yourself, "Should I be doing this?"

Not every business was meant to live in perpetuity, and we have to be able to know when to "hold 'em and know when to fold 'em" as sung by the prophetic Kenny Rogers (pre-fast-food days, of course).

This crappy recession does have a bit of a silver lining that I am going to go out on a limb and share: We may not like it, but our current economy is actually forcing some businesses and nonprofits to make decisions that in the long run could well create better and stronger organizations. We are stepping back and re-evaluating our business models and making changes to improve what we do and offer.

Those that adapt and innovate will succeed. Those that don't (or can't) will fold. It seems as if we are living in this feast-or-famine scenario, and perhaps what will come of this is a healthier economy that is neither feast nor famine."

To read the full article click here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Train 2000 Sponsors Merseyside Women of the Year Award

Women's Enterprise and Employement agency Train 2000 is delighted to announce that this year we are sponsoring the ‘Business Entrepreneur Award’ at the Merseyside Women of the Year Awards taking place at the Hilton Hotel on 2nd July.

Merseyside Women of the Year has been launched in the Daily Post (click here to read the article), the nominations close on 14th May 2010.

There are 10 categories open for nominations:

· Community Matters

· Business Entrepreneur

· Entertainment

· Learning

· Sports and Leisure

· Arts and Culture

· Women Achieving

· Women's Group

· Public Affairs

· Newcomer

Nominations in no more than 500 words, outlining why the person deserves an award, should be emailed to Nominations@merseysidewomenoftheyear.com or features@dailypost.co.uk or post to Women of the Year, c/o Jane Haase, Head of Advance, Liverpool Daily Post, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB. Please include contact details for yourself and the person you are nominating.

New Web Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

American Express OPEN has launched a new section of online content entitled "The New Rules of Doing Business for Women Entrepreneurs."

The page shares insight and advice from experts who took part in the American Express OPEN Women's Business Summit. It focuses on educating women entrepreneurs on the shifting business climate.

Presenters at the Houston summit, which took place in February, provided the latest business news for entrepreneurs in four areas: money, management, marketing and government contracting.

Because 89 percent of attendees had businesses which had been established for at least three years, the curriculum of the summit was created to address small business owners in the post-startup phase.

American Express OPEN vice president Sophia Lundberg called women business owners "a vital part of the US economy," and said that "supporting them can make an important contribution to economic recovery."

Written by Resources for Entrepreneurs Staff, Published: 8/4/2010, Source www.gaebler.com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Equality Bill Passed - HR Warned to Prepare

Employment experts have welcomed the passing of the Equality Bill in its entirety, but warned HR professionals that they need to get to grips quickly with the regulations.

The legislation, which comes into force in October, will replace nine laws and more than 100 other measures with a single Act, in a bid to make it easier for employers and staff to understand their legal rights and obligations.

Anthony Lester, a human rights lawyer and Liberal Democrat peer, told Personnel Today he was "delighted the Bill will become law at last". "I have campaigned for it for a decade or more and it follows my own Private Member's Bill and the Hepple Report," he said.

Lester played down fears that the Bill was rushed through Parliament before it is dissolved ahead of the election, without enough time for employer input.

"It was carefully scrutinised in the Lords with six committee days as well as report and third reading stages," he said. "Employers' views were fully met - too fully as regards the weak provisions on equal pay."

The Conservatives were criticised by Labour MP Vera Baird for not supporting the Bill at second reading, but Lester said her remarks were "unfair" adding that cross-party support was "crucial and welcome".

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), welcomed the clause that will make it unlawful to ask candidates questions on their health before they have been offered a job unless such questions fall within those deemed "necessary".

"We have supported this amendment," he said. "The clause doesn't prohibit asking questions - but employers (in most cases) can't do it until the job offer has been made. They can then consider whether reasonable adjustments can be made and if something comes to light the job offer can still be withdrawn."

Willmott warned that "some parts of the HR community" will have to make changes to prepare for this. In a CIPD survey of 1,400 employers, conducted last year, 42% said they should be allowed to ask health questions at the job application stage.

The Equalities Bill has generated a number of critical headlines, on issues such as protection for vegans and atheists, but Rachel Dineley, employment partner at law firm Beachcroft, insisted that the risk of claims had been "grossly exaggerated".

"Not everything will come into force at once," she said. "Sensible and qualified exceptions will be made where appropriate."

But Dineley warned that employers will fall foul of the law unless they get to grips with its details. "Many will have their work cut out, putting appropriate measures in place to reduce the risk of claims against them," she said.
Source Daniel Thomas 08 April 2010 www.personneltoday.com

Norwegian-Russian business incubator approaches 40% of female managers.

Following the development plan of the Murmansk-based Norwegian-Russian business incubator, the percentage of female leaders exceeded the expectations of 30%.

As a part of the equality policy, SIVA’s incubator «Polar Star» in Murmansk encouraged female leaders to join the incubation process.

The incubator, which will soon celebrate its second year anniversary, presently develops eight companies. Three of those have female general managers.

SIVA as an organization facilitating industrial growth – is the coordinator behind this effort to promote and support women’s business development

Source: www.barentsnova.com

Bernie's on Course to Improve Women's Lives


Our Training Co-ordinator Bernie Cox recently recounted 'a day in the life' to the Liverpool Echo, showing a typical day at women's enterprise and employment agency Train 2000.

Some snippets of Bernie's day include:

8.30am: I arrive at the Train 2000 offices, which overlooks the Three Graces

Noon: Lunchtime, and I catch up with former Train 2000 clients Nickie and Elaine

6pm: I present a session on how to network effectively and share my own experiences of 20 years' networking.

To see the full day's activity you can visit the Echo story here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stockport Grandmother 'Illustrates' How to Succeed in Business

AFTER nine years of being unable to work due to poor health Rose Lloyd decided it was time for change and that’s when she enrolled on a Visual Art & Design course at Stockport College.

Now, the 57-year-old grandmother has put her newly acquired skills to full use and has started up in business as a freelance illustrator.

“From a very young age I was interested in art” said Rose, “but my parents were of the opinion that you couldn’t make any money doing art, so it was something I never pursued.

“I worked for some time doing technical drawings but this never enabled me to use the creativity that I wanted to. I hadn’t been able to work for almost ten years because of a severe back problem I have, but I knew that I needed to have something more in my life so I took up painting. I enrolled on a foundation course and then decided to continue on to do my degree.”

Since setting up in business Rose has already completed work for Manchester’s BBC Philharmonic and has had her illustrations in the Nursing Standard, the Radio Times and the Times Educational Supplement.

She continued: “It’s a great feeling to see my work in publications, I am so proud of what I have achieved and I really feel as though my life has changed for the better.”

Rose came along to Train 2000 for help and support in starting up her business. She accessed free support through the ISUS (Intensive Start-Up Support) programme and worked on a one-to-one basis with an adviser to develop her marketing and business plans. All services provided through Train 2000 are offered free to women throughout the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas.

Train 2000 was very good” said Rose, “I worked with an adviser who made me really think about some of the areas I hadn’t even considered such as tax and keeping financial records; they’re the thing people don’t really like to think about.”

Rose, who has grown up daughters and young grandchildren, has her own studio at Vernon Mill in Stockport which provides her with the space to create her illustrations.

She added: “It’s great to be able to work after so many years of being unable to. Because of the nature of my business I can manage it round my back pain.

“This is the best thing I have done for years and it has really helped to improve my self esteem.”

To find out more about the work undertaken by Rose visit www.roselloyd.co.uk or email rose38a_uk@yahoo.com

And, if you would like to find out more about the FREE services offered by Train 2000 to women in the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas please visit www.train2000.org.uk or call 0151 236 6601.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Services for Merseyside's Top Level Business Women

TOP level businesswomen throughout Merseyside are soon to be connected with one another through the launch of a new service for female entrepreneurs running growth businesses.

The Women’s Presidents Organisation (WPO), a not-for-profit organization that connects women entrepreneurs at a multi million pound level, is opening up a new North West chapter in Liverpool this May.

In monthly meetings across the world, peer advisory groups of 20 accomplished women presidents from diverse industries invest time and energy to drive their corporations to the next level.

The WPO has been established for over 10 years and the launch of the second Chapter in the UK is an exciting time for the organisation.

To find out more about WPO visit http://www.womenpresidentsorg.com or the London website www.womenpresidentsorg.com/London/

School Gates Project Supports Knowsley Women


PRIZE draws, competitions, quizzes and games are just some of the fun activities taking place throughout Knowsley in a bid to encourage more women to take up the free services being offered by Train 2000.

The School Gates Project, a national initiative to provide parents with employment and enterprise support is being delivered by Train 2000 in the Knowsley area and already more than 60 women have benefitted.

Initiatives are taking place at five schools / children’s centres across the area with parents, carers and their children getting involved in a wide range of activities including guess the name of the teddy, coffee mornings, Easter card making and flower arranging, as well as much more.

Jackie Williams, Enterprise Manager for Train 2000, said: “Through the School Gates project we are able to undertake a number of fun activities with parents and carers in the Knowsley area and whilst the children get involved with the fun side of things, we are able to talk to parents about the free services offered by Train 2000, ranging from personal development through to self employment.

“This is a very exciting project as it gives us a unique opportunity to engage with a number of women who may otherwise have not come across Train 2000 or even considered self-employment as a way of getting back into work.”

Following activities already undertaken some parents have completed Train 2000’s personal development course and others have met with advisers to gain further information on becoming self-employed.

At one of the most recently held school gates events, the Northwood Community Day, Train 2000’s Training Co-ordinator Bernie Cox and Enterprise Manager Jackie Williams, took along fresh fruit and marshmallows, encouraging children to make their own fruit kebabs whilst mums received information on the services offered by Train 2000.

Jackie added: “Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to meet parents and children but it also enabled us to make good links with other organisations in the community.”

Train 2000 has a range of further exciting events taking place throughout the forthcoming months as part of the School Gates projects, so watch this space for more details.

The five schools involved in Knowsley as part of the School Gates project are; St Peter and Paul’s Catholic Primary, Ravenscroft Primary, Eastcroft Primary School, Overdale Primary School and Knowsley Northern Primary Support Centre.

For further information about the School Gates project or to find out more about the services being offered by Train 2000 call 0151 236 6601 or email info@train2000.org.uk

Thursday, April 1, 2010

WICED Backs Austrailian Initiative to Support Women into Leadership

New plan for more women in big business
By Di Bain - source http://www.abc.net.au
Thu Apr 1, 2010

Westpac chief Gail Kelly is probably the best known woman in power in Australia. (AAP Image: Dean Lewins)
The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has come up with a plan for change to assist more women into leading business roles.

Australia, a country with a woman as Governor General and another as Deputy Prime Minister, still has relatively few women in top corporate jobs.

Westpac chief Gail Kelly is probably the best known, but overall only about one senior executive in 10 is a woman.

The Government has voiced its concerns about the issue and now the BCA has come up with a 12-month pilot project to mentor women into leadership roles.

It wants the chief executives of Australia's top companies to hand-pick talented women.

They are then required to mentor them and open doors to allow them to climb the corporate ladder.

The BCA itself is an organisation that is 97 per cent male, but is headed up by Katie Lahey.

She wants to change that imbalance and is spearheading a campaign to get more female representation in Australia's corporate circles.

"I actually said to the rest of the BCA membership today that I feel absolutely optimistic. There is something, there's a wind of change and it's just starting to take off," she said.

"The attention needs to now focus in on that pipeline: how do we get women from the middle of our organisations, where they're very well represented, up to what we call the C suite?"

McDonald's managing director in Australia, Catriona Noble, says the fast food chain made a deliberate decision to employ more women a few years ago and it has helped the business.

"When Guy Russo was CEO, he deliberately set out to say we're not representative of our staff base nor our customer base and somehow that feels like we are not achieving the best business results, nor being the best employer based upon that," she said.

"So yes, there was a target to go out and say we need to have better gender diversity and so it was very deliberate, but I'd have to say in recent years we no longer require that kind of targeting because it just self-perpetuates after a certain point in time."


Big companies sign up

There are a number of companies which have agreed to contribute including Woolworths, The Commonwealth Bank and Stockland property group.

Some of those company's CEOs lined up with the BCA today to make the announcement.

The move is timely because there has been speculation that the Government was considering making regulatory changes to force businesses to take on and promote more women.

BCA president Graham Bradley denied it is a rearguard response.

"No, I don't think that's the motivation here at all. I think as Katie [Lahey] has said, this is an issue that's been on the table of businesses and our organisation for many years and we just weren't seeing enough progress," he said.

"And so we looked at it to say 'what can we do?' We're a CEO member organisation, other people are doing things in relation to directors, what can we do that'll make a constructive contribution? And as I've said, we found very spontaneous support from our membership for it."

Leo D'Angelo Fisher, a financial commentator for business magazine BRW, says it is a fresh approach to those put forward by other women's lobby groups.

He says in the past, some organisations have wanted companies to commit to a quota or number of female leaders.

"Quotas suggest that there's systematic discrimination or prejudice and I've never seen any research that suggests that's the case," he said.

"So I think it is appropriate that we seek a greater representation of women on boards, but rather than look to quotas, which I think is the easy solution, we should be looking at why that is the case."