Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Career change success for Liverpool businesswoman

FOR the most part of her career Jackie Mogan has always worked in an office – that is until last month when she opened up her own business Mogo’s Sandwhich Bar.

Now, instead of sitting behind a computer she spends her days making breakfasts and lunches from the newly opened sandwich bar on Park Road in the Toxteth area of Liverpool.

“We have only been open for a couple of weeks” said Jackie, “and already people are getting to know we’re here. We thought the location would be great for a sandwich bar because there is nothing else like this in the area, and we are getting a lot of trade from business people in the area wanting breakfasts, lunches and mid-morning snacks from us.”

Although Jackie has not previously completed any catering qualifications she very much enjoys working with food and making sandwich creations. “All of the food is made up in front of the customer while they wait” said Jackie, “this means they can come in and order the combination they want and they know exactly what they’re getting.”

Jackie recently gained her food hygiene certificate and is now planning to complete further qualifications in catering. She has already employed her niece in the sandwich bar, who is trained in catering and says that the two of them work extremely well together in the shop.

“I am delighted with how well things are going” said Jackie, “I absolutely love being my own boss and can’t ever imagine going back to work for some one else again.”

Prior to starting up her business Jackie contacted the Chamber of Commerce who put her in touch with Train 2000, where she received free business start up help and advice.

Jackie said: “Going to Train 2000 was really helpful and I found my adviser really easy to talk to and was made to feel very comfortable. It was good to have some one to help me put my business plan together as this is something I have never done before.”

53-year-old Jackie who has three grandchildren, added: “Going into self-employment is an exciting new challenge for me. I was ready for a career change and I am so glad I have made that move and finally done it.”

Mogo’s Sandwich Bar is based at 207 Park Road in Toxteth and the shop can be contacted on 0151 726 8844.

And, if you’re a woman living in Merseyside and are interested in starting up your own business, contact Train 2000 for FREE business advice and support by calling 0151 236 6601 or visit www.train2000.org.uk

Women at work - why they are absent more than men

Source: http://www.cutimes.com/Issues/2010/August-18-2010/Pages/Womens-Issues-Are-Not-Just-Womens-Issues.aspx?page=3

AN article published on the internet has revealed that during an average week in America 5.1 per cent of women are absent from work for reasons other than injury and illness compared to their male counterparts at 2.7 per cent.

And, it has been predicted that women will continue to have primary responsibility for home and family matters which in turn affects their work attendance negatively.

The American Enterprise Institute has published Women’s Figures: The Economic Progress of Women in America, which states that childless women at age 30 earn 95 cents to a man’s dollar, but working mothers earn 75% as much as men.

The issue is a Catch 22: If men continue to make more money, it economically makes sense for the mother to take off from work rather than the father. Yet, if equality is to improve, the mother’s absenteeism must be reduced.

To read the full article click here.

Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director for Train 2000, said: “We see a number of women coming to Train 2000 to start up their own business, who have children.

“Many of these women say that by becoming self-employed it gives them a better work-life balance and the flexibility to work and still be economically independent as well as bringing up their children.”

If you are a woman and are interested in starting up your own business contact Train 2000 for FREE advice and support on 0151 236 6601 or visit www.train2000.org.uk

Friday, August 27, 2010

African dream for Knowsley businesswoman

FOR Kathleen Galloway starting up her own business was about much more than becoming an entrepreneur in fact it is helping to keep the memory of her husband well and truly alive.

“My husband and I had been visiting Africa for years” said Kathleen, who opened up African Dream last year, “it was a place we both loved deeply and we always admired the beautiful handmade products sold there, so when my husband passed away it seemed only natural that I should start up my own business selling handcrafted goods from Africa in this country.”

58-year-old Kathleen, who had been married to her husband for 38 years, said: “For over ten years my husband Kevin and myself went to Africa on holiday, we traveled to Zambia, and all over South Africa.

“Kevin had a serious heart condition and also suffered with Cerebella Ataxia, which affected his speech, eye sight and walking. He loved Africa and we went as often as we could despite his illness. We arrived in Cape Town for a two week holiday on 2nd November 2007. We had only been there for a few hours, Kevin had just helped an old man who was having difficulty in walking; we walked away from the man holding hands and talking when Kevin dropped to the floor in mid sentence and tragically died of a massive heart attack.”

She continued: “He always felt we could start a business selling African curios in England, and after he died I felt that was all I wanted to do, hence the name African Dream.”

Now Kathleen, who is mum to her three grown up children, travels over to Africa dealing with the people who make the goods and building up great friendships with them.

And, through her website and Ebay shop she sells a range of products including hand made jewellery, beautiful ladies crochet tops, wood-carved animals and much more.
“I love what I am doing” said Kathleen “and I know my products are of the highest quality because the African people have so much pride in what they create.

“By setting up African Dream I really feel as though I am keeping the memory of Kevin alive and I am so glad that although he can’t live the dream with me, that I have been able to do it on behalf of both of us. I just know he would be so proud of what I have achieved.”

Prior to starting up the business, Kathleen who lives in Knowsley, came along to women’s enterprise agency Train 2000 for advice and support.

She said: “Train 2000 has given me great help and support in setting my business up. It has been a difficult time for me and a very emotional experience going through with something my husband I had planned to do together, so it has been lovely to have somewhere to turn to for advice and questions I needed answering along the way.”

To find out more about African Dream you can visit Kathleen’s website at www.africandream.uk.com where there is a description of all the products available and links to her Ebay shop.

And, if you’re a woman and interested in starting up your own business then please call Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601 or visit www.train2000.org.uk

Rise in women's entrepreneurship - extraordinary

Source: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/23/2169992/small-business-adviser-why-womens.html

AN article on a Kansas City website has revealed that the rise of women’s entrepreneurship since the 1980’s has been extraordinary.

Research shows that in the late 1970’s women-owned businesses accounted for just 4.5 per cent of all businesses - but by 2008 the figure had risen to a massive 40 per cent and the trend still continues.

Now, nearly two out of three businesses are started by women.
The Centre for Women’s Business Research says that women possess skills and traits that are the key to successful entrepreneurship.

These key skills include communication, multi-tasking, building alliances and social relationships, collaboration and deliberative planning and action – all of which help to make a business successful.

To find out more and to read the full article click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Business is booming for female plasterer Stephanie

WHEN single mum Stephanie Kilshaw was made redundant last December the search for a new job became almost impossible – so after four months of unemployment she decided it was time to take a new approach.

And that’s when she took the decision to start up her own business – as a plasterer.
“I had always worked in an office environment within Human Resources” said 34-year-old Stephanie, “but when I was made unemployed and couldn’t find a new job I decided to turn my hand to plastering and set up my business The Pink Plasterer.

“I love plastering and have plastered for friends and family in the past, so I decided to give it a go. I went along to the DIY School in Stockport which supports women doing careers like; plastering, tiling and decorating and I gained the qualifications I needed to run alongside my experience.”

Then Stephanie came along to Train 2000 where she received free help and advice under the business start-up programme, which included one-to-one support in putting her business plan together and the opportunity to attend a series of one day workshops.

“I honestly could not have done this without Train 2000” said Stephanie, who is from West Derby, “It felt very daunting going into a male dominated area as a plaster and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. But the staff at Train 2000, were so encouraging and made me believe in myself and that I could make it work.

“I had never done a business plan before and the help I got was just brilliant. I have been on a couple of courses including the tax and national insurances ones and they have made me feel so much more confident about the financial side of running my business. Train 2000 was fantastic and I would certainly recommend it to other women.”

And, since starting up the business Stephanie has literally been inundated with work and is currently working a six-day week to keep up with demand. She has even taken on a labourer and plans to increase her workforce over the forthcoming months.

She said: “The fact that I am a woman is really working in my favour. A lot of my customers are the over 60’s who say they feel happier having a woman in the house and they think I will be tidier than a man! A lot of builders are also using me to do their plastering because they believe women are more meticulous.”

Stephanie says that when she first started up the business a lot of her friends were amused by the fact that she was a female plasterer and that men in particular would joke about her line of work – but she says that once they had seen her plastering they joked no more!

Stephanie, who is mum to her four-year-old daughter Meg, added: “I absolutely love what I do, being self-employed is great and I can’t ever see myself working for anyone else again. And, being a mum, it means that I can manage my work around my little girl.”

Over the next three years Stephanie has plans to develop a Merseyside-wide women’s DIY service and is looking to take on women in other areas such as painting and decorating, tiling and much more.

“I really think there is a call for this kind of service” said Stephanie, “I have seen how popular my plastering work is and the response I get to adverts because I say I am a female plasterer is astounding. I definitely plan to build the business up further – and although it was hard at the time, I’m now glad I was made redundant otherwise I may never have had the chance to do what I’m doing now. Every day I look forward to going to work and I really love what I do.”

If you would like to speak to Stephanie or to get a quote for some plastering work please call her on 07861 702 463 or email thepinkplasterer@gmail.com

And, if you’re a woman from the Merseyside or Greater Manchester area and are interested in starting up your own business please call Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601 or visit www.train2000.org.uk

EU plans to bring in gender quotas - more top jobs to be filled by women

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/7892371/EU-plans-20-women-quota-for-boardrooms.html

MORE top jobs are soon to be filled by women following EU plans to introduce new gender quotas.

If, by 2011 the private sector does not increase female representation in the boardroom companies will be forced to fill at least a fifth of their top jobs with women.

The EU’s Fundamental Rights Commissioner, Vivienne Redding, has warned that unless more board room seats are filled by women by the end of 2011, she will use new powers under the Lisbon Treaty to impose "gender quotas".

The target would be imposed at the European level meaning that British companies, where only one in 10 of board seats are filled by women, would be required to more than double women's representation.

But she warned: "I do not rule out the possibility of putting forward legislation in this area."

Legislation would mean that major British companies would have just five years to double the numbers of senior British business women.

Matthew Fell, the CBI's director of company affairs, said: "The best and most sustainable way to promote diversity in the boardroom is by selecting candidates from as wide a talent pool as possible, and by making appointments based on merit."

A British government spokesman said: “Improving gender equality on company boards is an important aim, but we are against rigid quotas.”

To read the full article click here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

WICED expert panel member gains new role with the Center for Women's Business Research

ONE of WICED’s expert panel members Dr Patricia G. Greene has been elected to a two year term as Chair of the Board of the Center for Women’s Business Research.

The Center, a 20 year old Washington DC based research organization dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship, provides data driven-knowledge which helps advance the economic, social and political impact of women business owners and their enterprises.

Dr. Greene has a long career in entrepreneurial research and program building. Her current project at Babson is to lead the design team for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses national curriculum.

Dr. Greene said: "I have relied upon the data from the Center for Women’s Business Research my entire academic career. I am honored to be elected to the Chair position and I very much look forward to working with our many long standing partners, and quite a few new ones, to continue building our model of the future. The mission of the Center is not complete and deserves our continued efforts."

Doctor Greene’s research agenda focuses upon entrepreneurial resources, particularly acquisition of resources by women and minority entrepreneurs.

Dr Greene plans to continue the transformative work started under the current chair Beverly A. Holmes, to move the Center for Women’s Business Research to a 21st century research organization through the application of technology driven real time research; conducted by a global network of recognized researchers; building out the research panel focus groups of diverse women business owners from all over the world ("Wbiz Insight") and working through a collaboration of partnerships with educational institutions, corporations, government entities, policy makers, women’s organizations and women business owners.

Maggie O’Carroll, CEO for WICED, said: “I am delighted that Dr Patricia Greene has been elected as Chair of the Board of the Center for Women’s Business Research.

“She has achieved a great deal in the area of women’s entrepreneurship and will continue to do in this new role. As a member of our expert panel she brings a huge range of knowledge and skills to WICED and plays a significant role in developing the organization as a world leader.”

Work on WICED is expected to be completed by December 2010 – providing a multitude of services to women throughout the region and creating thousands of jobs over the coming years.

It is being developed by Train 2000, following a £2.4 million investment from the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme – part of a £5.3 million finance package.

The ERDF programme is backed by the Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) – a group of senior representatives from across the region. The group was formed to monitor, oversee and advise on the delivery of the programme and improved invaluable to the development of the new fund.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are women doing business just like men?

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tabby-biddle/are-you-a-woman-doing-bus_b_664681.html

AN article appearing on an American website has been asking the questions Are you a woman doing business like a man?

The article suggests that in order to make it in the business world women have had to play a certain game, by either becoming the bitchy boss or dressing down their femininity.

Today, however women are running their businesses in increasing numbers and are making their own rules. According to the Center for Women's Business Research women-owned businesses comprise 40 per cent of all privately held companies in the U.S. and women entrepreneurs are among the fastest growing groups.

But, there is a suggestion that while women are making great strides in the business world there is a sense of disconnect and even though they have a track record of accomplishments they don't necessarily feel good inside.

'Is running your business like a man hurting you" this is the question Alexis Martin Neely, CEO of the Family Wealth Planning Institute, asked a roomful of women entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.

To find out what response she got read more of this article here.

If you're a woman who is thinking about starting up in business and you want some advice on how to become self-employed please contact Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601 or visit our website www.train2000.org.uk

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Train 2000 links with Canadian women's enterprise centre

Maggie O'Carroll, chief executive of Train 2000 has linked up with Canadian counterpart Sandra Altner (pictured) in an effort to encourage women's enterprise globally. Maggie met with Sandra during her recent visit to Canada to speak at the renowned Diana International Conference on Women's Entrepreneurship Research. Sandra heads the Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (WEC), an organisation that has helped thousands of women throughout the province find information, improve their skills and acquire financing so that they can start, expand or purchase a business. An award-winning entrepreneur, Sandra is a fellow of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants and is past president of the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Manitoba. Maggie says: "I am really looking forward to working with Sandra to share expertise and do all we can to encourage societies globally to harness women's enterprise and support women to start up and grow their own businesses. The benefits to this are numerous including greater financial independence for women and a reduction in family poverty."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Train 2000 joins Liverpool Pride

TRAIN 2000 was among the 21,000 visitors who attended Liverpool's first ever Pride festival which was held last weekend.

The two-day festival, which has been hailed a huge success, saw themed arts exhibitions, sports tournaments as well as a rainbow circus, as part of the many attractions taking place throughout the city centre.

And, on the Saturday there was a 3,000 strong parade through the streets from St Georges Plateau to the main stage on Dale Street.

Train 2000's Operations Manager, Lynn Kelly and Enterprise Promotion Worker, Jo Dunn, took the Train 2000 exhibition to the festival - where they talked to visitors about the many opportunities available to women who are considering starting up their own businesses and becoming self employed.

Train 2000 also held a prize raffle draw which was won by a woman from Aigburth who came along to the stand to discuss her ideas for starting up in business.

Jo Dunn, Enterprise Promotion Worker, said: "The atmosphere at Liverpool Pride was absolutely amazing, it was a fantastic event and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

"There was a lot of interest in Train 2000 and we received dozens of enquiries from women looking to start up their own businesses. Liverpool Pride was an excellent opportunity for Train 2000 to showcase the work it does and we are really looking forward to taking part again next year."

To find out more about Train 2000 visit www.train2000.org.uk or call us on 0151 236 6601.

New opportunities for South African businesswomen

Source: http://www.southerntimesafrica.com/article.php?title=All%20set%20for%20SADC%20Women%20in%20Business%20Summit&id=4577

WOMEN entrepreneurs in South Africa are being urged to create new business opportunities at a women-only trade fair being held in Namibia this month.

The SADC (Southern African Development Community) will hold the fair in conjunctions with the Namibian Government in a bid to ensure economic empowerment of women through the creation of opportunities and for women in business to identify new markets for their productions.

Women from across 14 member states will participate at the trade fair and items to be exhibited include arts, handicrafts products, textiles and clothing, health products and much more.

In addition the exhibition also aims to create a forum for exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences for business expansion and networking; to promote intra and inter regional trade among women in business and to promote partnerships and industrial cooperation for businesses with growth potential and expose them to investors.

Women in Business Associations/Organisations within the SADC region met in Zimbabwe for the first time in 1996, to discuss issues affecting women in micro or small scale enterprises. They instituted 'A Woman in Business SADC Trade Fair' to be held in a selected SADC member state once every two years, where all Member states of SADC are expected to participate.

Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director for Train 2000, said: “It is very encouraging to see that there are initiatives across the world to improve the economic empowerment of women.

“Whilst at Train 2000 we work directly with women at a regional level, we also work at an international level to ensure the continued economic development of female entrepreneurs.”

Very much like the trade fair being held in South Africa, Train 2000 holds a variety of networking opportunities for women in business from across the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas. To find out more about our forthcoming networking events please call us on 0151 236 6601.

Clear collections for Knowsley businesswoman

For Susan Fallace becoming a self-employed debt collector was never a career move she intended to make but since starting up her own business ‘Clear Collections’ she has never enjoyed going to work so much.

“I initially trained to be a primary school teacher” said Sue “and whilst I was doing some supply teaching, I also got some debt collecting work to bring in extra income, it was just something I fell into really.”

“But I soon realised that debt collecting was a job I absolutely loved and I wanted to do this far more than I wanted to be a teacher.”

So, Sue set about starting up her own debt collection business ‘Clear Collections’ and now collects debts on behalf of other businesses.

She said: “Debt collecting is nothing like people imagine and it’s certainly not like what you often see on TV. It is a much more administrative process involving a knowledge of finance and legal procedures. As my clients are often small businesses they rely on me to collect their debts swiftly and Clear Collections becomes an integral part of their business solutions.”

Although Susan has only been in business for a few months she has already built up a number of clients and says that so far business is going really well.

The Knowsley resident, who has three children and one grandchild, came to Train 2000 for help and support under the business start-up programme to set her business up.

“Knowsley Fresh Start put me in touch with Train 2000” said Susan, “and without the help I received from Train 2000 I couldn’t have done it. The courses I went on were brilliant too. I did the bookkeeping course and the PR workshop and plan to go on more in the future.”

Susan says she could no longer imagine doing a nine ‘til five job again, as she very much enjoys the flexibility of working for herself.

To find out more about Clear Collections visit www.clearcollections.co.uk or email mail@clearcollections.co.uk

If you are a woman and are interested in starting up your own business please contact Train 2000 on 0151 236 6601 or visit www.train2000.org.uk

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Southport businesswoman sets up new tuition agency

WHEN Amanda Smith had her fourth child it gave her the final push she needed to become her own boss - and within just months her private tuition agency ‘Southport Tutors’ was up and running.

“When I had my fourth child, I just couldn’t face going back into the workforce and leaving her everyday” said Amanda, “so I took the plunge and decided to become self-employed and although it was a difficult decision to make I’m so glad that I did it.”

Now 40-year-old Amanda, who is from Southport, offers private tuition to pupils across all subjects, within Merseyside and Lancashire.

“Already I have students on my books” said Amanda, “I have been extremely pleased with the response I have had so far to my business advertising. I offer the full range of subjects, right up to A’ level and beyond if the demand arises.”

Whilst Amanda does some of the tutoring herself at the moment – through the agency, she is taking on other personal tutors and matching them up with the needs of her students.

She explained: “Parents have contacted me because their children need support in many subject areas such as Maths, Biology, Chemistry, and English to name just a few. And, probably the most challenging aspect of running my own business so far has been finding tutors to deliver the vast array of subjects that are in demand, but I am building this side of the agency up all the time.”

Amanda, who was formerly a lecturer in Performing Arts and Creative Writing in the Further Education sector, came along to Train 2000 prior to going into self-employment where she received help and advice under the business start-up programme.

“Train 2000 was of great benefit to me and really helped me along the way” said Amanda, “I had several sessions with my adviser Rhian who met up with me in the Southport area. She took me through the stages involved in putting a business plan together which proved to be extremely useful.”

Amanda says that she is ‘determined to make the business work’ and adds she thoroughly enjoys being her own boss and can’t imagine going back to being told what to do by an employer again.

Southport Tutors provides private academic tuition and Learning for Pleasure courses in and around the Southport area and anyone interested in finding out more should visit www.southporttutors.com or email Amanda at asmith@southporttutors.com.

And if you would like to find out more about Train 2000 visit www.train2000.org.uk or call 0151 236 6601

Train 2000 at International Conference in Canada

TRAIN 2000'S Executive Director Maggie O'Carroll is speaking at an international conference being held in Canada this week.

The DIANA International Conference on Women's Entrepreneurship Research is taking place in Banff, the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

The conference, which is set to make a significant contribution to extending knowledge about women's entrepreneurship will look at a vareity of themes over the two days.

More than 80 delegates will be in attendance from 21 countries across the world, discussing their latest research, findings and ideas.

Train 2000's Maggie O'Carroll, who will be delivering a speech at the event, said: "The DIANA Conference will provide an excellent opportunity for delegates from across the world to discuss the important issue of women's entrepreneurship.

"I am delighted to be speaking at the event and believe that this is a very positive way of raising the profile of Train 2000 and WICED the Women's International Centre for Economic Development."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dreamers Centre Launch Befriending Service

Jennifer English started 'The Dreamers Centre' when she noticed a gap in support for local women. Having come through difficult times herself, Liverpool lass Jennifer realised the importance of having someone to get alongside women who were battling with addiction, victims of domestic violence and suffering from depression,

The team launched the centre by holding a self funded community fun day at Bohemians Tennis Club off Queen's Drive. Women attending were given the chance to enjoy massage therapy, take part in a breast cancer awareness session with WHISC, find out about support available through local services such as women's enterprise support from Train 2000, and watch a powerful dramatic performance about the effects of domestic violence.

Jennifer explained to Joanne Wadeson, Engagement worker for Train 2000, that she had set up the service having realised the importance of "just having someone to cry along with you in tough times."

"That is what the Dreamers Centre offers, it's something that you can't get through the standard healthcare services. The befriending service is about having another woman get alongside you for that extra support" she added.

Having attended Train 2000's 'Women's Circles' to build her confidence and local community contacts Jennifer then saw one of the business advice team to put her ideas into a plan.

As well as the befriending service 'The Dreamers Centre' offers opportunity for women to join in with community drama and crafts, and are continuing to add to their activities upon demand from women in Liverpool. If you feel you could benefit from this service or would like to find out more, contact Jennifer on thedreamerscentre@googlemail.com