Friday, July 29, 2011

WAST Women March for Human Rights

Around 80 people joined in Liverpool today to March for justice for asylum seekers. Lead by the women from WAST, supporters included Merseyside Womens Movement, Sahir House, other local community activists. The march set off from St George's plateau and marched down Dale Street, along to Reliance House on Water street. The march then headed back to the plateau to hear from inspirational speakers.

The march was organised by the women from WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together) specifically to hand in a list of demands for justice to the UKBA, from their members who are suffering and being denied human rights as asylum seekers.

For more information on WAST contact:

77 Thompson St,
M4 5FY

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Apprenticeship Opportunity with The Women's Organisation

The Women’s Organisation is an innovative, social enterprise, that provides quality enterprise and employment services and influences policy in order to improve the economic position of women.

The Women’s Organisation is seeking to recruit a 'trainee administrator' as part of The Liverpool City Council Apprenticeship Programme to join our team on a 6 month fixed term contract. The successful candidate will undertake a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business Administration. Candidates must possess GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above.

Hours: 37.5m per week
Salary: Apprenticeship Rate

Application forms can be downloaded shortly from Closing date for receipt of applications is 10a.m. Monday, 15th August 2011. Interviews will take place on 30th and 31st August 2011

Applications should be returned to:
Lynn Kelly, The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool L1 0AB

The Women’s Organisation is committed to equality and diversity, and we welcome applications from all sections of the community

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Trendy Vend Ltd secures £1m private investment and plans expansion

TWO Liverpool sisters who graduated with their own business idea aimed at trendy bar-goers and clubbers have received more than £1m of private investment.

The cash injection by Manchester- based national bar media contractor Hi-tech Media will allow Trendy Vend to roll out installation of its specialist vending machines nationally.

Kayleigh and Talia Baccino graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 2008 with the idea of a vending machine aimed at the night-time economy providing a range of cosmetics for female revellers.

The idea has since been extended to a Trendy Vend for Him machine.

The first machines were installed in Liverpool bar restaurant Alma De Cuba in November 2008 and now 250 more are in production to be installed in venues around the country.

Kayleigh Baccino said they are developing a network for their machines: “We were in an Earls Court trade show recently and signed up quite a few new names. We have people in Cardiff, Bristol, Sheffield and Newcastle and 250 machines will be installed in the next three weeks.”

The cash injection means the girls can install a further 100 new machines each month, with a target of 1,000 in place by this Christmas.

She said the male version, offering items such as hair wax, combs, aftershave, mints and antacids, will extend their appeal, although the private investment was vital for expansion.

“Because the machines aren’t leased or off the shelf there was a lot of capital investment required.”

She said the investment is part of a three-year business plan.

It gives Hi-tech a majority stake in the business, but she added: “It is a sacrifice we had to make to grow the potential of the business.

“But there is an opportunity for us to buy the shares back in the future.”

Having started their business with support from womens enterprise support agency The Women's Organisation (formally Train 2000), funding from Stepclever and help through LJMU Graduate Entrepreneurs scheme; Trendy Vend won Start-up of the Year in the 2009 Liverpool John Moores University graduate enterprise awards, and also won the Best Young Entrepreneurs prize and £10,000 in the Morgan Foundation Awards.

If you are a woman in Merseyside or Greater Manchester looking for business start up support contact The Women's Organisation on 0151 706 8111/ 0161 833 8800 or for information on how we can help.

More on this at Your Business EZine.

Source: Liverpool Daily Post Business News

Monday, July 25, 2011

Women’s Enterprise Agency Welcomes World-Renowned Expert

World-leading women’s business expert Professor Karen Hughes met female entrepreneurs, Nicola Gleave Head of Enterprise from Liverpool Vision and Cllr Gary Millar when she visited the city’s renowned Women’s International Centre for Economic Development.

Professor Hughes is a leading academic and advisor to the Canadian Government on female enterprise and is visiting the city in her role as research expert to the Women’s International Centre for Economic Development. Professor Hughes toured the £5.5m centre home to the Women’s Organisation having contributing to its initial development.

The links with female enterprise experts across the world is hugely important and is already proving business opportunities for Merseyside based women’s businesses trading with Canada and North America.

Maggie O Carroll CEO form the Women’s Organization said “We are delighted that Professor Hughes who is a world-leading researcher in female entrepreneurship has taken time out of her busy European schedule to come to Liverpool and her close ties to women businesses will enable us to facilitate trading networks between Liverpool and Canada”.

“From its inception, the new home of the Women’s Organisation has welcomed the idea of linking with international partners. Our goal is to draw on the world-wide experiences of women’s economic development and to use that research and partnership working to drive forward women’s business performance and international trading opportunities”

Professor Hughes, a Cambridge University graduate is the author of ‘Female Enterprise in the New Economy’, one of the most authoritative books relating to women’s enterprise. Professor Hughes said
“ There is a strong evince base to suggest that women remain an untapped market as entrepreneurs here in the UK and that appropriate Government policy and programmes will help reverse that trend as it has done in Canada. I am delighted to be involved with the development of this centre, it really is a global first. By combining research with innovative gender business support and incubation it will have a local and international impact”

The Women’s International Centre for Economic Development, situated in the Baltic Triangle area of the city, provides a range of services focused on women’s start-up businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises. This includes ’incubation’ units for new and high growth women enterprises and an international research and knowledge centre focused on women’s enterprise and wider economic development issues.

To find out more about the free services available from The Women’s Organisation, including advice and support on starting a business, call 0151 706 8111.

Alternatively please email or visit

Friday, July 22, 2011

Building Business Through Social Media

Over 50 northwest business women gathered at The Women's Organisation's Liverpool offices this week to network and to gather handy hints on how to be use E-Marketing and Social Media for business.

This month's business club event featured talks from Bryan Adams of ph.creative and Emma Dolan of Your Business Ezine. Bryan gave an insightful talk around social media tools and tips, looking at how to best utilise the marketing tools already out there, and anticipating future developments. A copy of his presentation from the evening can be viewed by clicking here.Emma gave a motivating talk around her journey in setting up her own business and her experience of using the internet for 'Your Business Ezine'.

We asked the women what they particularly enjoyed about the event. Some hi-lights of what the women found helpful included:

"The Positive attitude from both speakers"
"Networking with other business owners"
"Awareness of advertising opportunities"
"Understanding social media sites"
"Information on future trends"
"Interaction with the audience"
"SEO tips"
"Excellent presentation by Bryan"
"Speakers were very clear"
"Finding out about Press Room"
"Social Networking"
"Info about Your Business Ezine"
"Comfortable environment"
"The number of people attending"
"Advice, support and networking"
"E-Marketing Presentation"
"Bryan's presentation and specific info about social media"

The Women's Organisation business club is currently offering FREE membership to women in Merseyside and Greater Manchester who are running their own business. This offer won't last forever, so now is the time to sign up. Membership offers you access to our networking and specialist industry events throughout the year. For details on how to join please contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Our next business club event will be a 'Summer Social' including networking, live music, a free raffle and refreshments. Taking place on Thursday 18th August 6pm-8.30pm, booking is essential and open only to business club members. Become our facebook fan for more details of this and future events.

The Women's Organisation Supporting International Female Entrepreneurship

The Women's Organisation are proud to be connecting with and supporting female entrepreneurship worldwide. One particular finalist of the Electrolux design challenge this year caught our eye.

Roseanne de Bruin (New Zealand) made a game out of blending a smoothie at home with the Smoobo Blender. Bounce this space age ball around and the kinetic energy gets the blades moving.

Every year Electrolux puts out a brief on one of today’s design challenges. Open to design students who dare to dream about ever-advancing household convenience, it’s fun to see the innovation that emerges. This year’s brief for “intelligent mobility” is explained here in this video.

“From a field of 1,300, the top 25 concepts have been chosen from designers based in 14 countries across the world. Australia, New Zealand and Poland are represented by three entries each whilst Canada, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea and the USA have two representatives each.”

Just 3 Female 'Design Students Who Shake The Kitchen Loose' have had their products named as 'Household Appliances of the Future' by Electrolux as the selected finalists.

Finalist Roseanne de Bruin is following family trend in paving the way for female enterpreneurship. Her mother Professor Anne de Bruin is currently working with The Women's Organisation as one of the WICED panel of experts, pooling international knowledge to champion women's economic development.






Members of WAST invite organizations and individuals to join and support them as they march in Liverpool from St Georges Square (opposite the Liverpool Lime Street station) to the UKBA (on Water Street) to hand in a list of demands for justice to the UKBA, from WAST members who are suffering and being denied human rights as asylum seekers.

WAST is hiring a 70 seater coach which is for WAST members and their families and are at present unable to arrange other group’s transport, but hope you can still join them. If you cannot attend but would like to sponsor a WAST member and make a contribution to the coach fee (£6.00per person) it would be appreciated (send to address below- cheques made out to WAST with “MARCH” written on the back!). The march will go full circle back to St Georges square for a rally till 4pm.

77 Thompson St,
M4 5FY

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vote Patricia Greene: WICED Panel Member Nominated for Award

The Women's Organisation were delighted to learn that one of our WICED expert panel member Patricia Greene has been nominated for a 2011 Small Business Influencer Award in: Gurus Category.

Patricia Greene is Professor of Entrepreneurship of Babson College, where she holds the President's Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship.

She previously served as Provost, and before that as the Dean of the Undergraduate School. Prior to joining Babson, Greene held the Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Chair in Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (1998-2003) and the New Jersey Chair of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Rutgers University (1996-1998).

Greene earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a BS from the Pennsylvania State University.

Twitter ID: @PGGreene

Why Include
Greene was a founding member of the Rutgers Center for Entrepreneurial Management and the coordinator of the Rutgers Entrepreneurship Curriculum. She helped to found KC SourceLink, the Entrepreneurial Growth Resource Center, the Business & Information Development Group, the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Internship Program and the Entrepreneurial Effect, among others. She is also a founding member of the Diana Project, a research group focusing on women entrepreneurs and the VC industry.

There are just 19 days left to vote. Please do follow this link and add your support.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Further Confidence Boost for Knowsley Women

The Women's Organisation are delighted to be able to offer further FREE training to support women in the Knowsley area.

The Women’s Step Up Project is a modular Personal Development programme. Its overall aim is to improve women’s personal confidence and enhance employability skills.

26th July, 2nd & 9th August 2011

New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre
Lichfield Road; Halewood
L26 1TT

This project is aimed at adults not currently involved in learning aged 19+, particularly:

• Excluded groups
• People with low/no qualifications (level 2 or below)
• Lone parents
• People with disabilities
• Women returners
• Mature learners (50+)
• Supporting capacity in local communities including learning mentors

Running over 2 days the sessions include:

Session 1 - A More Assertive You
Enabling participants to identify the difference between assertive, non assertive, manipulative and aggressive behaviours helping them to develop a more open behaviour; develop confidence and personal effectiveness; improve communication skills increasing the opportunity for improved decision making, decreasing the possibility of conflict and stress.

Session 2 - Build Your Communication Skills
Enabling participants to develop skills to communicate effectively and identify the power of non verbal communication. Participants will understand how we stereotype and make assumptions based on first impressions.

Session 3 - Complete a Skills Audit and Develop your Personal Profile
Enabling participants to identify personal skills and qualities and match these to learning and employment opportunities. Participants will use this to produce a personal statement and develop an understanding of how to present themselves on CVs and application forms.

Session 4 – Successful Job Application
Enabling participants to understand successful Job Application techniques.

Childcare and travel expenses can be paid by special arrangement, Call 0151 706 8111 for further information, to check eligibility and to book on

Open Culture Call for Stallholders

Open Culture Call for Stallholders

Open Culture are pleased as punch to present a plethora of arts, craft and vintage fair opportunities this summer! There will be a series of monthly Liverpool ONE Arts & Craft Fairs following the success of the trial event in early May this year. Wed also like to announce a new event Art by the Ferry at Woodside Ferry Terminal this August, which is a trial event that we hope will be the first in a series of events!

Liverpool ONE Arts & Craft Fairs
Thomas Steers Way, Liverpool ONE (nr the Hilton)
10.30am - 5.30pm

30 & 31st July 2011 [Deadline for applicants 20 July 2011]
13 & 14th August 2011 [Deadline for applicants 24 July 2011]
10 & 11th September 2011 [Deadline for applicants 24 July 2011]

Artists, designers and makers are invited to apply for the Liverpool ONE Arts & Craft Fairs

This summer Liverpool ONE hosts some of the North Wests finest artists and designers in a series of arts & craft fairs. Situated on Thomas Steers Way, the promenade adjacent to the Hilton Hotel and various bars and cafes, the fair will sit between the bustling heart of Liverpool ONE and the Albert Dock. Summer sees the city come alive, with the fairs coinciding with some major events and attractions including the Albert Dock Pirate Weekend, On the Waterfront, the Liverpool ONE Beach and the Tickle the Ivories piano festival. A series of creative workshops will also take place at the events, where members of the public can get crafty themselves!

Pitch details: The event will have approx. 30 pitches. A pitch includes one 6 x 2.3ft trestle table and one chair. All pitches will be sheltered within an outdoor marquee running the length of Thomas Steers Way. The marquees will have white/transparent sides and a bi-colour roof in white/red and white/blue.

Costs: A pitch costs 50 per day
Book 2 or more and receive a 5% discount
Book 4 or more and receive a 10% discount
Book all 6 and receive a 20% discount
Download the full details

Art by the Ferry
at Woodside Ferry Terminal Birkenhead, Merseyside (nr Hamilton Square Station)

10am - 6pm
Sat 20 & Sun 21st August 2011 [Deadline for applicants 24 July 2011]

Artists, designers, makers and vintage stallholders are invited to apply for Art by the Ferry

Head to Woodside Ferry Terminal this summer for its first ever arts, craft and vintage fair! Find hundreds of affordable and unique creations from over 20 local makers including paintings, cards, homewares, prints, textiles, photography, glass, sculpture and much more. Enjoy magnificent views of the River Mersey and the famous Liverpool skyline from this Grade II listed venue, and stop for refreshments at the cafe surrounded by colour, music and creativity.

Pitch details: The event will have approx. 20 pitches. Your pitch includes one 6x2.3ft trestle table and one chair. All pitches will be situated inside and outside the entrance of Woodside Ferry Terminal. The spaces outside the entrance are sheltered beneath by a large overhanging roof.

Costs: Single day stall 20 (Either Sat or Sun) Weekend stall 32 (Both Sat & Sun) [Deadline for applicants 24 July 2011]

Download the full details

How to apply We ask all applicants to complete our online application form, together with some images of the work you wish to sell and proof of your public liability insurance. Important: If you dont provide images of your work we cannot accept your application. Apply online at

Questions? Call 0151 478 4928 or email

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Present Yourself with Confidence to Get the Business Results You Want

An offer from one of our Business Club Members:

Do you
 absolutely dread or even totally avoid speaking at business events?
 feel embarrassed and flustered when asked to speak on the spot?
 ever get gut wrenching nerves before you have to speak in front of people?

Would you like to learn how to
 permanently get rid of the nerves and anxiety associated with speaking in public?
 be truly confident, relaxed and composed in any situation?
 be able to genuinely connect and engage with anyone, anytime, anyplace, anywhere?

If you have answered "Yes" to any of these, then this workshop could be just what you are looking for - How to Present Yourself with Confidence to Get the Business Results You Want with Cath Daley. Cath presented an introduction to her confidence building techniques at The Women's Organisation Business Club event 'Business Strategy - connections that count' earlier this year.

In This One Day Workshop You'll Learn How To Be Truly Confident, Comfortable and Relaxed Presenting Yourself and Your Business in Any Situation, So That You Really Make an Impact, Stand Out in Your Marketplace and Win More Business

What’s included?

•You’ll receive personal individual coaching and feedback during the day, as registration is limited to only 12 delegates, ensuring that your individual needs are met.
•You'll leave with your first short presentation ready to go!
•You’ll take home an invaluable manual that’s your to keep – complete with information covered in the workshop, indispensable supplementary information and plenty of room for your own notes. Everything you’ve learned will be right at your fingertips, ready for quick reference long after the workshop ends.
•You'll get a free 1-2-1 follow up personal coaching call with me to support you in implementing what you learn on the day and to help with any challenges you face. (the usual cost of this alone is £100)
•Your lunch and refreshments are included, giving you the opportunity to network with delegates during the day.
•Secure car parking is available.

And in addition :

•You have free use of the hotel leisure facilities after the workshop, which includes relaxation pool, steam room and gym
•You get 50% off a three course dinner served in the hotel restaurant after the training.

You can take advantage of Cath's 'Early Bird' offer which gives you a further 20% off the introductory price, but only until 31st July.
Early Bird Price is just £ 197 (+VAT).

You can attend the workshop at NO RISK! with a 100% money back guarantee.

You can find out more about what’s included at

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Knowsley Women 'Step Up' with The Women's Organisation

The Women's Organisation are delighted to be able to offer further FREE training to support women in the Knowsley area.

The Women’s Step Up Project is a modular Personal Development programme. Its overall aim is to improve women’s personal confidence and enhance employability skills.

Wednesday 20th and Friday 22nd July 2011 9.30am – 3.30pm

The Apple Children's Centre.
(Next to St Gabriel's Church of. England Primary School),
Ellis Ashton Street, Huyton
L36 6BH

This project is aimed at adults not currently involved in learning aged 19+, particularly:

• Excluded groups
• People with low/no qualifications (level 2 or below)
• Lone parents
• People with disabilities
• Women returners
• Mature learners (50+)
• Supporting capacity in local communities including learning mentors

Running over 2 days the sessions include:

Session 1 - A More Assertive You
Enabling participants to identify the difference between assertive, non assertive, manipulative and aggressive behaviours helping them to develop a more open behaviour; develop confidence and personal effectiveness; improve communication skills increasing the opportunity for improved decision making, decreasing the possibility of conflict and stress.

Session 2 - Build Your Communication Skills
Enabling participants to develop skills to communicate effectively and identify the power of non verbal communication. Participants will understand how we stereotype and make assumptions based on first impressions.

Session 3 - Complete a Skills Audit and Develop your Personal Profile
Enabling participants to identify personal skills and qualities and match these to learning and employment opportunities. Participants will use this to produce a personal statement and develop an understanding of how to present themselves on CVs and application forms.

Session 4 – Successful Job Application
Enabling participants to understand successful Job Application techniques.

Childcare and travel expenses can be paid by special arrangement, Call 0151 706 8111 for further information, to check eligibility and to book on

Stockport's Sian Finds 'Top Venues'

Having gained 10 years’ experience in the hospitality industry working for other people, Sian Pelleschi could see great potential for growth and slicker ways to run things. She said “Working for someone else there are always channels to go through before you can get a full ok on any decision.” Sian decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and set up her Manchester based company ‘Top Venues’.

Top Venues is a free and impartial venue finding service focusing on conferences, exhibitions, training, meetings and incentive events. Ensuring that the “focus is quality”, Sian is keen to let clients know that “we take it seriously. We work with clients from start to finish, find out preferences, budgets, what they are trying to get out of it. We’ve got a lot of good contacts with venues across the UK so can offer really good rates, sometimes better than if the client went to the venue directly. We go out and see the venues ourselves. We have the relationship so we can personally work out any problems. We act as a one point of call for the client, liaising with the venue and the client throughout the whole process right through to confirmation. We take a commission from the venue, which isn’t added onto the rates we quote the client, and even then we don’t leave you hanging. We follow up and see if there have been any issues.”

Having contacted Business Link to find support to start up, Sian was directed to The Women’s Organisation where she met with a business adviser locally to look over her business idea and work on her business plan. She said “It was really good. For the most part I felt like I knew what I was doing as I knew the industry, but I did just need that extra support and expertise in the areas I didn’t know about. I also went on some of the courses with The Women’s Organisation. It was great to meet people at the same stage with their business as me and to bat ideas around.”

It wasn’t an easy decision and Sian knew there were things to weigh up. “The scariest part of stepping out of employment and cutting a salary off was considering that I have a mortgage to pay. But I had lots of support. My family and friends were all pushing me to do it. Sometimes the people closest to you know more than you what your capabilities are. It’s surprising how many people said ‘yes you should go for it’. It’s going well so far and I’ve already started meeting new clients and helping with their events.”

Sian said of running her own business “It is the best thing I ever did. I feel so much more in control. I am able to meet clients personally, visit venues, make decisions of how to push things forward. The part I enjoy most is meeting new people, making contacts. There is a real sense of fulfilment when you can find the right venue for them. I am really looking forward to pushing this business forward, to have the type of company I always wanted to have. That’s the focus and that’s the drive.”

The most important thing to consider when starting a business according to Sian is to “make sure you are clear on what it is that you want to achieve. Prepare yourself for what you need to do, be aware of the legalities, do everything in an order, plan, put a date line in place. You can end up back tracking otherwise.”

As well as venue finding, Sian and Top Venues are branching out to offer full event planning services at an additional cost. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can use Top Venues to help you find the right setting for your event then contact 0844 870 9963 or visit the website

And if like Sian you are a woman who is interested in starting up your own business please contact The Women’s Organisation for free advice and support on 0151 706 8111 /0161 833 8800 or email Alternatively visit

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Elaine Jenkins Announced as Liverpool Design Festival Exhibitor

Liverpool Design Festival today announced via Twitter that the first profiles of this years exhibitors are now up on their website (click here). The Women's Organisation were delighted to see Elaine Jenkins Jewellery amongst them.

Since setting up her business with support from The Women's Organisation and Stepclever Elaine has grown the reputation of her business greatly and is now a member of Merseyside jewellers and metal artist network, Manchester jewellers network and the guild of jewellers.

Design graduate Elaine said "Ever since I was a child I have been obsessed with making things and figuring out how things work, how they were put together. I was inquisitive, always getting in to everything. I often went to north Wales, particularly Anglesey and was surrounded by nature which is my main source of inspiration. My work is based around the human form, its shape, the way it grows and it moves. These aspects are crossed over with my love of nature, focusing on texture and contrasting materials."

Elaine Jenkins Jewellery is handcrafted predominately from silver with 18ct gold, gold platting and diamonds. Her designs are currently stocked in Sara Preisler Gallery Birmingham, Joanne Harmer Gallery Kent and Gwyneth and Grey Guernsy. You can check out Elaine's jewellery and background at

With the struggling economy in the UK Bootle resident Elaine has decided to keep ahead of the game and is in the process of opening a second branch to her business which will be called 'Adorable Little Button Company' retailing vintage and vintage style jewellery. Elaine can be found selling these affordable fashion accessories at LEAF Cafe on Bold Street every last Sunday of the month with Pillbox Vintage.

Elaine will be launching a new collection of her own pieces at Liverpool Design Festival will take place from Thursday 6th-Sunday 9th October and will feature works by top local designer makers.

If like Elaine you would like to take your passion and turn it into a business, contact The Women's Organisation to find out how we can support women in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and Stockport in setting up a business on 0151 706 8111/0161 833 8800 or

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Europe - Women in Business, EU Parliament Calls for Quotas

Women should make up 30% of top management in the largest listed European Union (EU) companies by 2015 and 40% by 2020, believe Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). If voluntary measures fail to boost the number of women in senior positions, EU legislation must be used, MEPs say.

Women currently make up 10% of directors and only 3% of CEOs at the largest listed EU companies. As the number of women in corporate boards is currently increasing by only half a percentage point per year, it will take another fifty years before boardrooms have at least 40% women, says a non-binding resolution on Women and Business Leadership adopted by MEPs yesterday.

European Parliament Vice-President, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (EPP, EL), who drafted the resolution adopted yesterday by 534 votes to 109
with 29 abstentions, commented "Europe cannot afford to leave talent untapped. Empowering the role of women on management boards of companies is not only about ethics and equality, it is also essential for economic growth and a competitive internal market. With the adoption of the report on Women and Business Leadership, the European Parliament has sent a strong message to governments, social partners and enterprises in Europe."

Binding legislation

MEPs urge the Commission to "propose legislation including quotas by 2012 for increasing female representation in corporate management bodies of enterprises to 30% by 2015 and to 40% by 2020", if voluntary measures do not manage to increase the proportion of women.

Norway's quota legislation is seen as a good example and the EU Parliament also welcomes decisions by France, the Netherlands and Spain to set thresholds. But MEPs say other companies, not only the biggest ones, should also have a balanced gender representation and to this end the Commission should devise a roadmap.

Plus skills training, mentoring and work-life balance

Studies have shown that companies with a higher percentage of women tend to perform better commercially and financially. Recruitment for positions in corporate management bodies should nevertheless be based on skills, qualifications and experience of the candidate, stresses the EU Parliament.

To help more women assume management posts, the Commission and member states should implement new policies, for example by developing women's individual capabilities in-house through further training courses and other forms of professional support, such as mentoring and networking.

At the same time, member states should introduce special arrangements, such as childcare, care for the elderly and fiscal incentives for companies or other ways to help women and men in business to balance family and work commitments, MEPs suggest.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Manchester Awards for Women Open for Nominations

Do you know a remarkable woman, community group or organisation working hard to improve the lives of women in Manchester ? Do you know a remarkable Manchester woman excelling in business, the arts, in sport or science?

If you do, please take a few minutes to nominate them for an Award that will be presented in a ceremony at Manchester Town Hall in October 2011.

These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in the city and inspire young women in the future. This year we have added new categories to further recognise the fantastic contribution women make to the city. There are now nine categories including:

•Women and Art *new
•Women and Science* new
•Women and Sport* new
•Women and the Environment
•Women and Business
•Women and Culture
•Valuing Older People
•Outstanding Young woman
•Special Award in honour of Kath Fry
If you would like to nominate a woman please complete the nomination form below by Friday 12 August 2011.

Select this link to download a Nomination Form

If you need any more information please contact Alex Keelan either by email: or telephone: 0161 234 4263.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Knowsley to Celebrate its Business and Regeneration Successes

Knowsley Council’s highly acclaimed Business Awards are this year to be rebranded Knowsley Business and Regeneration Awards with the inclusion of a number of categories celebrating successes in the built environment as well as economic prosperity.

We therefore want to know your success stories. Does your business or an employee deserve to be recognised for their achievements? Have you been impressed by someone else’s performance and feel they deserve wider recognition? Tell us about your accomplishments, have you or your organisation won or been shortlisted for any other local or national awards in the last 12 months?

Nominations are now invited and welcomed from individuals and businesses based within Knowsley. Entering these awards can offer many benefits for your business, as well as opening doors to new opportunities and with 12 Awards on offer there are plenty of categories to choose from. Whatever the size of your business we have awards for you. Applicants can self nominate or nominate others and winners will be presented at a dinner and awards ceremony to be held on 7th October 2011. Last year’s ceremony was oversubscribed and attracted over 240 guests including industry figureheads and members of parliament.

Categories this year include;

SME of the Year
Low Carbon Economy Award
Corporate Social Responsibility
Excellence in Customer Service
Employer of the Year
Business Person of the Year
Small Business of the Year
Knowledge Economy Award
Best Housing Scheme of the Year
Regeneration Award
Visitor Economy Award

This year we also have a Judges Choice Award for Knowsley Business of the Year where the judges will award a business or organisation considered to have demonstrated an exceptional contribution to the Borough.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 12th August and you can find details of all the categories and nomination form here.

Cllr Dave Lonergan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economy and Skills commented “We want to celebrate our success stories, with the recent news on the regeneration of Kirkby Town Centre, Stockbridge Village redevelopment and the review undertaken on Knowsley Industrial Park, exciting times lie ahead”.

"The last few years have been challenging for businesses but the resilience of the businesses in Knowsley has shone through and we are proud of our business community. These awards are our way of recognising their achievements. The awards also give companies the chance to showcase themselves to customers and suppliers”.

Winners last year included Helen Gillbanks of Vertex, Cybertill, DHL Knowsley, Chill Out Spa, Acorn Farm, Alison Storer of National Wildflower Centre, QVC, Knowsley Housing Trust, Jaguar Land Rover Halewood and Colormatrix.

Sponsorship opportunities are currently available. Would you like to sponsor a Knowsley Business and Regeneration Award? Sponsors receive wide recognition and will receive 2 complimentary tickets to the prestigious dinner and awards ceremony. They also present the award to the winner, as well as receive publicity through our marketing and promotional material. Contact Irene Johnson on 0151 443 2262 for further details.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Creative Industries in China: Q&A hosted by UKTI and Liverpool Vision

Creative Industries in China: Q&A hosted by UKTI and Liverpool Vision

• Date: 20th July 2011
• Venue: Studio 2, Parr Street Studios
• Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm

China’s staggering ongoing development has catapulted the nation forward economically. Specifically, the past decade has seen dramatic developments for the creative sector, and as the economy continues to grow, the development of China’s cultural and creative industry calls for more co-operation with overseas companies.

Large cities such as Shanghai are implementing strategies to promote the development of creative industries; aiming to build itself as a world leading ‘creative centre’ within 20 years. China regards the UK as a global centre of excellence and there is a real eagerness from Chinese companies to work with UK businesses to help it realise its potential in this area.

Following on from the highly successful launch of Vision’s China Business Network, Liverpool Vision and Liverpool City Council are planning a sector focused trade mission for Liverpool’s Creative and Digital industries to run in parallel with a UKTI Market Visit planned for 15th – 22nd October 2011.

On 20th July, Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Development for UKTI (Northwest) will share more information about the exciting market opportunities in China as well details of how to take part in the Liverpool Creative and Digital trade mission. Philomena will also be joined by Creative and Digital business advisor, David Parrish, who will share his experience of living and working in Shanghai.
If you’re serious about developing trade links with China this is a must attend event.

Places are limited.

To register your interest please email by Thursday 14th July 2011.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

E-Marketing & Social Media - How it Can Work for Your Business

Business Club members will benefit from a fabulous networking opportunity this month all around e-marketing and social media.

Taking place:
ON: Wednesday 20th July, 6pm-8.30pm
AT: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Our Guest speaker for the event will be internet savvy Bryan Adams (pictured) of Ph.Creative Ltd. - a fast growing full service Internet marketing agency based in Liverpool with additional sales offices in Manchester Valencia and New York.

Bryan has received business awards and nominations including Young Entrepreneur of the Year and best marketer of the year and he also enjoys the challenge of public speaking as part of the marketing mix for Ph.Creative. Several speaking opportunities include talks for RBS, Apple and New York University.

His animated and insightful talks around Social Media directly inspired The Women's Organisation in our own social media strategy including encouraging us to see the value in Twitter (@TheWomensOrg) and Facebook for business.

Also offering insight into her own journey as a woman setting up in business will be Emma Dolan of Your Business eZine - a business network with a difference. As well as hosting regular networking events, Your Business eZine (YBE) offer their members a fantastic online platform to talk about their business alongside journalists, features and articles. It's like having your very own section of a newspaper! The recently launched new format includes a mixture of user generated content and guest feature articles covering a wide spectrum of industry sectors, to compliment the offline activities and events. E-Marketing strategy has also been key to the success of Emma's internet based business, so we look forward to the personal spin she can add to Bryan's insights.

The event is FREE to members of The Women's Organisation Business Club, though booking is ESSENTIAL! Business Club membership is currently FREE to women running a business in Merseyside or Greater Manchester. It won't be free forever, so snap up this opportunity to join by contacting our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Female Entrepreneurs Need EU Support

05July 2011 | Management and HR | Austria

Backing successful women as role models is vital for society, but Europe is not doing enough – writes Marina Yannakoudakis MEP

Entrepreneurs of both genders have to be, by definition, focused on their enterprise and committed to success. In the business world, those running their own companies are often far more dedicated than employees. They put in longer hours; making personal sacrifices to succeed against the competition.

For female entrepreneurs, the stakes can be even higher as they may have to overcome discrimination in what has traditionally been a male environment. Many have to juggle their own aspirations to succeed alongside their commitment to their family. Even though we live in the 21st century, women are still very much at the forefront in the home – especially, when parents or guardians.

Yet, in spite of all the constraints and restrictions upon them, women have proved to be more than capable in the workplace. Recognising women's abilities in the workplace is vital. This will not only encourage them to move into the business world, but will also ensure they move onto an even playing field where there is no room for gender discrimination.

I recognise that female entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises face many different problems in achieving their goals – in the different member states. I recognise the contribution, women in employment can make to both the community and the economy of the European Union. And I believe that, ultimately, women have a right to choose the role they play both within their home and within the community they live in. We have to make this choice a reality, through practical guidelines and best-practice solutions.

But, member states differ in both their approach to women looking to run their own businesses and the support given. The European Commission leads the female ambassadors' scheme in 17 countries. And the role of these ambassadors is to promote and assist women in the world of business. Although, ambassadorships are voluntary and often taken up by people - who are also running a company. This limits their effectiveness. Nonetheless, they are extremely successful as a means of sharing experiences and support among females at regional or local level.

Member states have each taken on different approaches to supporting and promoting women in decision making and in the boardroom. Austria - for example - has increased childcare services, childcare benefit and encourages girls to take a non-traditional profession. Meanwhile, the UK has moved forward with the implementation of the Small Business Act. It seeks to improve access to finance, reduce burdens and enable SMEs to access new markets.

The problems faced by women vary from nation to nation. Some states offer more support than others and the cultural differences in a female's role also influences the chances they will have to set up businesses. There is no right or wrong support system and those in different member states address specific cultural and individual needs. Although, there are common areas where initiatives could be shared.

As mentioned, the commission administers the voluntary group of women ambassadors in member states, who have joined the scheme. But this scheme needs greater support. Volunteers are effective, but for the scheme to be more productive a more formal set-up is needed. In particular, possible office support. In today's economic climate, money is not easily found so I would suggest using existing facilities such as the EU offices. Facility seminars could be run from a small office spaces in EU buildings and women ambassadors could have a base there and someone co-ordinating their work.

In addition, academic institutions could offer specialised courses to support women wishing to start a company. Such training could be coupled with practical support on how to set up a company, the legal requirements and how to organise a business. Later, peer support systems could be harnessed. The promotion of active ageing schemes could harness experience from retired entrepreneurs to assist in this support.

Women are now a significant part of the workforce. So while legislation is not the way forward, I would say sharing of best practice would be a positive move. Before any real recommendations can be formulated, we need to know who the women entrepreneurs are - through a systematic and specific collection of data for analysis. At present, there is a haze of facts - as some women work on their own, some with husbands or partners, some unofficially from home. Each group has different needs and requires different support.

At a regional or local level, companies need to be encouraged to support women - not necessarily through enforced quotas, but through internal targets. Boardrooms need to accept women on equal terms, provided they are of equal calibre and qualifications. Banks are also important support mechanisms. Some already have systems in place to support women setting up business. And, indeed, recognise the unique approach women have to work.

But there is a fine line here between encouraging female entrepreneurs and positive discrimination, which can result in a down-scaling of respect for women in the workplace. Family-friendly policies will encourage women into the workplace – for example, sustainable childcare facilities as what is good for the company is good for women and vice versa.

Support needs to be local, regional and national and through different media. The internet and online support can offer much to women who are working from home and in remote areas. What do women want? Most women, who were asked, replied: time; time to cope with domestic responsibilities and also to run their own business and fulfil their own dreams. This means proportionate and affordable support in childcare, a widening of roles and empowerment for women to give them the confidence to go out and do what they want. The promotion of successful females as role models, through the media is absolutely vital. Annual awards for women, who excel are needed and should be supported. It would certainly be a good start.

Marina Yannakoudakis a London MEP, in the UK

Sefton Women Get Business Planning!

The Women's Organisation are offering FREE places on our one day intensive Business Planning Course out in Sefton. Open to women who have a clear business idea and are considering self-employment in the borough of Sefton.

This lively, interactive day will give you an insight on how to;

• Develop a clear vision for your business
• Complete a SWOT analysis
• Understand the importance of market research and how to complete it
• Create a marketing plan
• Understand how to complete the financial forecasts for your business

On completion of the course you will be given the opportunity to book an appointment to see a qualified business adviser for one to one help and support.

The next Sefton course will be:
AT: Freshfields Childrens Centre, Formby
ON: Tuesday 26th July, 9.30am-3pm

For more information or to book a place please call our team on 0151 706 8111 email for more details or to book a place.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Want to Promote or Sell Online? The W.O. Launch NEW Course

Tomorrow The Women's Organisation are launching a fabulous new course to support local business women to consider their e-marketing strategy. 'Promoting and Selling Online' will run from 10am-1pm at 54 St James St, Liverpool and is open to women setting up a business in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton or Stockport.

The session will cover:

• Website Awareness – including legalities & responsibilities, weighing up the pros and cons of different ways to have a web presence
• Exploring social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
• The pros and cons of using ebay, amazon, paypal and other e-commerce tools

If you feel you could benefit from finding out more about marketing or selling your products online then call our team on 0151 706 8111 or email to find forthcoming dates for this course.

Stepclever Capital Grant Opportunity for Linacre


The Liverpool and Sefton Stepclever programme is now in its final year of delivery. The programme has invested over £25million in enhancing the entrepreneurial culture and business capacity within the six Stepclever wards of Anfield, County, Derby, Everton, Kirkdale and Linacre and is now seeking to invest a further £1.1million capital grant to leave a lasting legacy for the area.
The Stepclever Board is therefore seeking proposals for up to £1.1million Capital grant funding which will:

•Create a sustainable capital development that will add significant value to the business offer in the Stepclever area


•Develops an income stream that can be used to continue the provision of business support services in the Stepclever area beyond 2012.

The successful scheme or schemes chosen for support will be those that offer the most overall economic impact and are the most sustainable. Preference will also be given to those schemes that utilise Stepclever resource to attract additional investment/match funding into the Stepclever area.

Stepclever is not seeking to invest in speculative capital development that has no identified end user. Also any physical development or redevelopment scheme must be developed within the boundary of the six Stepclever wards.

Stepclever welcomes applications from all sectors of the community including public, private and voluntary sector applications.

All proposals will be required to demonstrate how they comply with relevant State Aid criteria.

Organisations interested in applying for the grant should send a clear business plan for their proposal which clearly outlines:

•A clear description of the project
•An outline of the benefits the project will provide and when it will provide these (for example jobs created, businesses created, amount of private sector investment generated)
•A clear explanation of how the capital investment will be utilised including a timescale for investment
•A copy of relevant plans and designs for any capital build or refurbishment proposals
•A clear statement on any relevant Planning permission or land ownership issues related to the scheme
•A clear proposal for how any asset or assets created will be maintained over their lifespan
•A clear and robust cashflow covering the life of the proposal

The successful applicant(s) will also be subject to a process of due diligence before the final award of grant is made by the City Council.

Proposals should be sent electronically to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

The closing date for receipt of proposals is 5.00pm on Friday 22nd July 2011. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

If anyone needs assistance with this information in a language other than English, please phone 0151 233 5582 to let us know and we will arrange for someone to provide help.

This information is also available in other formats on request. Please contact a member of the Programmes Team on 0151 233 5582

Friday, July 1, 2011

Aphrodite Art CIC Launch This Weekend

The Women's Organisation client Aphrodite Art CIC celebrates it launch THIS weekend at Madelainartz, Clayton Square, Liverpool.
There will be live music, refreshments and a raffle to win an abstract art print supporting those who have fibromyalgia.
All welcome!