Thursday, December 13, 2012

Women in Liverpool Can 'Drop-in' for Business Advice in Jan

Are you a woman in Liverpool who is thinking of kick starting 2013 by setting up a new business?

No matter how big or small your self-employed venture is The Women's Organisation can offer FREE support to new businesses including:

* Access to grants

* Help putting together a business plan

* Free business advice and guidance

* Free training to help you understand tax, book keeping, promoting your business and building confidence for your venture

If you would like to find out more we would invite you to come and meet a member of our team at our various FREE 'Meet an Adviser' drop in events being held across the region this month. So far we have confirmed the following dates and venues:

City Centre – LEAF on Bold Street – (10am – 12.30pm) Wednesday 9th January

Liverpool - Childwall Library – (12pm – 3pm) Monday 14th January

Liverpool - Norris Green Library – (10am – 12pm) Wednesday 16th January

Liverpool – Pistachio Lark Lane– (10am – 12.00pm) Tuesday 16th January

Liverpool - Tesco Cafe Park Road (1pm – 3pm) Monday 21st January

Liverpool - Tesco Cafe Mather Avenue (1pm - 3pm) Tuesday 22 January

Liverpool - Tesco Cafe Old Swan (9:30 - 12pm) Tuesday 22nd January

If you can't make any of these events but would like to find out more, please call our team on 0151 706 8111 or drop an email to To keep in touch with our news and events please 'like' us on facebook and 'follow' us on Twitter as @TheWomensOrg. Or if you are a Liverpool Mutual Homes resident please speak to your local housing office about how to link with The Women's Organisation and what services you can access.

International Visitors for Co-Op Project Inspired by Mersey Visit

Visitors from Slovenia and Italy have been putting Merseyside in the spotlight for an EU policy report on best practice. The visit organised by The Women's Organisation and their UK partners was the first Transnational Forum for Co-op project, looking at how public, private and third sector organisations can work together to support the social economy.

While in Merseyside the delegates gathered at 54 St Jame Street, home of The Women's Organisation, to discuss findings on the project to date and share best practice learning. The group were also invited to visit the First Ark Group to learn from its pioneering work creating vibrant, sustainable communities.

During their visit they saw how First Ark is leading the way in the UK for bringing together private companies, the public sector and social enterprise to provide quality homes and services.

Conclusions and best practice from the visit will be presented to the EU in a report that will be used in policy making.

The visit was organised by Liverpool Vision, Downtown Liverpool in Business and The Women’s Organisation, to demonstrate best practice and explore issues around how the public, private and the third sectors can work together to increase competitiveness and drive success.

Tony Cahill, First Ark’s Executive Director of Commercial Services, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the delegates and show them what we have achieved.

“First Ark has a strong track record of collaborative working between sectors to bring about successful projects and initiatives that benefit the community. Working together we can achieve more.”

“Success for us is achieving our social aims of giving back to the communities we work in. We wanted to show how social and commercial business aims can go hand in hand.”

The Group showcased how through public, private and social partnerships it has provided jobs and training, helped lower energy bills for its residents and supported charities.

The visitors toured First Ark’s Prescot headquarters and housing developments that have helped revive areas of the borough including Blakeacre in Halewood and Tiverton Close in Huyton, both examples of successful projects involving private developers and public funding.

Helen Millne, Chief of Operations and Finance at The Women’s Organisation, said: “The delegation had a very successful visit with First Ark and we hope that the links made will become rewarding relationships in the future.

“Staff shared their expertise and knowledge in different areas which met the specific interests of the visitors, and I know they took away many inspirational ideas to report back to their organisations at home.”

First Ark attracted health care social enterprise CASA Knowsley to set up in the borough – creating 33 jobs, a service to 131 clients and 1,222 hours of support each week.

They brought together private sector sponsors and supporters to help fund a volunteering trip to the Ukraine for 33 staff members to renovate an orphanage and have helped to set up a foodbank charity in the area providing emergency food parcels to low income families.

To help reduce fuel bills First Ark teamed up with E.on, Billscutter and Money Angels in its Save Energy Save Money scheme – providing 1,500 home energy audits.

New Year, New Business?

Liverpool based enterprise support agency The Women's Organisation are inviting women to consider their career options ahead of 2013.

Are you considering a new start? Have an idea of something you could do on a self-employed basis? FREE support is on offer to women across the Mersey region to help them set up a business, regardless of current employment status.

The support available from The Women's Organisation includes:

Business Advice
One to one appointments available at various venues across Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Wirral to meet with a qualified business adviser who can support you to:
• Understand your business needs and agree a plan of action

• Provide accurate, relevant and up to date information

• Produce a comprehensive business plan that you really understand

• Identify available business grants and loans and help you to apply for them.

Training to help you to develop your business idea including:

Planning for Success - Open to women with a clear business idea this 2 day course covers all the basics of business planning, helping you to gain the skills to successfully build a business plan and cashflow forecast and to plan your marketing strategy.

Book Keeping Made Easy - This lively and interactive half-day session will enhances your book keeping skills. Through simple techniques you will learn how to manage their business finances.

Understanding Tax & National Insurance - Informative ½ day session with HMRC on Tax and National Insurance contributions for self-employment

Promoting Your Business Online – This informative ½ day course provides a great overview of different marketing techniques that can be used to promote your business online. Looking at different social media tools and time saving techniques, this course will help you to market your business in a cost effective and time efficient way.

Grant of £200
Apply for The Women’s Organisation’s £200 Grant along with other sources of finance available in your local area with support from our team. Full eligibility criteria available upon request.

And for women who aren't quite ready to pursue their business idea, but want some support to consider their options:

Become a More Confident You
This interactive Personal Development course is focused on building confidence and self-esteem and creating a more positive outlook for you to make a positive plan for your future. By the end of this course, you will have identified what qualities and capabilities you have and be more confident in deciding where your future lies.

To take advantage of any of this FREE support call 0151 706 8111 or email We can also be found on Twitter as @TheWomensOrg, ‘liked’ on facebook at

Friday, December 7, 2012

Louise Harris @FirstArk Named ‘Game Changer’

The Women's Organisation were delighted to learn that First Ark’s Louise Harris this week received a ‘Game Changer’ award by Business in the Community (BITC).

The Game Changers is a one-off award given out by BITC to recognise individuals who have made a demonstrable contribution to integrating responsible business policy and practice within their organisation.

Each ‘Game Changer’ is an inspirational individual like Louise, who is working to advance the responsible business movement. Louise has been recognised as someone who has helped to shift corporate responsibility from niche to mainstream and has played a significant part in advancing the movement.

Louise, who is Director of Social Responsibility has been fundamental in developing First Ark’s strategic approach to responsive business as well as shaping the delivery of the Advantage scheme which invests in projects for communities; creating jobs, training and volunteer opportunities, supporting new business and social enterprise. Louise and her team are currently working in partnerhsip with The Women's Organisation to support women in Knowsley who are considering self-employment.

Louise was seen as a ‘Game Changer’ because of how enthusiastic she is about service excellence and delivering real value to local people.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise some of the brightest stars in corporate responsibility through our Game Changers award. As a campaigning membership organisation we are dependent on individuals from business to help us drive the agenda. Without the energy and passion of Game Changers like Louise I doubt very much if the UK responsible business movement would be quite so mature. They truly deserve this recognition which I hope will act as an inspiration to others.”

CEO of The Women's Organisation Maggie O'Carroll who is also Chair of VIVARK was delighted to learn of the award and on behalf of all at The WO wishes Louise "Many Congratulations".

For a full list of BITC’s Game Changers go to

Victoria is Pleased with the Impact! of Going Self-Employed

Although no one in her family had walked the path of self-employment before, something inside Liverpool resident Victoria Symes told her this was an adventure she needed to try.

She said “I wanted to set up my own business as I am passionate about making a difference to society and felt I had a lot to offer. I also wanted the freedom to develop my own projects, so once the idea was there I knew I had to take it forward.”

Before establishing Impact! Fundraising Victoria worked in the fundraising and development teams of a number of organisations including the University of Liverpool, the British Film Institute and the Science Museum, London. She had always been an active volunteer in the charity sector including being a committee member for the Liverpool City Rotary Club, and when her previous work came to an end it was the perfect time for her to pull together all of her experience to launch her new venture.

Victoria heard that local women’s enterprise support agency The Women’s Organisation could offer support to women in Liverpool who were looking to set up a business, and decided to approach the organisation for some support.

“Initially I found the idea of setting up my own business really daunting” said Victoria. “I was lucky in that a lead for my first work came in through recommendations, but my next step was to develop a business plan and marketing strategy to help me establish my business. Although I am used to advising organisations on making the most of what they have I struggled to find the confidence to promote myself and really didn't know where to start! I think a lot of women struggle with this. The Women's Organisation were amazing - everything from developing a personal business plan to social media tips to encouragement, it was all a huge help.”

Victoria has now launched her business Impact! Fundraising which provides fundraising consultancy to charities, Higher Education and the arts sector. She can also help organisations develop strategic plans and put together funding bids to maximise their income from philanthropy, charitable trusts, companies and public sector funders. For start-up companies Impact! Fundraising offer help securing funding from the public and charitable sector.

Speaking of her progress so far Victoria said “I've been overwhelmed with the response so far and receive regular enquiries from new potential clients which has been really exciting. I don't want to take this for granted though so I'm continuing to work hard at developing the business. I love the independence of working for myself, the chance to create something successful and of course the opportunity to work with so many inspiring clients.”

If you are interested in finding out how Impact! Fundraising can support you then contact Victoria on or visit You can also link up with Victoria on Twitter by following @victoria_impact.

“If one of my friends came to me now and said they were thinking of going self-employed, I would advise them to be confident in what they know and are passionate about, and to draw on the experiences of the people they know and organisations like The Women's Organisation for everything else!” said Victoria.

If you are a woman with a business idea why not take her advice and contact The Women’s Organisation for support on 0151 706 8111 or

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

'Christmas Jumper Day' at 54 St James Street

54 St James Street tenants Constructing Equality have decided to take part in this year’s ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ for the charity Save the Children on Friday 14th December.

Christmas Jumper Day raises money to support Save the Children’s work with the world’s poorest children. From school books and classrooms, to mosquito nets and life-saving vaccines, our festive fundraising will help the children who need it most.

Constructing Equality would love to get 54 St James Street businesess, surrounding baltic triangle neighbours and friends of The Women's Organisation involved. Sooooooo…….

We’re inviting all of you to wear a Christmas jumper for the day and donate a suggested £1 minimum to help support Save the Children’s life-saving work.

‘But I haven’t got a Christmas Jumper’ we can hear you saying….. Below are some suggestions…

*Rescue Gran’s homemade knitwear from style exile

*Decorate a plain jumper with Christmas decorations, lights, pictures etc

*Buy that festive sweater you’ve always wanted – sweater style knows no limits!

Constructing Equality will also be holding a coffee morning in D&N cafe at 54 St James Street between 10 – 12pm. D & N have kindly agreed to make Christmas gingerbread men and women for people to decorate with icing for a small charge that will go straight to charity. There will also be other various Christmas related cakes and drinks with all profits going to Save the Children.

On the day, we will also be picking a winner for the following jumper categories where each winner will receive a small prize:

*Best Christmas Jumper

*Best Home-made Christmas Jumper

*The ‘so bad it’s good’ jumper award,/br>

If anyone has anything they can donate for these prizes please do let Kyle from Constructing Equality know. Additionally, if anyone has any ideas or something they wish to contribute to the day to make it as successful as possible please do not hesitate to contact Kyle on

Find out more about Christmas Jumper Day here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Women's Organisation Are Coming to Wirral!

The Women's Organisation are delighted to announce we are launching our business support services back on the Wirral. Wirral based women will be able to access:

- One to one business advice at venues in Bromborough, Wallasey & Hoylake

- £200 business start up funding

- Free training on understanding tax, basic book keeping, becoming a more confident you, promoting your business online, business planning

- Support to develop a business plan

To find out a bit more about the FREE support available to Wirral women we are a FREE drop in morning. If you are a woman with a business idea come and meet our staff for an informal chat and a cuppa to hear all about the FREE support The Women’s Organisation can offer new businesses.

At: The Blue Anchor (opposite Hoylake Library)

Market Street


CH47 3BE

On: Friday 30th November, 10am - 12pm

Come along for a chat about how we can help you research and write a business plan and access funding to help set up your business*

If you are unable to make that session, but would like more information about The Women’s Organisation or book an appointment to speak to someone about your ideas, please call 0151 706 8111 or email

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Drop in Business Advice for #GEWUK

Got a Business Idea?

Could a £200 grant help?

Need some advice on self-employment?

3 Days, 3 Venues to Drop in for FREE SUPPORT

Drop in to our FREE events as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week to chat with a member of our team, find out more about the £200 grant & support we have available for women and enjoy a cuppa on us!

ON: Monday 12th November 9.30am - 12.30pm

AT: D & N Café, The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street Liverpool, L1 0AB

ON: Tuesday 13th November 10.00am - 11.30am

AT: Costa Coffee, Cavendish Walk, Derby Road, Huyton, Knowsley, L36 9YG

ON: Wednesday 14th November 10.00am - 12.30pm

AT: LEAF on Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4EZ


To find out more contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email

The Women's Organisation Link with This Lady Loves for 'Supporting Women in Business Day'

This Lady Loves are holding a fantastic event 'Supporting Women in Business Day Liverpool' that local women in business can get involved with. The event will take place on Thursday 10th January 9.00am – 4.00pm at the Hilton Hotel, Liverpool.

The Women's Organisation are delighted to be a partner of the event which will feature an exciting programme specifically created for SMEs and new start-ups, with a focus on female entrepreneurship.

A full day of networking, workshops, inspirational speakers and a great choice of trade stands from some of the best businesses from across the North West, and all run by women. Come and visit The Women's Organisation who will have a stand at the event to let women know about the mentoring support and networking opportunities on offer for local women in business.

Supporting Women's Business Day's main speaker this time is Claire Young.

Claire is well known as the straight talking, no-nonsense business woman who reached the final of the BBC1’s The Apprentice, along with her presenting roles on TV including GMTV / Day Break /BBC Breakfast. She regularly contributes to a variety of business magazines & newspapers and she currently co-hosts a weekly BBC Radio Leeds Saturday lunchtime show – Something for the Weekend. Claire has set up numerous business ventures including and She is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and enterprise to our younger generation and founded TeenBiz the UK’s first business start up scheme for under 18s.

There will be a number of other inspirational speakers on the day and workshop sessions focussing on Sales, Marketing, Legal, HR, and Accountancy. The Women's Organisation's own Social Media Specialist Jo Austin will be there offering her own top tips for getting your business switched on to social media.

This event is open to any woman with her own business, thinking of starting a business, or any woman working in a management position for a North West company.

Tickets which are £40 and can by bought here and include lunch. Follow the link for more information on the other fantastic speakers taking part in the event

Contact This Lady Loves for more info: Shirley-Ann O’Neil

Monday, November 5, 2012

Campaign to Collect Warm Clothing for Liverpools Vulnerable Women

The Keep Warm Collective Liverpool, is a new project devised by Liverpool city councillor Stephanie Till, to arrange a mass collection of coat and warm clothes to be distributed to the cities most vulnerable women this winter.

Inspired by two fellow councillors Brian & Adele Dowling and their granddaughter, who collected old coats from friends and family and donated them to the homeless what stuck in her mind was Adele telling Stephanie how they came across a young girl who was reluctant to accept one, when they asked why she said she want being ungrateful and she appreciated being warm but she hated that she was always wearing hand me downs designed for men, often the coat the hat the gloves all too big for her.

Across the city for one week from the 23rd of November will be various drop off points where donators can leave their donations. These will then be collected and distributed to local charities in Liverpool to be given to vulnerable women this winter who need them.

Stephanie said 'The campaign has come about So not only can they keep warm this winter but we can show them that even though they’re sleeping rough or in a vulnerable situation they can still feel like a woman and have clothes that fit, to help with their self esteem and also to show them you know that the other women in this city care about them?'

Some of the items will also be distributed to organisations working with women who aren't homeless but still vulnerable and in need of warm clothing. 'Unfortunately some of the women of our city have had to resort to using the cities food banks this year, these are women who will put themselves last behind the needs of their family and will often go cold due to increasing energy prices and fuel poverty and being without the finances to purchase themselves adequate warm clothing.'

The Keep Warm Collective Liverpool are looking for businesses to become drop off points and also anyone who wishes to donate or help in any other way they can. The Keep Warm Collective Liverpool has one ethos, to enable women to help other women keep warm this winter in Liverpool.

More information is available by emailing from Follow on twitter @liverpool_kwc or 07898 679 681

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Global Entrepreneurship Week - More Events for Women!

Global Entrepreneurship Week will take place 12th-18th November. The theme this year is 'Pass it On' so The Women's Organisation and women who have come through our programme will be sharing their expertise with budding female entrepreneurs. At our new home 54 St James Street we have a full range of master classes running which you may have seen in our earlier blog post. If you missed it click here to view and book.

In addition to our main programme we are holding fringe events across Merseyside to offer extra support to women. Below are the details of these events. Please join us!

Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th November – ‘Planning for Success’ – Held at The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB 9.30am-4pm. Open to women with a clear business idea this 2 day course covers all the basics of business planning, helping you to gain the skills to build a business plan and cashflow forecast and understand marketing strategy. BOOKING ESSENTIAL via 0151 706 8111 or

Tuesday 13th November – GEW Knowsley Day Drop In – Come along to our coffee morning in Costa Coffee Huyton between 10am & 11.30am.  Meet an adviser to chat about your business idea  Find out about funding for setting up a business  Understand what FREE support is available to women in Merseyside No need to book, just drop in. For more information contact 0151 706 8111 or

Wednesday 14th November – Women’s Enterprise Day Drop In – Come along to our coffee morning in LEAF café Bold Street between 10am & 12.30pm.  Meet an adviser to chat about your business idea  Find out about funding for setting up a business  Understand what FREE support is available to women in Merseyside No need to book, just drop in. For more information contact 0151 706 8111 or

Wednesday 14th November – ‘Become a More Confident You’ – This positive one day course For women looking to build their confidence, assertiveness skills, develop a positive mindset and start action planning for their future. Held at The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB 10.00-3.00pm. BOOKING ESSENTIAL via 0151 706 8111 or

Wednesday 28th November - ‘Understanding Tax & National Insurance’ for Ltd Companies – Informative session with HMRC on Tax and National Insurance contributions for self-employment. Held at The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB 10.00-1.00pm. BOOKING ESSENTIAL via 0151 706 8111 or

Social Media Ain't Scary!

Are you considering using social media for your business? Sometimes knowing where to start when it comes to deciding which sites to spend your efforts on can drive us to want to scream into a pillow! Taking a moment to step back, reflect and research can make the difference between wasting time and making a splash on Social Media.

Here are some simple steps from our own Jo Austin Marketing that can take the scare out of social media planning:

* REFLECT - Take a moment to remember who you are as a business. What is your mission statement? What are you hoping to achieve? Who is your customer? Taking time to remember this helps inform any marketing strategy, including social media.

* RESEARCH - Do some Google research to find stats on the social sites you are considering using. Does their user profile match your customer profile? What are your competitors doing? How can you learn from that?

* PLAN - Build a plan before embarking on social media marketing. What are you going to talk about? How often are you going to update it? What KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) can you measure success against?

* ENGAGE - Have a go! You can only learn from trial and error. Remember that the key to engagement on social media is to listen and respond. Have conversations rather than sell sell sell at people. Promote your products, but also give expertise and advice giving people a reason to engage with you before they are sold on what you are selling.

If you are a woman setting up a business in the Merseyside area you can book a FREE place on our 'Promoting Your Business Online' course to look at social media strategy, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Monday 5th November 10am-1pm The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

Monday 3rd December 10am-1pm The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

Call now to book on 0151 706 8111 or email

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

First Woman Winner for 20 Years of John Moores Painting Prize

The Women's Organisation were delighted to learn that a woman had finally won the John Moores Painting prize! Sarah Pickstone from Manchester is the first woman to win the Prize in more than 20 years. The John Moores is the UK's most prestigious painting competition, awarding £25,000 as its first prize and has been won by the likes of David Hockney, Sir Peter Blake (junior prize) and Mary Martin. More information about the John Moores Painting Prize can be found here.

An exhibition showing her work runs until 6th Jan, but this weekend The Walker Art Gallery are hosting a weekend of talks, debates and workshops on the subject of painting.

A free 'In Conversation' event with Sarah and Director of Art Galleries, Sandra Penketh, will be held from 6-7.30 on Fri 2nd November at Walker Art Gallery. To reserve a free place call 0151 478 4199.

The Women's Organisation & JobCentrePlus Offer 'Drop in Advice' in Kirkby

The Women’s Organisation and Jobcentre Plus will be working with Kirkby Children’s Centres running CONFIDENTIAL & INFORMAL Advice sessions once a month.

Do you need support with:-

►Finding out about Self Employment

►Finding the latest Jobs

►Putting together a CV

►Benefits Advice

►Information about training courses

►Setting up a business & grants

Pop along on the following dates if you would like to speak to experienced advisers who can help you into work, training or self-employment

►Wednesday 31st October 2012

►Wednesday 28th November 2012

Call in to see us at:-

►The Ark Children’s Centre (Ebony Way, Tower Hill) 9:15am-10:15am

►Pride Children’s Centre (Simonswood Lane, Northwood) 11am-12pm

►Eden Children’s Centre (Melverley Rd, Westvale) 1:15pm-2:15pm

►Northwood Children’s Centre (Roughwood Drive) 2:30pm-3:30pm

Sefton Women Gather Top Ebay Tips

Today women from Sefton gathered together at the L30 Community Centre in the heart of Netherton to gather tips and trick on 'Buying & Selling on Ebay'.

Each of the 10 women had different experiences of the site, from one who had never ever looked at eBay and found it terrifying, to women who had dabbled at buying and selling, but wanted to learn how to be more effective when using the website.

The FREE half day interactive workshop stepped the women through:

 How to get a bargain when buying on eBay

 How to ensure security when trading online

 How to use Paypal

 How to list items for sale on eBay and get the best prices for your items

 Understanding postage costs and fees involved in selling

Each of the women who attended left with more confidence to have a go at trading online. Some of the feedback coments were:

"Very well presented, brilliant tutor"

"Clear description, patient presenter"

"Good handouts to double check at a later date"

"Really helpful, useful and practical workshop"

"The information I picked up today covered all the things that I was worried about and that were preventing me for going for it trading on eBay. I am delighted!"

If you are a woman in Merseyside who would like to gather handy hints on eBay, as well as information on how you could use eBay to start a small business from home then we have one more course available from our Liverpool offices at 54 St James Street, L1 0AB.

ON: Monday 26th November 12.30pm-3.30pm

Check your eligibility and book now via 0151 706 8111 or

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Party in Aid of Domestic Violence Charity

Lucy Brady of 'High Performance Consultancy' based at 54 St James Street is raising money to support women who are victims of domestic violence. To put the 'fun' into fund raising Lucy is promoting a 'Halloween Party' in aid of this worthy cause.

ON: Friday 26th October 7.30pm until late

AT: The Blenheim Hotel, Sefton Park

In aid of ‘THE WORST KEPT SECRET’ supporting victims of domestic violence. All proceeds raised will go to this Charity.

Tickets are just £10 which includes a buffet, disco, entertainment, raffle and a prize for best dressed. Contact if you are interested.

About the Charity –The Worst Kept Secret Every year thousands of people across Merseyside are living in fear of domestic violence. With many not knowing who to turn to for help – they feel isolated, alone and desperate. During the period November 2011 – May 2012, 7 murders attributable to domestic violence occurred on Merseyside! The Worst Kept Secret offers a confidential helpline, callers are supported in many ways and advice is given to help with safety, protection and legal issues. Emergency assistance with refuge accommodation and support is also available. This is a lifeline to many – Let’s help change these fearful facts and statistics by supporting this amazing charity who rely solely upon donations through fundraising. Confidential helpline 0800 028 3398

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Women's Organisation Team with Downtown Liverpool to Celebrate Women in Business

The Women’s Organisation has teamed up with Downtown Liverpool in Business to focus on successful female entrepreneurs and business owners from across Merseyside at a special event next year.

The inaugural Women in Business awards will be hosted on Friday 8th March 2013 at the Hilton Hotel.

This gala lunch event will reward female entrepreneurs, business owners and decision makers from across the city region.


Best New Start up: The winner will be a female led business that has been established for no more than three years, and has demonstrated the ability to not only survive but thrive since setting up.

Environmental & Sustainability award: Which female led business has made the most positive contribution to promoting the Green agenda?

Professional of the Year: Which woman has impressed you most from the Liverpool city region’s professional service community? Nominees should work in sectors such as legal, finance, and business support and advice.

Best Marketer Award: Who has been the most creative and effective ‘spin doctor’ during the past twelve months, producing sales winning marketing campaigns for their clients?

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Please nominate an individual who is under the age of 35 and has driven her business forward with outstanding entrepreneurial flair.

A Decade of excellence in Business: Which female business owner has impressed you most in establishing and maintaining a successful business for a decade or more?

Female Leader: Who from the private or public sector has done most to promote and positively influence the women in business agenda in 2012?

Award for Outstanding Leadership & Management: Which business owner/manager or mentor has inspired her team or customers most during the past year?

Business of the Year: The winner will be a female owned business that has enjoyed significant growth in 2012.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Nominate the woman who you believe has been the outstanding female entrepreneur this year.

To nominate a worthy woman follow this link.

Tickets for this event will go on sale VERY SOON so watch this space!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Women’s Business Council SME Roundtable Event Manchester

There is opportunity for business women in Stockport & Greater Manchester to attend a Women’s Business Council roundtable on the key challenges SMEs face in implementing flexible working, and to provide further details. The Women’s Business Council, chaired by Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, is a one year initiative sponsored by the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities Rt Hon Maria Miller MP. The WBC has been charged with making recommendations to optimise women’s contribution to business and the economy. Enterprise is a key theme that runs across the three lifecycle phases of the council’s work programme.

The roundtable discussion has been formulated to ensure discussion focuses on practical solutions so that the council can make recommendations that will really make a difference. We’ll be considering:

• Identifying barriers to flexible working and increasing availability through cultural change;

• Reducing the impact of Career Breaks on career progression - before, during and after maternity leave;

• Improving employers understanding of what helps women move up the pipeline.

The workshop will be held from 9.30-11.30am on Friday 19th October at Timpson House, Claverton Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester, M23 9TT. A location map can be found here.

Please note that light refreshments will be available throughout the meeting.

If you are interested in attending please contact Phillip Martin on 0207 035 8552.

Friday, October 12, 2012

'Women's Voices Should be Heard and Heeded'

NAWO Connecting Women invites to you a unique event entitled: 'Women's Voices should be heard and heeded'.

Date: Tuesday 30th October 2012

Venue: Liverpool Baha'i Centre, 3 Langdale Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 3LA

Time: 1.30pm-4.30pm

Speakers include:

- Zarin Hainsworth (NAWO trustee)

- Dr Sylvia Forchap Likambi (Founder and CEO of Voice of Nations)

- Maggie O'Carroll (CEO, The Women’s Organisation, Liverpool)

- Jackie Murphy (Head of the Liverpool branch of Platform 51 )

The event focuses on developing a new system that will bring women’s voices to government.

This is increasingly important since the dissolution of the Women’s National Commission (WNC) in 2010, an independent body that took brought women and their organisations together, took note of women’s views and advised government accordingly.

Discussion topics will be ‘gender architecture’ focused, i.e. discussing issues that women on Mersyside currently face and deal with and how organisa-tions are able to best aid them and lobby for changes to meet their needs.

The event will consider the design and development of new ideas that could fill the now vacant WNC role, in reaching local and central government for policy change and implementation.

Light lunch and refreshments served.

Places are available on a ‘first come first served’ basis so please contact Vicki on or call 0207 324 3045 to book a place.

Global Entrepreneurship Week with The Women's Organisation

Global Entrepreneurship Week is an international celebration of enterprising people and projects across the world. Running for a week starting on Monday 12th November there will be a plethora of events availble to those interested in finding out more about business. The theme this year is ‘Pass it On’ so at The Women's Organisation we have a whole host of successful entrepreneurs passing on their wisdom to budding women in business.

Here is the programme of events we are holding at The Women's International Centre for Economic Development, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Monday 12th November – Big Business Ideas Day

9.30am - 12.30pm: If you are a woman who wants to find out more about self-employment, drop in to our coffee morning at D & N café at 54 St James Street. You will be able to draw inspiration from our women in business video stories, chat to our team about support and funding available to you and enjoy a coffee on us.

Tuesday 13th November – Firm Foundations for Your Business

10.00am - 12.30pm: ‘Excel Tips & Templates for Business’ Master class with Traci of Excel Ace showing you how simple excel can support your business with sales, marketing and finances. Book here.

13.00pm - 15.00pm: ‘Authenticity Sells’ Master class with ‘Confidence Within – Authentic Confidence for Women’ author and coach Anne McGhee looking at how to effectively communicate and have an authentic approach to selling your business. Book here.

Wednesday 14th November – Women’s Enterprise Day

18.00pm - 20.30pm: Women’s Enterprise Event. Join us for a networking event and celebration for women in business with input from successful female entrepreneurs.

Thursday 15th November – Business Growth Day

10.00am - 12.30pm: ‘Turning Your Business into a Franchisable Model’ Master class with serial entrepreneur, mentor and franchise expert Jacklyn Grimes. Book here.

13.00pm - 15.00pm: ‘Bid Your Way to Business Growth’ Master class with trainer & consultant Gemma Hoare on successful tendering and bid writing. Book here.

As well as these events held at our head office we will be running drop in sessions across Merseyside, so keep you eye on our blog, facebook and twitter for more details.

To find out how to get involved with The Women’s Organisation and these events follow @TheWomensOrg & @GEWUK on Twitter Or contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email

It's Liverpool - The Business Conference

The second annual ‘It’s Liverpool – The Business Conference’ will be hosted by Downtown Liverpool, in association with Liverpool Vision, on Friday 30th November at the Hilton Hotel and The Women's Organisation are delighted to be a part of it. CEO Maggie O'Carroll will be joining a panel of interesting speakers to look at the future of business growth and regeneration.

How can Liverpool maintain momentum? What challenges will businesses face in the next decade and how can they be overcome? What are the opportunities of the future? These questions and others will be explored during a fascinating day with a range of leading entrepreneurs, business leaders and decision makers. There will also be an exclusive preview of the UK International Business Festival, to be hosted in the city in 2014, with a presentation from Mayor Anderson and Liverpool Vision Chief Executive Max Steinberg.

The Event will feature:

Andrew Rosenfeld Co-founder and chairman of FTSE 250 property investment company Minerva Plc, which became valued at £600million. He was one of the first entrepreneurs to predict the collapse of the UK real estate market in 2007. Included in the Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated net worth of £100million, Andrew led the NSPCC’s Full Stop campaign which raised over £250million. He now runs property firm Air Capital and he is an adviser to Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Andy Bounds Awarded the title Britain’s Best Sales Trainer of the Year and described by AstraZeneca’s Communications Director as “a genius who can’t be ignored”, Andy is an inspirational communicator , and author of bestselling book ‘The Jelly Effect: How to Make your Communication Stick’.

Mayor Joe Anderson Leader of Liverpool City Council since 2009, Joe became the city’s first elected mayor in May, following his successful negotiation with central government for ‘City Deal.’ He has also successfully spearheaded campaigns to get a cruise liner terminal in the city; brought the Global Entrepreneurship Congress to Liverpool in March 2012; and the hosting of the International Business Festival in 2014.

Phil Redmond Liverpool’s culture guru, who led the city’s successful European Capital of Culture events programme in 2008. Creator of several popular television series, including Brookside, Grange Hill and Hollyoaks, Phil chairs the UK city of culture independent advisory panel, and he is chairman of the board at National Museums, Liverpool.

Tim Bacon Managing Director of Living Ventures, the Australian made his name with the Living Room chain, which he sold in 2007 for what he called “silly money”. He’s now behind Living Ventures, which established Manchester restaurants The Alchemist and Australasia, and is also the operator of the Gusto and Blackhouse brands.

Luciana Berger The Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree and the shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change. Luciana is tipped as a cert for a cabinet place in the next Labour government.

Max Steinberg Chief Executive of Liverpool’s economic development and inward investment agency Liverpool Vision.

Frank McKenna Chief Executive of Liverpool’s premier business organisation, Downtown in Business, which he established in the city in 2004. He has now taken the Downtown brand to Lancashire, Manchester and Leeds.

Maggie O'Carroll Chief Executive of the Women’s Organisation, she has led its progress as an award winning women’s economic development agency since its inception in 1996. Maggie is a leader in the field of women’s enterprise and a key contributor to the women’s policy agenda. She won the ‘Woman of the Year’ Livercool award in 2011.

John Leach The Managing Director of leading business support agency Winning pitch, author of several books on business growth and an inspirational speaker.

Michael Taylor The Chairman of Downtown Manchester in Business, a journalist and a broadcaster. Michael was formerly the editor of leading business magazine ‘Insider’.

If you are interested in attending this event your can BOOK ONLINE HERE.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halewood Drop in for Business Advice for Women

The Women's Organisation invite women from Knowsley and the surrounding areas to our 'Halewood Drop In Session'.

Did you know that The Women's Organisation have £200 available for women setting up a new business, along with advice, training and support?

Come and meet our staff for a cuppa and an informal chat on the FREE support The Women’s Organisation can offer new businesses at our DROP IN SESSION.

AT: Community Café

Mackets Education Centre

Arncliffe Road


L25 9PB

ON: Wednesday 17th October

9.30am - 12.00pm

If you are unable to make that session, but would like more information about The Women’s Organisation, please visit or call 0151 706 8111.

Being Bold in Business with Business Club

This month with The Women’s Organisation Business Club:

‘Being Bold in Business’

Held on: Wednesday 17th October 6pm-8.30pm

Held at: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street Liverpool L1 0AB

We are going to ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ with this interesting networking event that includes:

Talks from:

Jackie O’Carroll of ‘Room of Possibilities’ will coach us on how to do a successful 60 second pitch – an essential selling tool whether it be for networking or pitching at a business meeting. Looking particularly at:

- Looking the part – Presentation, Posture and Prompts

- Knowing your message and making it clear

- How do I want them to feel?

- How to make a connection

- Being authentic! - Leaving them with food for thought

Bernie Cox training manager at The Women’s Organisation and NLP practitioner will be offering tips on using NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) techniques for bold and confident sales techniques looking particularly at:

- Preferred Sensory Styles: which are you and which is your customer

- Listening to learn: picking up on signals

- NLP Sales language

As well as these interesting talks, enjoy light refreshments while networking with other local women in business.

FREE to members of The Women's Organisation Business Club To join or book contact 0151 706 8111 or or if you are already a member just book directly online via eventbrite.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Knowsley Woman Joy Turns Business Idea into an Award Winning Venture

KHT resident Joy Lorenz remembers wanting to run her own business since as early as being 12-13 years old.

She said “My family knew a well-respected business owner who always had a great presence and respect from everyone. He also owned a Jaguar XJS, one of my favourite cars! I thought to myself, if I want respect and an XJS I need to own my own business…..I’m just now waiting for my XJS!”

Having turned her idea into a reality establishing her business Black Frost in 2010 Joy’s hard work has paid off having been selected as ‘Green Champion of the Year’ at the KHT (Knowsley Housing Trust) Awards 2012. Joy was delighted that her business was chosen for this recognition saying:

“Winning of the Green Champion award for the KHT Community awards I think will have to be the best achievement so far. This has been a personal goal which was reached and it makes you feel proud! It’s nice to be appreciated and recognised for your hard work.”

Joy reflected on her journey to getting where she is now.

“Back at the beginning I had a firm idea about turning my hobby into a business with designing hand crafted custom made cards, invites and party extras. I knew my idea well but didn’t know how to launch Black Frost. I saw an advert for The Women’s Organisation saying how they could offer free advice to women to help set up their businesses, so rang for an appointment and the rest they say is history. The Woman’s Organisation offered help with putting together a business plan, funding and free courses for Book Keeping, Marketing, PR and Time Management amongst others. Having an adviser at the end of the phone when you need one got me out of some sticky situations at the start of Black Frost. This was invaluable help. After receiving their help towards a business plan and funding I was able to launch and was so excited when the business was registered on the first day of trading. I felt so proud, and still do, as this was a life goal.”

Joy is aware of the additional achievement of navigating her way to business success through a tough economic climate. “You can hear horror stories about the recession which can cause worry, but I can say that’s not the case with Black Frost and I am grateful for that.”

Black Frost’s recent developments are what flagged up Joy as a Green Champion.

“The business has grown from just designing hand crafted custom cards, gifts, invites and party extras to the change in direction in October 2011 to the upcycling craft sessions” she explained. “Since supplying the craft sessions the business has grown into many different sectors and it is becoming a well-respected company throughout Merseyside. It’s really interesting to deal with people from all backgrounds and ages.”

As well as running her own business Joy has a lot to juggle supporting her 2 children, a 19 year old Daughter who has just started university and a 14 year old Son with Autism.

“My Son has always needed extra support for his Autism and the extra support he needs has always been a challenge combined with the running of a business. You could be having a very positive day in the business and can all change at the last minute with issues with Autism, or vice versa. It can be quite emotionally draining. It’s at these times you must find the positive to keep your head straight and keep your eye firmly on your end goal and the reasons why you want the business. It has been a great character builder and it’s a good job I like a challenge!”

Despite everything she has to juggle, Joy wouldn’t swap her business for anything.

“The daily challenge of running my own business I love, not having to answer to a boss! If I mess up it’s my mistake but if I get it right it’s my progress” she said. “The opportunities and personal growth you experience running your own business is something you cannot experience until you take the plunge and run your own business.”

To find out more about Joy’s up-cycling business Black Frost visit or connect with Joy on Twitter as @blackfrostcards.

If you are a woman living in the Knowsley area, you too can receive support to set up your own business through The Women’s Organisation in partnership with KHT. To find out more contact The Women’s Organisation on or 0151 706 8111.

Get Involved with The De-Stress Show

The brand new De-Stress Show (a business supported by The Women's Organisation) will take place on Friday 9th November at the Village Hotel Liverpool.

The De-Stress Seminar will give attendees all the information they need to make a start in tackling stress in the workplace. With speakers from acas, The Stress Management Society and LJMU the event will look at:

• The costs of stress to UK businesses

• The legal implications for employers

• The role of the Line Manager

• The effects of stress on a workforce

• The impact of stress on productivity

• The benefits of tackling stress

• Ways to address workplace stress

Event organisers are inviting you to get involved either:
• If you are a therapist/practitioner who want to promote your services at the event

• If the topic is of interest to you and you would like to attend as a delegate.

For more details please visit and to register please visit

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Womens' Organisation's WICED Building Wins Mayor's Award

The Women's Organisation's hard work paid off this month as we were once again confirmed to be an award winning organisation. This time it was the organisation's new £5.3m Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) that prompted recognition.

The winners of the very first Merseyside Social Enterprise Awards were honoured at a ceremony held at Liverpool Town Hall, and The Women's Organisation were delighted to be nominated alongside other Merseyside based Social Enterprises nominated in 11 categories to recognise their contribution to improving the lives of local residents.

WICED was nominated for The Mayor's Innovation Award sponsored by Liverpool City Council. When The Women's Organisation were announced as the winners for their innovative building, Chair of the board Pat Shea Halson and Chief Finance and Operating Officer Helen Millne who went forward to collect the award couldn't contain their delight. When Councillor Nick Small (pictured above with Pat and Helen) presented the award to The Women's Organisation the support from the other organisations in the room was overwhelming; Helen and Pat were deeply touched by the response.

The development came about after nearly a decade of discussion, planning and campaigning. WICED is the largest dedicated centre for women's economic development in the UK. It boasts business incubation units for women led businesses, a sleek and modern conferencing and meeting centre, virtual office and hot desking facilities, as well as housing the women's enterprise services offered by the organistion. The project also included the development of an international research hub drawing on the expertise of leading experts on women's economic development from across the globe. The development was completed in January 2011 and has since welcomed thousands of budding female entrepreneurs.

To read more about the background of the development please visit our website.

If you might be interested in hiring our meeting rooms or holding a conference here please contact our team on or 0151 706 8100.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Downtown Invite You to Leaders Lunch Event

Downtown in Business are hosting a unique event THIS THURSDAY 'Leaders Lunch'.


The guest speaker for the event will be the Labour Party’s prospective candidate for Merseyside Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy. Jane has a wealth of political experience having been an MP for Wavertree Liverpool from 1992-2010. During this period she held several ministerial posts including Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Minister of State for Work and Minister of State for Security. She also spearheaded the Labour Party’s purge of Militant on Merseyside during the 1980’s. Since leaving parliament Jane has worked as a consultant for a number of private sector companies. She will share her political experiences, her thoughts on Liverpool’s remarkable renaissance and her vision for policing our city in the future at this exclusive event.

Twitter: #livleaders

Cost: £15.00 inc Glass of Wine, Main Course and Coffee

Thursday 27th September 2012, 12.00pm - 2.00pm, Malmaison


Monday, September 10, 2012

Business Club Get 'Sales Savvy' in September

This month with The Women’s Organisation Business Club become a 'Sales Savvy Business'

Held on: Thursday 20th September 6pm-8.30pm

Held at: The Women's Organisation,54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

This interesting networking event includes talks from:

Trainer & Consultant Gemma Hoare will step you through ‘How to generate sales’ looking at:
- What are you selling?

- What is the best way to sell for you?

- What’s the worst that could happen? (Fear of Cold Calling)

- What if they say no? – Overcoming barriers to selling

- Have they actually said yes? Confirming a Sale

- How do I make even more money?

Director of ‘Jo Austin Marketing’ Jo Austin will be looking at How to build sales through social media. Looking at:
- Choosing the right social media tools to reach your target market

- How to increase traffic on your social media sites

- Setting up offers and promotions through social media

- Linking social media to direct sales

- Top tips and tricks to save you time and get you noticed

As well as these interesting talks, enjoy light refreshments while networking with other local women in business.

FREE to members of The Women's Organisation Business Club. Business club membership is offering FREE to women running a trading business in the north west of England.
To join or book contact 0151 706 8111 or, or if you are already a member you can book your free place online here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Women in Knowsley to Learn About 'Buying & Selling on eBay' 20th Sept

The Women's Organisation invite women in Knowsley to learn about 'Buying & Selling on eBay'.

This FREE half day workshop is suitable for all levels.

 Do you want to make some extra cash?

 Do you want tips on how to trade securely online?

 Want handy hints on how to grab a bargain?

BOOK NOW to gather handy hints, as well as information on how you could use eBay to start a small business from home.

Free places offered to women based in Knowsley

On: Thursday 20th Sept 10am-1pm

At: Community Rooms, Neighbourhood Centre, Stockbridge Village, Knowsley

Check your eligibility and book now via 0151 706 8111 or

Liverpool Women are Invited to 'Recognise Your Potential' 18th Sept

The Women's Organisation invite Liverpool women to 'Recognise Your Potential' at our free half day taster course.

• Would you like to feel more confident about yourself?

• Do you want to know what skills you have that could help shape your future?

• Would you like to find out more about setting up your own business, grants and support?

Come and ‘Recognise Your Potential’ with The Women’s Organisation

AT: Dovedale Children Centre, Herondale Road, Liverpool, L18 1JX.

ON: Tuesday 18th September (1-3pm)

Limited crèche places available to support women attending the session.

For more details, to check your eligibility and to book on contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or