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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.impactfundraising.co.uk. 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 email@example.com