Friday, August 2, 2013

Retired Grandmother Praises The Convenience of Self-Employment

Retired grandmother of 2, Helen Owen felt that after working for 35 years becoming self-employed simply made sense.

After 26 years working for Liverpool City Council as a Project Co-ordinator at the Pagoda Chinese Community Centre, she decided to take an early retirement and pursue self-employment because it would allow for a much more convenient pace.

She said: ‘I have good contacts and connections with the Chinese community on Merseyside, by setting up a food safety and hygiene training business it will help the Chinese customers to overcome some of the language barriers and communication difficulties and it makes good business sense for me.’

Being a mother of 3 and grandparent of 2, time management was one of the biggest barriers the Liverpool resident had to face whilst starting up her business.

‘I am a grandmother… I do have grandparent duties in helping to look after the grandchildren when my children and in laws are at work. But I have evenings free to further develop the business.’

Another problem Helen faced was the financial implications involved in self-employment. She had to find finances to purchase teaching materials and to cover venue costs. She overcame this by deciding to run her business from home to keep her overheads low, this consequently aided in her time management as it enabled her to develop HK Training at her own pace. She also contacted the Women’s Organisation for help with her finances and the business start-up process.

‘I have received fantastic amount of help and support from the Women’s Organisation. Firstly, I was provided with a personal financial advisor, I have received advice and support in developing a business plan, attended on many free training workshops to do with self-employment and about HMRC and taxes.’

Following the support from The Women’s Organisation, Helen received a £200 grant to help with her start-up costs. Furthermore, she is still receiving support in the form of The Women’s Organisation’s Business Club.

‘I have attended many women’s business events at the centre [54 St James Street] to network with other like-minded business women.’

Helen’s advice to anyone thinking about starting up a business is to contact The Women’s Organisation for support. She said: ‘I have already referred a few friends to contact the Women’s Organisation, in order to get help and advice before starting up their businesses.’

Helen added: ‘It is very important that I have to enjoy and appreciate my business, and that I would be properly rewarded financially. My start up business journey has been a positive one with help and support along the way. The journey has ups as well as downs like all businesses. My ultimate goal for my food safety and hygiene business is that it will be a good reputable, professional and well trusted company.’

If you are looking for food safety and hygiene training, or would like to find out more, visit or contact

And if you feel it’s the right time to move into self-employment or have a business idea you wish you to explore, contact The Women’s Organisation today on 0151 706 8111 or


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