Monday, February 24, 2014

#LoveYourBusiness with @54StJamesStreet Tenants #Love54 Giveaway

To finish off February's #LoveYourBusiness month, 54 St James Street businesses have come over all giving!  You could win services to support your business FREE just by Re-tweeting any of the #Love54 tweets via @54StJamesStreet by Friday 28th February 2014.  

All retweeters names will be put in a hat and a winner will be drawn on that day.  Prizes so far courtesy of 54 St James Street Tenants include:

  • SEO Analysis Voucher worth £95 - Checking your website is ready to be picked up by Google thanks to Word-shed Creative @Lynnee37
  • Anti-virus package and 2 months cloud back up - Ensure you don't loose important business information thanks to @AGConsultancy
  • A Free stand to promote your business/sell off clutter from around the home or office - first Saturday of the month, in Sing Plus, Seaforth L21 with @SMC2020
  • Afternoon tea for two with sparkling wine Upstairs at The Bluecoat with @Gr8Shout
Get retweeting to win. We'll tweet about available prizes this week. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mother of 2 Rachel Wilson Looks to Inform Liverpool Residents With Liverpool Days Out

Liverpool resident Rachel Wilson has turned her frustration with the lack of information of events in our local area into a thriving online business.

After taking voluntary redundancy in 2008, Rachel became a stay at home mum to raise her 2 young boys. Whilst chatting to a group of mums, it became apparent that she was not the only one who felt the annoyance of having to trawl through the internet for hours on end to find out what was happening in Liverpool. With this in mind, she started a group on Facebook for people to find out and share what was going on in their communities.

‘The numbers on the group steadily grew and comments started being made about how this would also be a great website. I set up a Facebook like page called ‘Liverpool Days Out’ to test the business interest… The page gained likes and steadily increased to 200-300 hundred a week.’

This led to Rachel being approached by a fresh out of college web developer who suggested that they pair up in making Liverpool Days Out a website and viable business. In the process, she came across a woman who had recently set up a photography business that told her about local social enterprise The Women’s Organisation and the support they offer through free business advice, workshops and a grant package.

‘I made a phone call and arranged a meeting with a business advisor. The support was fantastic, the business planning course was invaluable in the whole start up process and helped me apply for an additional grant.’

She continued: ‘My advisor was very supportive and being able to meet close to where I lived made all the meetings possible. Attending the free courses also made the difference, being on a low start up budget, it is important that everything is done for a low cost.’

Liverpool Days Out now has over 15,000 likes on Facebook and the website is quickly being populated with local events, information on local businesses and local news.

Rachel explained: ‘Having gained a BA in Geography at Liverpool John Moores University, I have always had an interest in places, surroundings, tourism, regeneration and improvement in the way we see our local area. I feel that this information is required by parents, carers and people of Liverpool but no one else provides it. There are sites that provide this information to tourists but not to the people who live in the area… Until now.’

The mother of 2 is thoroughly enjoying being self-employed, especially when she receives feedback from people who have used her site to plan their days out in places they may never have heard about otherwise. Furthermore, with having 2 young boys and a partner who works as a paramedic, Rachel praises the flexibility of self-employment. It allows her to work when her boys are in nursery/school or her partner is at work, leaving time to separate herself from the business and spend time as a family.

Rachel’s advice to anyone that is considering starting up a business is to ‘never give up on an idea if you have faith in it. It has taken us over a year to get from starting the Facebook page to launching the website. Ensure that you have done your research, is your idea needed/wanted? Take advice where given and use it appropriately. Do a business plan, it helps you organise your business idea and gives you something to refer to.’

Rachel’s excellent use of social media is a great testament to how important it can be to the growth of a business, online or off. If you would like to discover what’s happening in your area, visit, or follow @LiverpoolDaysOu on Twitter. You can also get in touch directly by emailing

And if like Rachel you’ve noticed a gap in a market that you’d like fill, or you have a hobby you’d like to grow into a small business, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 / or visit

by Beckie Kinsella

Thursday, February 6, 2014

19 Year Old Rachel Gilbertson Tackles Unemployment With Self-Employment and Earns Two Women In Business Award Nominations

After getting tired of knock backs and applications, Sefton based Rachel Gilbertson took matters into her own hands by opening up her own business at the age of 19.

Just 8 months after starting her business, Rachel has been shortlisted for 2 Women in Business awards, run by Downtown Liverpool and sponsored by The Women’s Organisation. The 19 year old has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the year.

Her journey began at The Rotunda, Kirkdale, where she attended a course based around setting up a business which she thoroughly enjoyed. Combined with her growing frustration of unemployment and her enjoyment of the course, Rachel was inspired to take her first leap into self-employment.

Putting her naturally creative personality and National Diploma in Graphic Design from Southport College into use, she opened Roxiie’s Treasures in May 2013, a business that provided jewellery, bags, scarves and accessories at that time.

‘The best thing about running my own business is being my own boss. You get to make all the decisions. I enjoy what I do and I love meeting new people and building relationships with my customers. I also like the fact that I have the opportunity to give something back to the community and help local charities.’

Whilst starting up, Rachel approached The Women’s Organisation, where she met with a business advisor to discuss her business idea and plan her next steps.

‘I went on a few courses at The Women’s Organisation including bookkeeping, tax & national insurance and how to promote your business online. I felt really happy as I didn’t know what to do before. I found the support I received very helpful and everyone was very welcoming.’

She continued: ‘There was so much help which I got and it made me feel confident that I was going to get where I wanted to be’ which is exactly what she did.

Since opening in May 2013, Roxiie’s Treasures has expanded from online selling and craft fairs, into a shop space based on College Road in the wonderful Crosby Emporium. Now Roxiie’s Treasures not only sells jewellery, bags, scarves and accessories, but also candles, gifts and household items.

When discussing how far Rachel and the business have come, the 19 year old commented: ‘I am proud of what I have achieved so far and it makes me want to achieve more and build my business even further.’ She plans to do this by eventually moving into the property market and opening up a shop of her own.

For Rachel, being in business is simply about doing something that genuinely makes you happy. ‘If you believe in something and want it, you will achieve it but you have to stick to it and focus on what you want in life.’

If you would like to know more about Roxiie’s Treasures you can contact Rachel directly by emailing her on 
You can also check out her wonderful items on Facebook

And if you have an idea or a hobbie you would like to turn into a business, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 / 

by Beckie Kinsella

Get free help from @HMRCBusiness on Start up Saturday 15th Feb

Get free help from HMRC on Start up Saturday 15 February 2014
HMRC is giving you  a chance to take part in their free “live” tax webinars (online presentations) on 15 February. The programme of webinars runs between 10am and 5pm, and each “live” webinar lasts an hour and gives the chance to ask questions of the experts. Please register by clicking on links below:

For more help on understanding tax and national insurance contributions contact The Women's Organisation on 0151 706 8111.  We offer a free course to women who are in the process of setting up their own business. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

#LoveYourBusiness This February

During February we are encouraging local women to #LoveyourBusiness! Whether your business just be a dream for your future or your current occupation there are ways for you to get involved and feel the love this month.

Got a Business Dream?
If you have ideas buzzing through your mind of potential businesses you could build from your skills or a hobby then join one of our #LoveYourBusiness events including:

  • Love Your Business Drop in for Advice - Held at various venues across Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and Knowsley.  Visit to find your nearest one.
  • Selling Online - From Ebay to Etsy Course - This introductory course will give you insight into which sites you could use to sell online, and the logistics of starting an online business. FREE to women based in Merseyside.  Contact for dates
  • Become a More Confident You - This positive day helps women to focus on the future with confidence and to understand how to be assertive. FREE to women based in Merseyside.  Contact for dates
As well as these events we can link you with a business adviser to work on a business plan, offer help understanding tax, national insurance and other legalities,offer you further training, a funding package and much more.  To take advantage of this and start building a business you love by contacting our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Running a Business You Love?
Let people know about your business by tweeting @TheWomensOrg using the hashtag #LoveYourBusiness. If your passion for what you do shines through and you are a local woman in business you will get a retweet to give your business a boost.

You can also join our #LoveYourBusiness Business Club Networking Coffee Morning FREE on 24th February 9.30am-11.30am at Siren Cafe. Book online via eventbrite.