Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mega Stars Academy Dance Their Way To A Guiness World Record

Mega Stars Academy, Quality Steps and scout groups across Manchester have broken the street dance Guiness World Record for the number of people doing the same dance for a specific amount of time.

Together with fellow Manchester based dance school Quality Steps, Mega Stars Academy took to the stage in front of 1100 adults and children, ready to demonstrate the dance moves for everyone in the crowd.

‘Everyone was excited and nervous. It was a great experience for all the children and adults involved.’

After 2 practice runs it was show time. Mega Stars initiated a group dance that involved 1100 people doing the same dance moves at the same time for a total of 5 minutes 30 seconds. This was enough to break the previous record and propel all involved into the Guiness World Records.

Humbled by the response, owner Emma Hothersall told The Women’s Organisation: ‘We are all so happy to be part of the winning team and to be able to say we have a Guiness World Record.’

‘Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to do something spectacular that I would be remembered for. Finally my dream has come true and I got to share it with all the children from Mega Stars, Quality Steps and the scouts.’

Mega Stars is a performing arts academy that grew from Emma’s strong belief that children have the ability to shine and with the right guidance they can achieve their dreams. The academy aims to make these dreams come true through performing arts.

With the business thriving, Emma is eager to expand the Mega Stars name with the help of The Women’s Organisation’s growth programme. She told us: ‘I’ve had amazing help and support from Mike, my advisor. He has helped me to see the bigger picture of how I can successfully grow my business and develop my franchise plan sooner than I originally expected.’

‘Mike has a great way of explaining business plans and how to maximise my business ideas. Without The Women’s Organisation I would still be going around in circles.’


If you or your children would be interested in getting involved with the events Mega Stars Academy hold and the opportunities they offer, visit http://megastarsacademy.co.uk/ or call 07813 615131

Through the Venture Accelerator programme, women can be linked with a specialist business growth adviser who will offer tailored support to take their business to the next level. So if you are a woman-led business in the Manchester area eager to grow your business, contact programme manager MikeMarsden@thewo.org.uk to find out more.



Claire Harper 'What are the Key Ingredients Needed for a Business to Grow?' #BusinessRockstars #IFB2014



During June and July 2014 the International Festival of Business comes to Liverpool. In the build up we have been picking the brains of some of the brightest business people in the country to get their tips and advice. Throughout May we are featuring the advice of our 'Business Rockstars' to get you ready for IFB2014.


Business Rockstar: Claire Harper
Managing Director Harper Innovations Ltd., 
Distributor of Muscle Mousse and Smart Shake, 
Recently turned over her first £1mil






We asked: What are the key ingredients needed for a business to grow?


"A business needs a plan in order to grow,
and it needs perseverance and hard work
(you have to accept there will be no social
life for a while).  Belief in what you do is
also key.  If you don’t believe in what you
are doing then no one else is going to.
And finally you do need finance to get
your going, so finding out about grants
through local authority and other sources
is essential, a bit of digging might be
needed to find them, but it’s worth it." 
- Claire Harper 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Become Britain's Top Real Role Model And Win £5000 To Support Your Business Venture

The world’s leading direct-selling company Amway UK is on the look out for a pioneering, inspirational businesswoman whose story will ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in others.  The company’s annual nationwide competition to find Britain’s Top Real Role Model (BTRRM) is open for entries and this year is focused on women in enterprise.


Britain’s Top Real Role Model (BTRRM) was launched in 2011 by Amway UK to address the lack of prominence and awareness of ‘real’ role models in business.
Britain’s Top Real Role Model initiative – this year fronted by successful female entrepreneur and fashion designer, Savannah Miller – is looking to uncover Britain’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs.

Enterprising women are invited to nominate themselves via Amway’s dedicated Britain’s Next Top Model website www.britainstoprealrolemodel.co.uk or Facebook page Facebook/BTRRM. 

The competition, now in its fourth year, closes on 11 August 2014, after which a panel of judges, including Ms Miller, will award one winner £5,000 to aid their business venture.

As a company, Amway encourages and supports enterprise globally through its direct selling business model.  Through its BTRRM initiative, Amway UK is able to support wider UK entrepreneurship. 

To date, three fledgling UK businesses have won the award:  Medical student and app-reneur Stuart Maitland for UniWikis (a collaborative medical education website and mobile app), Jill Carter for her social initiative Pulp Friction Travelling Kitchen and social enterprise entrepreneur Melanie Bryan for her work with charities and communities.

If £5,000 would make a difference to your business, enter now at www.britainstoprealrolemodel.co.uk

Thursday, May 22, 2014

'Plan For Success' With The Women's Organisation's Free Business Planning Workshop

The Women's Organisation offer women across Merseyside the opportunity to receive free support with business planning by attending a FREE 2 day 'Planning for Success' workshop.

Open to women with a clear business idea, this 2 day workshop covers all the basics of business planning, helping you to gain the skills to successfully build a business plan and cash flow forecast, recognise strengths and weakness in relation to a business idea and to plan your marketing strategy, including social media.

See what some of the women who have attended the course had to say in the video below:


The next available dates for the workshop are:


Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th September 2014
Monday 15th & Tuesday 16th September 2014
Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd October 2014
Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th October 2014
Wednesday 15th & Tuesday 16th October 2014
Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st October 2014
Tuesday 28th & Wednesday 29th October 2014
Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th November 2014



If you would like to book a space on any of the above dates and begin your business journey, call The Women's Organisation on 0151 706 8111, visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk or email hello@thewo.org.uk 








Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Salford Lone Parents Are Invited to 'Become a More Confident You'




Become a more Confident You

FREE 1 day course

AT: Salford Foundation
Rainbow Rooms,
Liverpool Road,
Eccles, M30 0QN
Date: Monday 2nd June 2014

10.00am – 3.00pm

This interactive Personal Development course is focused on:
·       Building confidence and self-esteem
·       Creating a more positive outlook
·       Helping 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 book contact 0161 787 8686 or email Deborah.murray@salfordfoundation.org.uk 

Open to lone parents living in the Salford area





Self-employment Is The ‘Perfect Fit’ For Milliner Sue Wood

It's a very exciting time for passionate milliner Sue Wood after being selected as a ‘Making Headway’ Designer for Stockport Hatworks Museum, funded and supported by Mary Portas and The Arts Council.

Photo: Jessica Lang Photography

The exhibition showcases the work of 13 up and coming milliners and will follow her through her 2014 spring/summer collection and into the 2014/15 autumn/winter collection, culminating in a selling exhibition at the Hatworks which commences May 2014.

‘My style is vintage inspired with a contemporary edge and my work is handcrafted using traditional methods and, where possible, up cycled materials. My choice of materials and textures reflects the contemporary relevance of vintage, whether that’s a good material or a good idea, fusing vintage style with contemporary design.’

Gold Silk Turban on a Fine White Straw Peaked Hat 
Centrepiece Gold Medallion in Pleated Silk 
Sue’s reason for setting up in business was simple; she fell in love with millinery. She told The Women’s Organisation: ‘I have a smaller than average head and struggled to find a hat to fit me for my daughter’s wedding. I have always been creative and began to experiment to improve the fit. I enrolled on a millinery course with Rose Cory (the late Queen Mothers Milliner) and after 3 days I was hooked. I then followed on with a 10 week course at Liverpool Community College before embarking on HNC course at Leeds College of Art, Graduating in 2013 with Distinction and Higher Distinctions.’

The hat lover told us how starting up Sue Wood Millinery was a straight forward process with the support of The Women’s Organisation. ‘I enrolled on several day courses surrounding
business start-up. I found that the session on how to do a Business Plan was particularly helpful, as well as social media training and Tax and NI.’

Silver Cap with Beautiful Veiling
  Silver Textured Fabric Scarf Detail

     
Commenting on the Accelerating Women's Enterprise programme, part funded by European Regional Development Fund, Sue said: ‘Having a personal advisor was very useful, he directed me towards courses which were appropriate for  me to attend, forthcoming events, as well as being available to answer any queries as they arose. I also took advantage of the option to meet with my personal advisor locally, with the majority of my meetings being held in Heswall Library, which meant I could slip out of the studio for a quick meeting rather than taking an afternoon off to go to Liverpool.'

Sue enjoys ongoing support in the form of The Women’s Organisation’s Business Club and has attended numerous women only networking events. ‘Being in the company of so many local entrepreneurial women in a beautiful building (54 St James Street) that creates an inspiring environment to work in and visit is amazing. Having the support and encouragement of the knowledgeable team at The Women’s Organisation is very reassuring. As a result I’m feeling more confident and better equipped to tackle the challengers that lay ahead.’

Beautiful Hand Crafted Vintage Rose
The most important thing for the Wirral resident is to design and make hats. She put a lot of thought into her business structure and decided that a premises would restrict her creatively, choosing instead to find shops that would be happy to stock her hats. Fenwick’s of York and Beau Hats in Oxton Village, Wirral, are amongst her current stockists, with plenty more boutiques and hat shops showing an interest.

Sue is also delighted to have been asked to work for the highly anticipated Lion King tour in Liverpool Empire, where she will be looking after the hats, doing repairs and general maintenance. This has sparked up her passion of working for films and theatre productions, as it’s a field she is most interested in.

‘I love the power of the hat. A hat can to instantly depict a mood, occasion or an era in the most dramatic and expressive way.’

White Straw Cloche with Satan Cord and Gold Beads
Adorned with Hand Crafted Silver Rosette
For Sue, nothing is more rewarding than designing and interpreting client’s ideas to produce something stunning. She also enjoys being in control of her own future, which is something self-employment certainly offers.

‘I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved so far, I feel empowered and very excited about the future and where this journey will take me.’

Whether you have a design in mind or you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, Sue is more than happy to talk. For a free consultation, contact her directly on  07801 970 195 / hello@suewoodmillinery.co.uk or visit http://www.suewoodmillinery.co.uk



And if you would like to express yourself further through a hobby by turning it into a business, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 / hello@thewo.org.uk or visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

Portrait photo by Jessica Lang Photography







By Beckie Kinsella

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Rise Of Female Entrepreneurialism

Women can be powerful creatures and some say that we make better entrepreneurs. Not because we’re “better” in any way but because we tend to be better motivated. Women all around the world have had business brains for centuries, but various barriers both external and internal may have prevented us from putting them into practice.

Entrepreneurialism in the UK as a whole has grown, but there has been a noticeably bigger rise of the female entrepreneur. Women are five times more likely to attribute their decision to become an entrepreneur due to family reasons and flexibility of work hours. There were almost 1 million recorded female businesswomen who owned or ran businesses in the UK in the year of 2012 and that number is still increasing. It’s not surprising to hear that 172 women made the Forbes billionaires list in 2013, which is a 25% increase from the year before. 32 of those women were self-made, whilst 140 inherited their mass fortune. This shows us that almost a quarter of these women worked long and hard for their money and it also shows a staggering amount of commitment.

Photo credit: Braden Kowitz
But many women are still put off of running their own business, despite the rise and popularity. They state that the lack of working capital and the constant fear of spiralling debts can prevent them from going ahead. Women still lack that all important confidence when it comes to going it alone in the business world, men are twice as likely to take on an entrepreneurial venture. The reason for the small numbers isn’t due to women being poorer at the job or being untalented, it is due to the lack of confidence and authority. Us women can be just as good, if not better, than the men; we just need to grasp the opportunities given to us rather than questioning them or finding fault.

Don’t be scared to take the leap, it can start off with something as simple as a part time business from home, selling goods or services. You can work it around other commitments and whatever money is earned has been earned from you and you alone. It is a huge rush to see your business grow and become popular and it can begin with small beginnings such as an eBay shop or Esty account. You can even invest in a small loan to help your business get a kick start. Over 1.5 million women are self-employed in the UK, why not join them?

Guest Blog by Jade Waddy of Surge Digital & Merchant Money


If you are a woman thinking of starting your own business, The Women’s Organisation may be able to offer you free support. With courses available to help you to build in confidence, understand how to sell online on sites like ebay and etsy, build a business plan, understand your tax and financial obligations and to market your business, as well as personal business advice and support to access grants and loans. Get in touch with us today to get your business started via 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk

Wirral Blogger and Mum of 2 Tanya Leary Shortlisted For National Blogging Award

Wirral resident and writer Tanya Leary (aka Muma Leary) has been shortlisted for a national blogging award for her parenting blog, which documents her life as a working mum of two and a wife of one.

Muma Leary’s Blog has made the shortlist in the LAUGH category of the Brilliance in Blogging Awards, or BiB’s for short. The BiB’S is one of the largest blogging awards in the country, with over 30,000 votes cast for last years awards.
Voting is now open and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on June 20th. The Awards, run by Britmums, bring together the UK’s largest collective of lifestyle bloggers.

Tanya works part time for a company which encourages kids to code and writes for The Heswall Magazine and The Lake. Not forgetting the fabulous guest blogs she writes for The Women's Organisation from time to time. 


If like us you have found yourself giggling at Tanya's comical stories and witty nature, vote now

Contact details
07545771048
@MumaLeary

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Join @TheWomensOrg & @SirenLiverpool at @54StJamesStreet this #LightNight2014

Join The Women’s Organisation and Siren at 54 St James Street for ‘A Slice of Liverpool’ this Light Night Friday 16th May. Enjoy relaxed networking and a taste of Liverpool with a range of drinks and nibbles available in Siren from 4pm until late. 



To get a true 'Slice of Liverpool' a showcase of local independent businesses displaying their art and produce created right here in Liverpool will be open from 4pm-7.30pm. Businesses confirmed include:



We also invite photographers to take advantage of a unique opportunity to capture ‘a slice of Liverpool’ from 54 St James Street roof terraces offering views of the River Mersey, Cathedrals, Liver buildings and Radio city tower. No need to book, just drop in and enjoy our slice of Liverpool.


Monday, May 12, 2014

URGENT VOTES NEEDED!

We are delighted to announce that The Women’s Organisation have been shortlisted for an RBS 'Inspiring Enterprise' grant which potentially means finance to build valuable services enabling us to further support local women, but WE NEED VOTES!  The funding will go towards supporting disadvantaged women in the Liverpool area to start their own businesses. 

The more votes we secure, the more likely we are to secure the funds so we would massively appreciate your vote and support to spread the word. 


You will see this screen where you will need to click 'vote for us now' and add your details to confirm your vote. 



We have 7 days to collect as many votes as we can.  A massive thank you for your support.

Maggie O'Carroll, Chief Executive and The Women's Organisation team. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Liverpool Art Fair Returns!

Liverpool Art Fair returns for the third year to the thriving Baltic Triangle over the spring bank holiday weekend from 23rd to 26th May, this time hosted by The Gallery Liverpool. Come along and experience the work of some of the region's most talented visual artists, and with prices starting at just £20 you won't leave empty handed!



Liverpool Art Fair, organised by The Women's Organisation's clients dot-art, is an annual four day event which aims to showcase a wide range of affordable original art by a plethora of local artists and develop the art market in the city region. It provides a unique overview of the area's creative talent and offers the opportunity for everyone, from seasoned collector to first time art buyer, to take home their own piece of the Liverpool art world.

Earlier in the year, an open submission process saw artists based within a 25 mile radius of Liverpool invited to submit work for inclusion.  The selection panel who sifted through a record number of entries, includes Angela Samata (Project Manager,
John Moores Painting Prize), Laura Davis (Assistant Head of Content, Liverpool Echo and former Arts Editor, The Liverpool Post) and Jason Jones (Fine Artist and Gallery Manager, The Cornerstone Gallery).

Liverpool Art Fair 2014 will take place 23rd -26th May, at The Gallery Liverpool, Stanhope Street and will once again show work by talented artists from across the region, working in all media and styles. All work in the fair is priced under £2000 and the ever popular under £200 section will return, ensuring there is something on offer for all pockets. Entry is FREE!

See: www.liverpoolartfair.com for more information.
You can keep up date with Liverpool Art Fair news via Twitter (@LpoolArtFair) and Facebook
(facebook.com/LiverpoolArtFair.com).


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Knowsley’s Hannah Ramejkis Declares Little Hannah Photography Studio Open For Business

Just months after launching Little Hannah Photography, 23 year old Hannah Ramejkis is proud to announce the opening of her brand new studio in Anfield.
The studio, which opened its doors last week, serves as an extension to Hannah’s already thriving wedding and special occasion photography business. Based on Breck Road, Little Hannah Photography is now able to offer a whole range of photographic services including baby and pet photography, makeover shoots, family portraits and model portfolios.

‘We strive to capture and deliver the very best images possible, both technically and creatively, for each and every customer. We provide props and backdrops as well as refreshments and pride ourselves on our transparent pricing structure.’
The premises has been refurbished by Hannah herself and now boasts a beautiful, fresh and modern design with a large studio space, comfortable waiting area, viewing area, changing room, kitchen and toilet facilities.

To add to the already impressive list of services, Little Hannah Photography studio also offers professional hair and make-up from their in house make-up artist, Hannah Otty.

Hannah commented: ‘She can make you feel beautiful with or without a photo shoot, so why not pop in to make a booking with her for your night out, special occasion or before your family shoot.’
The Knowsley resident gained a triple distinction in Photography and Imaging at Liverpool Community Arts College, specialising in family photography.

‘I've known I wanted to run my own business since I was little, I studied the business end of being a photographer at college as part of my course and being a mum gave me the confidence to have a go at it.’

After feeling inspired, Hannah contacted The Women’s Organisation who gave her business start-up support through meetings with a business advisor and access to relevant workshops, funded by European Regional Development Fund as part of the Big Enterprise in Communities (BEiC) project. 

Commenting on The Women’s Organisation’s services, Hannah said: ‘the advice and workshops helped me gain the confidence to make a business plan and set up a website. The Women’s Organisation gave me excellent support with the business plan, advised me on legal procedures and helped me network with other business women. The £200 grant package was also greatly received.’


She continued: ‘I would recommend The Women’s Organisation to any woman who is thinking about opening her own business. If it’s right, go for it!’

Little Hannah Photography’s popularity is building steadily and the perks of self-employment have left the owner very happy with her decision to go it alone.

‘The best thing is no one ever saying “no” or “you can’t”, I am the master of my own destiny and if there’s something I’d like to try out in the business no one is going to hold me back.’ 

Why not treat yourself to a makeover and photoshoot? Or document that special occasion with a beautiful set of photos. Contact Hannah on 07847 865 488 or visit www.littlehannahphotography.co.uk / facebook.com/littlehannahphotography 

If you would like to build your confidence and take a business idea to the next level, visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk or contact 0151 706 8111 / hello@thewo.org.uk for free business start-up support via workshops and 1-2-1 business advice. 











By Beckie Kinsella

Amanda Wills, MD Virgin Holidays 'How do Women Reach the Top of Their Field?' #BusinessRockstars #IFB2014


During June and July 2014 the International Festival of Business comes to Liverpool. In the build up we have been picking the brains of some of the brightest business people in the country to get their tips and advice.  Throughout May we will be featuring the advice of our 'Business Rockstars' to get you ready for IFB2014. 

Business Rockstar: Amanda Wills
Managing Director, Virgin Holidays



Website: www.virginholidays.com
Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/in/amandawillsvirginholidays
Twitter: @VirginHolidays


We asked: What advice would you give to women who are keen to reach the top of their field in business?
“One of the most important lessons I learnt was not to take things personally. Business is competitive, it can be pretty ruthless. But at the end of the day, you’ll still need to work with others to achieve a result – whatever they may have said or done. I chose to rise above the brickbats and let my actions and achievements speak for themselves, and that’s what gets you respect.”
 Amanda Wills

Friday, May 2, 2014

Holly Tucker MBE 'How Does a Business Stand Out Online?' #BusinessRockstars #IFB2014


During June and July 2014 the International Festival of Business comes to Liverpool. In the build up we have been picking the brains of some of the brightest business people in the country to get their tips and advice.  Throughout May we will be featuring the advice of our 'Business Rockstars' to get you ready for IFB2014. 


Business Rockstar: Holly Tucker MBE
CEO NotontheHighStreet.com



















Website: www.notonthehighstreet.com
Twitter: @notonthehighst


We asked: How as a business do you make yourself stand out online?

"You need a compelling product, brand
and personality. Your product and brand 
tells people what you stand for and your
personality should be brought to life 
through the creation of engaging
and impactful content"
- Holly Tucker MBE


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Claire Young 'How Can Women Stand Out and Succeed in Business?' #BusinessRockstars #IFB2014



During June and July 2014 the International Festival of Business comes to Liverpool. In the build up we have been picking the brains of some of the brightest business people in the country to get their tips and advice.  Throughout May we will be featuring the advice of our 'Business Rockstars' to get you ready for IFB2014. Here is our first 


Business Rockstar: Claire Young
BBC's The Apprentice finalist, Enterprise Champion and Government Adviser
Websiteswww.claireyoung.co.uk  
www.schoolspeakers.co.uk
Twitter: @ClaireLYoung 

We Asked: How can women stand out and succeed in business?

"I think if you are a genuine, authentic
person your strengths will naturally
shine through and your profile evolves
for others to see. If you have a talent
and confidence in what you are doing
people will gravitate towards you."
- Claire Young