Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sex & Power Report for 2014 Released. Who Runs Britain?

Sex and Power 2014
Sex and Power 2014: Who Runs Britain? report has  today been published by the Counting Women In coalition.  The report brings to light key stats hi-lighting the gender split across positions of power in the UK, particularly looking at how women are represented in politics and other key roles within the public sector.  Sex and Power 2014 demonstrates that although women make up 52% of the population in the UK they are still dramatically underrepresented when in comes to those who are decision makers or key influencers in the country.

Some key statistics quoted in the report include:


  • Only 22.6% of members of Parliament are women
  • Local authority council leaders are currently only 13.1% women
  • Police and Crime Commissioners are 14.6% women
  • CEO's of UK Banks currently are 11.1% women
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships 15.1% women leaders
  • Directors of FTSE 100 companies sit at 17.3% women 
  • Only 8% of Chairs of Major UK Charities are women
  • 5% of National Newspaper editors are women
In the education sector some of the statistics start to look more promising with women making up 71.3% of Primary School head teachers, but as you progress through the education sector it starts to drop as the representation of women as secondary school heads is just 38.4% and University Vice Chancellors just 14.2%.

These alarming figures raise the question how long can this go on?  When half of the population are only represented by a fraction of leaders and influencers how can we claim that everyone has a voice?  

The Women's Organisation are keen advocates of gender equality and work tirelessly to raise awareness among leaders locally, nationally and internationally of the consistent gender inequality that is merely re-emphasised by reports like this. 

We believe that more should be done by the government, and by business leaders and owners to ensure that women have a voice at the most senior level. It is essential that we look at why women are so underrepresented and provide gender focused support to address the balance and enable women to reach the top of their field. 

One key focus for The Women's Organisation is supporting women to start their own business. Starting from the top!  The women who have come through our programmes since the organisation was founded in 1996 have such a range of skills and experience, recognising their own value is the first key to realising their potential. There are many hurdles that women come up against when looking to starting or grow their own business, so mentoring, training and support through the process is key.

To find out more about the work of The Women's Organisation and how we work to support women visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vocal Coach Carrie Birmingham Sings The Praises of Being Self-Employed

Most of us love a good sing along to our favourite songs, some of us like to make up songs in the shower and then there’s the select few who feel the need to burst into song occasionally (you know who you are!). Unfortunately, whether we like to admit it or not, not all of us sound as good as we like to think we do. Fortunately there are people that can help, like qualified vocal coach Carrie Birmingham with her business Pro Vox.

Credit: Magical Moments Photography

With over 5 years of teaching experience, a background in vocal biology and a degree from Liverpool Hope University in Popular Music, Drama and Theatre Studies, Carrie offers high quality training on a 1-2-1 basis from age 6 – adult and runs a Saturday Academy for performing arts students aged 7 – 16 years.

Pro Vox private tuition provides the opportunity for students to learn about their voice and set personalised targets that develop vocal technique, range and performance. Carrie offers students the chance to take part in London College of Music (LCM) singing and drama examinations up to two times a year, along with a variety of events and performance opportunities.

With a studio situated in the heart of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool City Centre, Pro Vox private lessons are set in a wonderful artistic environment at the basement of Elevator Studios.

‘In my first 9 months I have already gained many new students, along with keeping my former loyal clientele. I have hosted 3 successful live music shows for my students in Liverpool, gained the highest exam marks in my career so far from students through the London College of Music and developed my Saturday Academy to provide something different to other arts groups in the area.’

The success and fast growth of Pro Vox is down to Carrie’s determination to overcome a difficult situation when starting up.

‘Unfortunately my former company began to hit hard times and the company closed. I wanted to continue my career as a teacher working with my loyal students so I made the decision to set-up on my own.’

‘I found the initial process quite terrifying, I had 7 weeks to set up, find a new premises and equipment to ensure I could provide consistent training for my students. I didn't have much time at all.’


After being given 8 weeks’ notice at her former job, the 27 year old had to manage working full time with setting up her new business to maintain her current clientele. To aid her in this very difficult task, Carrie contacted The Women’s Organisation for support.

The Women’s Organisation were amazing. I attended workshops which focused on areas such as marketing through social media and book keeping. I also received 1-2-1 assistance to develop my business plan and given advice on whether to register as a sole trader or limited company and how to go about gaining insurance for my business.’

She continued: ‘All of the assistance The Women’s Organisation gave me greatly helped me make the right decisions. They also helped me identify the correct requirements for my business very quickly. This allowed me to reach my goals and be ready to launch on my due date which is incredible.’

Now that she is reaping the rewards of her hard work and determination, Carrie is singing the praises of being self-employed. She enjoys being fully in control of decisions regarding training and opportunities available to her students, because it allows for quality control tuition to ensure the best possible training. Furthermore, being her own boss has enabled her to study further and develop her own experience and qualifications, noting that it will not only benefit the business but her clientele too.

‘Everything has happened so quickly with lots going on that it can be hard to look in from the outside. I am very proud and pleased with how quickly I was able to set up and begin growing my business. Maybe I’m still a little shocked that it has all happened, but it gives me a great sense of personal achievement and I look forward to the future goals I aim to achieve. No matter how impossible it seems, it’s always possible!’

Whether you’re starting from scratch, looking for qualifications or just in need of a tune up, contact Carrie on 07708 021 327 / carrie@pro-vox.net or visit www.pro-vox.net for friendly, experienced and client focused support. 

And if you're facing redundancy, or just wish to move forward with an idea you've been thinking about for a while, why not talk to The Women's Organisation about how they can help you. 0151 706 8111 / hello@thewo.org.uk 

By Beckie Kinsella


Portrait photos by Magical Moments Photography 





Got a Query? Join in our new #AskTheWO hour - Last Friday of the Month

When starting a business there are a million questions that run through your mind.  How will it effect my benefits? What grants or support can I access in my area? When do I register my business? How can The Women's Organisation help me?

The Women's Organisation offer FREE business advice appointments available to women in Merseyside who are thinking of starting their own business, and to women in both Merseyside and Greater Manchester who are ready to grow their existing business.

We recognise that sometimes before booking in to see someone you may just have a quick query such as 'am I eligible?' or 'am I at the right stage for support?'.

Our inbox is always open at hello@thewo.org.uk but in addition our team will now be live on Twitter on the last Friday of each month 11.30am-12.30pm so you can tweet your questions live to @TheWomensOrg using #AsktheWO.  We will answer as many of your queries as we can live, or ask for your contact details so we can follow up if your query requires more than 140 characters to answer. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bernie's Networking Top Tips: Part 2

Networking is more than just a buzzword. It's probably the best opportunity you will ever have to make connections, build relationships and help yourself and others in the networking group succeed. Networking with like-minded individuals is also a great way to explore new career options, learn more about a specific industry, gather insights from peers on critical business issues and grow professionally. Here are more of Bernie's top tips on how to Network effectively:



Listen First



An easy way to relax at a networking function is to take the focus off yourself by first listening to the other person. This technique also helps you gain insight as to how that contact can help you, making the connection that much stronger. It's not about collecting the most business cards; it's about collecting the right ones

Thank-you notes and quick follow-up to requests for information are little courtesies that mean a lot. Your professionalism will be noted, your calls returned and your referral business will blossom. It also signals to the parties involved that you are committed to success -- yours and theirs.

If you take advantage of all that networking has to offer, and if you have joined the right networking group, you'll find that suddenly, you seem much more visible. People will seek you out and recognize you as a valuable resource. 

If you're networking correctly, you'll find you have more visibility, greater knowledge, and a wider circle of reliable contacts; and that you can leverage those assets to further your career. When it comes to networking though, there's more to consider than simply who you know. You have to think about who you DON'T know. And then find a way to get to know those people. Once you've exhausted your personal connections, it's time to focus on meeting some new faces.

Get 'Organised'

No matter what your occupation, there's a professional organisation for you!

National and international professional associations often have local chapters where you can meet other professionals in your field. And most hold conferences and other events designed specifically for networking.

Professional organisations can also help you keep up-to-date on the latest developments in your industry. They often provide members with the latest industry news, trends and research as well as training and education. This information can come in very handy at network events.

Etiquette is important.

And perhaps nowhere more so than at networking events.

You may already know that networking events are one of the best ways to find job leads and expand your contacts. But attending events is only half the battle. You also need to know how to behave at them.

If you talk too much, say too little or arrive unprepared, you can ruin your chances to leave with a lead.

It isn’t a party

Remember why you're here.

The purpose of a networking event is to help you advance professionally. It's a social event -- but a professional one. Think of it as a conference social or a business dinner.

The cardinal rule of networking events: Never get drunk. We all remember what happened to Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl."

You want the people you meet to remember you as capable, competent and polished -- not as the person who was wearing a lampshade on their head at the end of the evening.

Dress appropriately. Err on the side of conservative and choose an outfit you could wear to a job interview. Your attire should say, "I'm a professional," not "I'm a party girl (or boy)." After all, you're not at a party.



Subscribe or visit our blog regularly for more of Bernie's top tips and other handy business hints and tricks, including guest blogs from business services, business related articles and client success stories. 



Blog by Bernie Cox, Training Co-ordinator


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Local Mums Make Dream Wedding’s A Reality With Cherish Designs & Occasions

Created by fashion & textiles designers Paula and Gaynor, Cherish Designs & Occasions specialise in creating bespoke bouquets/flower arrangements and venue dressing for every special occasion. 

Credit: Lucy Hannah Photography
‘We have a love for the ornate & all things vintage, & of course weddings! Since designing our own weddings we began creating pieces for friends’ big days & from then on our orders of Keepsake Brooch Bouquets spiraled & Cherish Designs & Occassions was born.’

For the past 11 years, Paula and Gaynor have worked in the fashion industry, as well as lecturing in fashion history, design, textiles and business. Using their wealth of design experience, they make bespoke creations for brides who want to make their wedding day unique.

‘Even though we’re experienced, we found the idea that we were now in control of our own income and reliant on generating enough work to make a successful and profitable business daunting.’

To address this worry, the pair began looking around for some support. They had heard positive things about Liverpool based Social Enterprise The Women’s Organisation and later approached them for support on their start-up journey.



The Women’s Organisation supported us throughout the process and informed us about courses that may be suitable when taking up self-employment. These courses helped us greatly in preparation for developing our business successfully. We were fortunate enough to have 1 to 1 support to help us reach our goals and offered networking opportunities and advice.’

‘We would advise anyone who is going to set up their own business to contact The Women’s Organisation and gain professional advice.’

As well as being in control, the business mums love how self-employment allows them to manage their working hours around their family lives. Although it is hard work to balance their home lives whilst maintaining their high standards, the passion they both share for the products and services make it possible. 

‘We are making steady progress and have now found our client base which is continuing to grow on a daily basis.’


‘We are pleased with what we have achieved so far but know we need to continue to work hard in order to progress and succeed for CherishDesigns & Occasions to be a well-known company.’

From table and venue decorations, wedding stationary and favours, to buttonholes and beautiful brooch keepsake bouquets, Cherish Designs& Occasions can work with you to design the perfect wedding. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for making beautiful things, Paula and Gaynor aim to help bring your dream wedding to life. From the ‘I do’s’ to the ‘thank you’s’, they will make your occasion a day you can cherish forever.

If you are interested in booking a free wedding consultation or would like to see more of the venue decorations and bouquets that have already been created, visit www.cherishdesigns.org.uk  or email your enquiry to info@cherishdesigns.org.uk

And if you would like to turn your passion into a business, call 0151 706 8111 / info@thewo.org.uk to get your business journey started with the support of The Women's Organisation 


By Beckie Kinsella


Monday, August 18, 2014

Have You Got the Right Team to Enable Growth?



One of the biggest considerations when expanding your business is whether you have the right people in the right jobs and do you need extra staff to manage the increased workload?

Sometimes letting go of the reins and trusting other people to carry out tasks for your business is one of the hardest things to come to terms with.

At and event held at The Women's Organisation recently, Tesco Clubcard co-creator Edwina Dunn advised "I always employ people smarter than me".  She explained that you have to realise that there will be people who are better than you at different elements of your business. Letting go and letting the best people run with the mission that you have set out is often the best way to enable your business to succeed.

By the same token, reviewing the team that you already have in place to ask 'are the right people in the right jobs' can be equally as rewarding.  Sometimes as employers we try to fit square pegs in round holes wanting people to 'just do it this way'.  Getting the most out of people involves understanding their strengths and playing to those, and sometimes that can involve making tough decisions when it becomes clear that you don't have the right staff to carry out the tasks needed.

If you are thinking about hiring staff check out our guest blog post by our Venture Accelerator partners HPC on "Considerations when taking on staff"

ACAS website also have some useful advice around staffing and a helpline you can call for more support. 

The Women's Organisation are currently offering free business growth consultancy services through Venture Accelerator business growth programme.  Venture Accelerator is open to women in Merseyside who are ready to significantly expand their business.  Advice around all business growth issues, including taking on stafff, are offered as part of the programme.  To find out more contact hello@thewo.org.uk






Friday, August 15, 2014

The Women's Organisation Working with LMH to Support Liverpool Women

Women in Liverpool can benefit from a range of services to build their confidence and carve out a brighter future for themselves with help from The Women's Organisation and Liverpool Mutual Homes. 



‘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.

Create Your Own Job – Set up a Small Business & Get £££'s to start

And if you decide that you would like to use your skills and ideas to develop your own business then a full package of FREE business support is available to you. Including: 

• Business Advice - One to one appointments available at various venues across Liverpool 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 
* Building a Social Media Strategy – 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. 

• Grants – Apply for The Women’s Organisation’s £200 Grant package along with other sources of finance available in your local area with support from our team.


If you would like to take advantage of any of this free support available to women in your area, please contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or info@thewo.org.uk or speak to your local Liverpool Mutual Homes office about this support.


Check out the stories of women like Katie, EmmaRosie & Angie to see how women in your area have been supported to follow their dream of setting up their own business. 

The Women’s Organisation can also be found on Twitter as@TheWomensOrg, ‘liked’ on facebook at www.facebook.com/TheWomensOrganisation



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Samina Irfan Supports Local Women & Communities Through Her Female Only Hair and Beauty Salon, La Femme.

Kensington based Salon owner Samina Irfan is very passionate about supporting and developing her local community, as well as the wider community. To fulfil this passion, she has opened La Femme, a hair & beauty salon which offers women a comfortable and private place to get pampered. The salon reaches out to women in deprived areas, as well as providing local students with the opportunity to develop their skills through placements and apprenticeships. 

We spoke to Samina about her journey and reasons for opening La Femme shortly after the Salon opened it's doors. Here is what she had to say: 

What is your business and what services do you provide?

La Femme is a female only hair and beauty salon where women from all backgrounds are welcome. We provide a whole range of services including, threading, hair, nails, henna, massages, hot stones, makeup, wax, eye lash extensions and bridal make up."

What made you decide to set up in business?

 “It’s been my dream to own my own business, I have always been able to see myself doing it and now I am. I’ve always felt there was a need for this type of place. I want to reach out to all women who want quality service in comfort and privacy but I felt that there was no particular place for them. I partly started this salon to first and foremost help out the local community, but also to reach the wider community as it is situated in the heart of a deprived area that needs and deserves support."

Once you had decided that you wanted to set up a business, what steps did you take to get the ball rolling and how did you feel?

“I knew it was something I really wanted to do, but I also knew I would need some support because I had never run my own business before. I came across The Women’s Organisation on the internet and it was just what I needed. I had appointments with business advisors who were so helpful and supported me throughout. I felt like they really believed in what I was doing and that was amazing.”

Did you face any barriers starting up?

“Apart from the struggle with finance, I have been really lucky throughout my journey. I looked at a few premises that were terrible, but then I found this one. I was visualising what it looked like from the moment I walked in and my friend thought I was crazy because of the state it was in at that time. With help from my friends and family, and a very supportive landlord, it is now a reality. The previous tenant had left the premises in a terrible state and I worked endlessly to turn it into a comfortable place for women to come. I am very happy.”


What makes your business unique?

“I can cater for all beauty treatments in one roof. All my equipment is new because I didn’t want to compromise the quality of the service I provide. Also the fact that it is female only. When you close the door it’s just the comfort of the woman, a safe place where she can fully relax and I think that is really important.”

It’s clear you’re very passionate about helping the community, how do you feel you do this?

“I aim to reach more people with less money. It’s important to support the community and I will always try my hardest to give the best quality service for them, regardless of price. I’ve offered apprenticeships and placements to Liverpool Community College students of Level 3 hairdressing. It’s important to help people develop their skills and give them a good environment to grow. It’s all about giving something back to the community and creating the right personality for La Femme.’’

How are things going with your business?

“It’s been non-stop! I have had back to back appointments booked since opening. It doesn’t feel like I recently started up! I’m so humbled by the response, it’s amazing and I certainly wasn’t expecting it. The locals have really gotten behind the business and are spreading the word, reaching across to other communities.”


Do you have any words of advice for women who are considering starting a business?

“Be persistent. Things don’t always happen overnight but if you keep at it, and genuinely believe in what you are doing, then it will happen. I would also tell them to go and get support from The Women’sOrganisation and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would just like to say that I am very grateful for all the support from my friends, family, staff of The Women’s Organisation, my landlord and the community. Things are going really well and I’m looking forward to where my journey will take me next.

If you would like to book an appointment with Samina or would like to know more about La Femme, call 0151 378 1987 or 07825995010 You can also visit, www.lafemmehairandbeautysalon.co.uk  or follow on twitter @saminaIrfan3 



And if you would like to fulfil your dream of owning your own business, or explore that business idea a little further, why not contact The Women's Organisation for further advice and support. 0151 706 8111 / hello@thewo.org.uk or visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk 


By Beckie Kinsella


The Women's Organisation Team 'Run or Dye' for Teenage Cancer Trust



The Women's Organisation staff team are putting their best foot forward to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.  8 members of staff from the organisation will take part in Merseyside 'Run or Dye' event in aid of the charity.

Run or Dye is a 5k run taking place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool on 20th September where runners become a rainbow of colour having been pelted with colourful eco friendly dye at each 1k mark. The Women's Organisation team signed up having heard about Teenage Cancer Trust, wanting to take on a challenge to raise funding and awareness of the charity.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer', and Teenage Cancer Trust are the only dedicated charity in the UK who do this by:

  • Bringing young people together so they can be treated together, by teenage cancer experts, in the best place for them.
  • Educating young people about cancer and working with health professionals to develop their knowledge to improve the speed and quality of diagnosis.
  • And by funding research and working with partners in the NHS, government and organisations both nationally and internationally, stiving to improve survival rates
In Merseyside Teenage Cancer Trust are hoping to open a specialist local unit to support teenage cancer patients, and have challenged 500 local businesses to support them to do this by raising £1000 by April 2015. The Women's Organisation team have taken on the challenge and are hoping that 'Run or Dye' will take them a giant leap towards that target.

To sponsor the team and give to a worthy cause follow our 'Just Giving' link
https://www.justgiving.com/TheWomensOrg 


Friday, August 8, 2014

The Women's Org are Keeping It Local with Free Business Advice Appointments Available in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral

Have you been considering self-employment? You don't have to go far to get support from The Women's Organisation who offer free business advice appointments across Merseyside.


Wherever you're up to with your idea, we can help you with a bespoke plan to suit your personal circumstances and experience, which will give your new business the very best chance of success. 

The support is not only free, it's local! To give every woman an equal chance of opening a successful business, our team are based at various venues in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral


Here are a list of our current venues:

Liverpool:
  • 54 St James Street (Our head office)
  • Liverpool Central Library
  • Allerton Library
  • Childwall Library
For further encouragement, click here to read Harriet Gilmour's success story, a Liverpool resident who created a secure job for herself after years of fixed term contracts. 


Knowsley:
  • Huyton Library
  • Huyton Costa Coffee, Huyton Town Centre
  • Poco Coffee Shop, Prescot Town Centre
  • Kirkby National Careers Service
Click here to read the story of Hannah Ramejkis, a Knowsley resident who started up as a freelance photographer and the success of her business has enabled her to open her very own photography studio.


Sefton:
  • Waterloo Costa Coffee - South Road
  • Sefton@Work - Bootle
  • Crosby Library
  • Cafe Nero, Chapel Street
  • Southport Atkinson Library
If you require a little inspiration to move forward, click here to check out our client success story of Sefton Resident Val Hughes who fulfilled her dream of owning her own independant fashion label after being made redundant. 


Wirral:
  • Birkenhead Coffee Aroma, Price Street
  • Heswall Library
  • Hoylake Library
  • Birkenhead Egerton House
  • New Brighton Community Centre
  • Bromborough Library
  • Wallasey Library
Click here to read how Wirral resident Sue wood turned her passion for millinery into a successful business. 


As well as local appointments, The Women's Organisation offer free support with business planning, accessing grants, understanding tax and national insurance when going self-employed and getting to grips with online marketing for a small business. To find out more visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/services

Whether you are facing redundancy, a parent looking to make time for your family or you just want to make some extra money on top of your current income, The Women’s Organisation are here to support local women take their first steps into business. So talk to us today about your big idea, and let’s get your business journey going. 

To book an appointment in a venue near you call 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Diamonds are Not Just Orit’s Best Friend, They are a Booming Business!


For Greater Manchester resident Orit Adiri-Niemogha, Diamonds are proving to be a profitable best friend, as she has grown her business and increased turnover by 63% in the last year with help from The Women’sOrganisation’s Business Growth programme.

Having put her passion for sparkle into developing her business H & D Diamonds back in 2011, Orit was ready to take her business to the next level.

Orit arrived in England in the late 1990’s coming to London to study for an MBA degree.  It was there her relationship with diamonds blossomed as she found work in Hatton Garden, London’s diamond quarter. Orit reflected back on her journey.

“I worked in the diamond quarter in London for nearly eight years. In my first year, my role was to travel around the midlands area and sell loose diamonds to jewellers. Interacting with jewellers I realised very quickly how little did most of them know about diamonds.”
  
Having met the other love of her life, her husband, Orit decided for her family it was time to move on from the bustle of London and find better quality of life up north.  From there “it was only a natural progression to set up my own business and offer my expertise as a diamond grader to the public” she said.

Orit went on to set up H &D Diamonds Ltd., naming the business after the first letters of her children’s names, Havana and Dakota who she calls her “true diamonds”.

When Orit moved to the North West from London, she knew it could be a gamble setting up a business where no one knew her background and expertise, and she would have to build her networks almost from scratch.  The country was in the middle of a recession so it wasn’t going to be easy.  But setting up her online store, keeping overheads low, Orit was pleasantly surprised by the positive response to her hard work.

“A few years down the line I am now being approached by customers as well as suppliers. I have a circle of clientele that not only use me as their personal jeweller but also recommend me to their friends. There are times where I get to business events and meet people I never saw before who seem to know that I am ‘the diamond lady’ just by recognising me from my online visibility.”

Orit contacted The Women’s Organisation upon hearing about their Venture Accelerator Programme offering bespoke business growth support to local women. 

She told us “I received tremendous support from Mike Marsden, my business coach.  He supported me to find leads, to look at business collaborations, told me about free services available through the local university and other local training providers as well as linking me in to specialist social media support.  Put simply he offered suggestions of business growth in areas I did not operate much before and regular guidance when venturing into new direction.”

Since receiving help to grow her business Orit has not only seen an increase in her turnover, but she is now on her way to securing her first premises and is looking to recruit additional ‘H & D Ladies’ to help her promote the brand and work with customers.

Explaining the H & D Diamonds brand Orit told us “Although the shop is online, it is our aim to also give a face and a direct contact to the consumer. Each area of the UK will have a ‘H&D Lady’ assigned as a contact person, so you are assured of a personal service.  What makes us different is that not only do we offer bespoke services through a Bond Street jeweller, at the moment we are also the only suppliers in the UK of an Italian jewellery line that will be sold only in a handful of shops in the UK”.

Organisation and Social Media have proven essential to Orit’s business, and she credits her social profile for helping build her business presence online.  Reflecting on her success Orit told us that the key has been “persistence to my target and strong urge to learn from everyone I come in contact with.  I have also developed the ability to review and act upon trends in the market and positive attitude. I’ve learnt along the way not to mourn the adversities as they usually happen for a reason. They either teach you a lesson or pave the way to take your business to a better deserved place.”

To find out more about the bespoke service offered by H & D Diamonds Ltd. visit www.handddiamonds.co.ukOrit’s company can also be found on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter where you can follow @HandDDiamonds.


If you are a woman in Greater Manchester who has a business that is ready to grow, why not contact Venture Accelerator Programme Manager Mike Marsden via MikeMarsden@thewo.org.uk to find out more about how The Women’s Organisation can support you.