Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Venture Accelerator | Are you ready to grow? | Taking on apprentices




Would your business benefit from hiring an apprentice? A growing number of companies are doing so, with 96% of businesses reporting benefits from having an apprentice as part of the team.

But what are the benefits of hiring an apprentice. Here are some thoughts from The Women's Organisation:

1. Apprenticeships are a great way of not only recruiting new staff, but re-training existing staff, or people returning to your business after a break

2. This learning and retraining can often be done in the workplace, and on the job, which means that it doesn't disrupt the day to day running of the business

3. Having an apprentice as part of your team, means another spare pair of hands to help carry out everyday tasks

4. Apprentices are a fantastic way of attracting new people, who have fresh ideas

5. Apprentices will also encourage a culture of learning, with employers and apprentices both being able to learn from each other

6. Funding for apprentices is available, up to 100%!

Is your business looking to hire an apprentice? 
Or are you looking to grow your team and expand your business? 



Women business owners in Greater Manchester can benefit from FREE support to take their business to the next level with The Women's Organisation. The Women's Organisation who have been working in the north west since 1996 offering enterprise support to women, can offer business growth consultancy to local women through their Venture Accelerator business growth programme in Greater Manchester.

Through Venture Accelerator women can be linked with a specialist business growth advisor who will offer tailored support to take their business to the next level. Programme Manager Mike Marsden and the Venture Accelerator team have already supported a number of local businesses to expand their team through apprenticeship schemes, funding for growth and looking at organisational structure.

The Venture Accelerator Programme runs to June 2015 and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. If you are a women-led business in the Greater Manchester area and you would like free advice to build your staff team or grow your turnover, contact programme manager MikeMarsden@thewo.org.uk to find out more about the help The Women's Organisation can offer, and follow @TheWomenOrgManc on twitter.   





Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Venture Accelerator | The Women’s Organisation & Natwest Bank | 18th November 2014

Last week, The Women’s Organisation hosted a roundtable event sponsored by Natwest, in which we invited women in business who are ready to grow their enterprises, to get some insight into digital marketing strategies.



Speaking at the event was Judith O’Brien, managing director of Bold Online Marketing which she established in 2004, having worked in the Digital and Media sector for a number of years.


The event was incredibly informative with Judith engaging the business women imparting her knowledge on digital and social media marketing strategies. Looking at the statistics it is clear to see that digital and social media are now hugely important in generating business and traffic:
  •          There are over 500 million tweets per day (That equates to 6,000 a second!)
  •          There are over 300 million business professionals on LinkedIn
  •          Facebook has over 1.28 billion users (1.01 billion of these using Facebook Mobile)

So the important question that Judith was raising was how does a business get heard over all this noise?



According to Judith, being a successful user of digital and social media, is all about having the right ‘Marketing Mix’, a blend of the right forums and channels which work together to complement your brand and what your business is all about.  

Judith places an importance on having consistency across the different platforms when working digitally. It’s important that your business appears and sounds the same when it is on twitter as when it is on Facebook. Having voices/characteristics and opinions that sound wildly different on different platforms is going to confuse customers and the public.

Judith’s other points for what successful online brands do, include:

  •          High quality content which engages site visitors
  •          Easy navigation so the customer can find what they are looking for within 3 clicks
  •          Integrated traditional and digital marketing activities
  •          Ease of use and ease of contact
  •          Responsive and always available
  •          Content frequently updated
  •          Quick response to enquiries
  •          Acknowledgement of customer privacy
  •          All backed by great customer service


If you liked Judith’s tips, be sure to check out Bold Online Marketing on Facebook and Twitter here and here

Our roundtable event was also a great opportunity for the business women to find out about our Merseyside Venture Accelerator Programme, which offers free support to women who are strategizing for growing their business.

      If you think you have the right marketing plan that will grow your business and want support and assistance with the growth of your venture, then The Women's Organisation could help you.


      The Women's Organisation is challenging Merseyside women in business to step their businesses up to the next level through The Venture Accelerator (TVA) programme. Venture Accelerator brings together a dynamic partnership of The Women's Organisation, Downtown in Business, Agent Marketing and High Performance Consultancy to deliver a highly innovative and effective business growth and business incubation Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme is aimed at enterprises that have the potential to grow by bringing innovative products and processes to market, scaling up and internationalising. The programme is available to SME's across Merseyside and provides funded consultancy to enable businesses to prepare for growth. It runs up to June 2015. 

      This is a High Growth funded programme, so eligibility criteria will apply. Women based in Merseyside who are working business to business and are ready to significantly grow should contact hello@thewo.org.uk or call 0151 706 8111 to find out more.



Charlotte Fournier juggles many jobs in pursuit of her LIVE Languages business venture; ‘I have to be a sales person, a marketer, a recruiter, a tutor, a PR person, a secretary and a web designer, all in one!’

At LIVE Languages, Charlotte manages the planning, delivery and organisation of language classes and courses in and around Liverpool, and is currently working on opening a school where tutors can use tutoring spaces to invite their language students, create resources and benefit from tutor training.

Having worked in Recruitment, it seemed a natural progression for Charlotte when she started matching students with other tutors in her wide network and then supporting the tutors with their development and other work opportunities. 

Linking her keenness for working in an industry that loves, and also the gap in the market she saw in teaching languages, she decided to use these opportunities to implement her vision. Charlotte says; ‘I have a vision that learning languages must be interactive, lively, fun and intensive. I feel that this philosophy is not promoted in current schools’.

One of the most important things about beginning a business, and something that Charlotte knew all too well, and prepared for, was doing her research. In particular researching the market that she was about to enter; ‘it took many long trips to the library, multiple questionnaires and three years to complete. The process was long but eventually I was happy with my findings and what they meant for my business idea.’

After completing a great deal of market research, Charlotte began to seek advice and support from various organisations, before settling on The Women’s Organisation; ‘The WO offered the most tailored and up-to-date advice specific to my business! What a relief.’ Meeting with Francine Taylor, our Senior Business Advisor, they discussed a business plan. Like many other people beginning their businesses, having the support and structure was a great way for Charlotte to feel motivated and secure.

Although as Charlotte found out, starting your own business isn’t such an easy ride; ‘When setting up on your own, it’s easy to doubt yourself, lose motivation and be distracted.´ Something that Charlotte and many still find difficult. She continues; ‘Every new element is an unknown task and therefore daunting. I learn a lot in the process and know that the second and third time I will complete these tasks, I will be slightly more experienced and confident.’

One thing that Charlotte has learnt from her journey is the importance of delegating, coming up with a novel way of being assisted with her administrative and technical aspects of the business; ‘I teach a student who is very IT savvy. So I asked her to become my PA in exchange for free French lessons. It is the cheapest and best investment I have made! She organises my timetables, lessons, sends invoices and communicates with clients’ This set-up is financially beneficial for Charlotte’s student, also helps her French get better and frees up Charlotte’s time so she can focus on other tasks.

Now settling into the business side of things, Charlotte is keen on the idea of owning her own venture, saying there is a satisfaction in knowing that the product is her own work, and hoping to have a Liverpool city centre premises in the next 8 months to base LIVE Languages in.

The Women’s Organisation believe Charlotte has done a great job on her work with her business idea, especially as she has managed all this whilst working full time at the moment. We were happy to support Charlotte in her moments of self-doubt and get her back on track. Charlotte says: ‘Don’t doubt yourself, and when you do, seek support from a business advisor. I found that a quick chat was an easy boost.’

See Charlotte's Live Language website and Facebook page here and here




Monday, November 24, 2014

Venture Accelerator | Are you ready to grow? | Building a marketing plan that will grow your business

Having a marketing plan that you believe in is an important step to growing your business. A marketing plan is a vital document for your business, as it will keep you on track and help you achieve the goals that you define.

It provides an important framework that ensures all your marketing activities are carried out in a controlled way and that your results are maximised. 

Ideally the plan should cover one year, and allow yourself some time to write this plan, even if it isn't very long. Writing the plan is the most difficult part, carrying it out will have it's challenges, but deciding what to do and how to do it, will be the most difficult part.

So remember to be realistic, there isn't any point writing a fantastically high-achieving marketing plan, if it isn't going to be followed. Everyone is different and knows their own limitations, so by sticking to these, you will be able to achieve what you set out to do. 


10 things to include in your marketing plan:
  • Market Research – Write down important information about the market that is currently buying what you sell. Some areas to consider: Market patterns and dynamics, customer demographics, other products and completion, target market, find target markets for your product and describe them
  •  Product – Describe your product, how does it relate to the market? What does the market need? What do they currently use? What do they need above and beyond the current use?


  • Competition – Describe your completion? This will help you develop your USP’s, and figure out what makes you different from your competitor
  • Mission Statement – Writing a few sentences that state what you’re selling, who you’re selling to and your USP’s will really help condense your business into short, sharp points.
  • Marketing Strategies – Chose the marketing and promotional strategies that you want to use. Make sure it is a mixture of channels; networking, advertisement, digital media, publicity, etc.
  • Pricing, Positioning and Branding – From the information you've collected, you can now establish strategies for determining the price of your product, where it will be positioned in the market and how you will achieve brand awareness
  •  Budget – An important part of the plan! Which strategies can you afford? What can you do yourself? How often can you do these?
  • Goals – Establish your goals. Make sure they are achievable. These are goals that you can turn into numbers.
  • Monitor your results – Test your strategies and if they aren't working, adapt them and try again

I        If you think you have the right marketing plan that will grow your business and want support and assistance with the growth of your venture, then The Women's Organisation could help you.
      
            The Women's Organisation are challenging Merseyside women in business to step their businesses up to the next level through The Venture Accelerator (TVA) programme. Venture Accelerator brings together a dynamic partnership of The Women's Organisation, Downtown in Business, Agent Marketing and High Performance Consultancy to deliver a highly innovative and effective business growth and business incubation Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme is aimed at enterprises that have the potential to grow by bringing innovative products and processes to market, scaling up and internationalising. The programme is availble to SME's across Merseyside and provides funded consultancy to enable businesses to prepare for growth. It runs up to June 2015. 



            This is a High Growth funded programme, so eligibility criteria will apply. Women based in Merseyside who are working business to business and are ready to significantly grow should contact hello@thewo.org.uk or call 0151 706 8111 to find out more.


Historic Women @54StJamesStreet Home of @TheWomensOrg : Josephine Butler

When The Women's Organisation opened the doors of their new £5.3mil building in the Baltic Triangle district of Liverpool, they were keen to show the influence that iconic women of history have had on the organisation.

Each room at 54 St James Street has been carefully named after an inspiring woman who made her mark in history. The Women's Organisation wanted to introduce you to some of these amazing women so you can see why they have been recognised at the Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED)

The Butler Room is one of our smaller meeting rooms, which is stylish, comfortable and designed to facilitate meetings of between 2 and 6 people. These rooms also benefit from natural light, heating and cooling system, which can be controlled from inside the room, and free WiFi connectivity. 

Josephine Butler (1826-1906)


Born in Northumberland, Josephine Elizabeth Butler was a Victorian era British Feminist who was especially concerned with the welfare of prostitutes. She led the long campaign for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts both in Britain and internationally from 1869 to 1886. 

From her twenties on, Josephine was very active in feminist movements. This was spurred by the accidental death of her six year old daughter, Eva in 1863. Josephine became involved in the campaign for higher education for women, and in 1867 together with Anne Jemima Clough, later principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, was instrumental in establishing the North of England Council for Promoting the Higher Education of Women.

However, she had also been very closely involved with the welfare of prostitutes; as a passionate Christian, she abhorred the sin, but she also regarded the women as being exploited victims of the male oppression, as the attacked the double standard of sexual morality. 



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Venture Accelerator | Are you ready to grow? | Planning for business growth

Planning is the key to any business. It’s sensible to review your performance on a regular basis and identify the most likely strategies so you can grow your business. Here are some of our tips on planning for business growth: 



Study the past successes of your company and use this to create new ideas for future achievements. Also study your competition, the trends of your target market, and economic trends to forecast your growth plan. Looking over the business plans of various other companies that have seen great recent success, both in your industry and in other industries, you can use their ideas as motivations to create your own strategy. 

By regularly assessing your performance against the plan that you began with, you are more likely to reach your goals. By doing this you can highlight where and why you have gone astray. By choosing to reassess every three to six months, this will show direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers as well as keeping you focused

When you are reviewing your business plan, it's important to be clear on how you will allocate your resources to make your strategy work. The business plan for growth should allocate sufficient resources to achieve it's goals. 

You should assess your companies efficiency in terms of employees abilities and adaptability, as well as your own. This will help you to realise what you can or cannot do without your current staff, and if you need to hire new staff, or hire your existing staff in with new skills or training. 

Another good way to plan for business growth, is to collaborate with a business owner that has successfully expanded their business, as you are trying to do. Gaining advice from someone who has been in your position is invaluable. 

Is your business growing? The Women's Organisation would like to offer support and advice to those who's business is growing and accelerating...


Women business owners in Greater Manchester can benefit from FREE support to take their business to the next level with The Women's Organisation. The Women's Organisation who have been working in Merseyside since 1996 offering enterprise support to women, have their own Venture Accelerator business growth programme in Greater Manchester.

Through Venture Accelerator women can be linked with a specialist business growth advisor who will offer tailored support to take their business to the next level.

The Venture Accelerator Programme runs to June 2015 and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. If you are a women-led business in the Greater Manchester area and you would like free advice to build your staff team or grow your turnover, contact programme manager MikeMarsden@thewo.org.uk to find out more about the help The Women's Organisation can offer, and follow @TheWomenOrgManc on twitter.   



The Women’s Organisation is ‘Inspiring Enterprise’ in Merseyside with a Business Start-Up Conference

Having been one of 8 successful organisations to secure grant funding from the RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise scheme, The Women’s Organisation have begun to challenge local women to think whether self-employment is for them.



The ‘Is Self-Employment for You?’ conference held at The Women’s Organisation’s 54 St James St headquarters in October invited local women to come and explore their business ideas, and to understand what is really involved in setting up a business.

Local women in business Kim Sowah of ‘Coffee and Fandisha’ and Erin Tabinor of ‘Sweet Pea Cosmetics’ who had both set up their business with Help from The Women’s Organisation started the event by sharing their experiences of setting up their enterprise. 

Dynamic Erin advised the women that if you have a dream to “just go for it”.  Erin who had left a legal career to set up her cosmetics business confessed that people thought she was mad at first for throwing in the towel on an established career, but how she was undeterred and can now see her hard work and gutsy determination paying off.

Kim whose Ethiopian inspired café can now be found in the trendy Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool shared that “social media has been essential” for getting the word out about her business.

The women attending were invited to throw their questions to Erin and Kim before joining a workshop session exploring the pros and cons of self-employment, understanding where their business idea fit within the market place, and what help is available to get them started.

RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise has been designed to encourage more women to explore enterprise, build their skills, start up and succeed in business. RBS is making £500k of grants available every year for the next three years. 175 organisations submitted applications for funding to run programmes and 8 winners have been announced across the UK including the POWER programme for women with The Women’s Organisation.  This event is one of the first of many opportunities for local women to link in with the programme and be inspired to follow their business dreams.
Some of the comments left by women attending the day included:

“It was good to hear both women’s accounts of their business journey”
“Great advice given about the positives and negatives of being self-employed”
“It was great being able to discuss my idea and see what reaction and feedback was given”
“It made me confident to be a business today”
“It was very interesting and it was great to hear from the 2 women who had started their businesses”

Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager at NatWest, RBS’ sister bank, said: “The Women’s Organisation’s recent conference provided a dynamic  environment for entrepreneurs to share expertise and their business ambitions. Women from across the region attended and were give a great opportunity to network with others in similar circumstances.

“Inspiring Enterprise has been a fantastic way for innovative organisations like The Woman’s Organisation to implement programmes that positively impact communities.”



To find out more about how The Women’s Organisation and RBS are working together to inspire local women to start and develop an enterprise of their own visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Understanding Etsy Tips: Promotion

Search Ads are paid advertising spots used by sellers to promote their items to shoppers on Etsy. They are designated by the word “Ad” in the top left corner of the listing photo. Search Ads are displayed at the top and middle of most search results pages in desktop view, and the bottom of most search results in your mobile browser.

Ads are displayed based on the keywords a shopper enters into search. The words searched are compared to the keywords sellers use for their ads.
After you have entered the item or items you want to promote, Etsy automatically generates keywords based on the items you've selected.
Keywords

A keyword is a word or phrase that a shopper enters in the Etsy search box. Your Ads will appear when a shopper searches for one of the keywords you have selected in this box.
Etsy takes the keywords that shoppers are searching for the most, and matches them with your items, based on your tags and titles.
If you feel that one or more of the keywords suggested by Etsy are not accurate keywords, you can x them out. You can always add them back in later, and they will appear in your “Disabled keywords” section.

Once you have taken a look at your keywords, you are ready to set a weekly budget.

After you've picked the items you'd like to promote and the keywords that will show your ads, you are ready to set a maximum budget for the week!
Etsy suggests several different spend levels, based on what you have spent in the past. These are merely suggestions, you are welcome to enter any amount over the £5 weekly minimum. As you can see, you will get more impressions if you spend more.

Impressions and clicks

Each time your ad is displayed to a potential buyer in the Search Ads section of the search page, it is counted as a single impression. Tracking these lets you know how many times your ads were shown to potential buyers.
Each time your ad is displayed in the Search Ads section of the search page, the potential buyer performing the search may or may not click on it. A click is counted each time a potential buyer clicks on one of your ads. Search Ads are a great tool to help drive traffic from potential buyers to your listings, and clicks let you know how many times this happened.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

More people are searching, comparing and buying online than ever before, making online marketing more important than it’s ever been. With social media and other forms of online marketing changing so often, it is constantly providing new ways for businesses to reach and connect with their customers.

Before talking about ways to improve your online presence however, it is important to be aware of what opportunities you miss out on if you don’t plan your social media strategy properly:

  • If you don’t have a proper plan in place, you risk getting lost amongst the crowd. There are many businesses on the same platforms fighting for the same customer base. Having a clear plan helps you identify your unique selling points to make you stand out.
  • Failing to use social media means you miss out on the opportunity to connect with a much larger customer base than you would expect to find just using more traditional forms of marketing (which of course are still important!).
  • Finally, it is easy to waste time and money on social media if you don’t know who you want to reach and how you are going to reach them.
Focus:

Many small businesses struggle online because they’re not entirely sure who they want to target. Once you have decided the type of customer you want to attract, it becomes much easier to work out how to reach them. This gives you an idea of what sort of content they are interested in, which leads me nicely to my next point.

Content marketing:

Content marketing involves you creating and sharing valuable, and of course free, content to attract and convert followers into customers, and current customers into repeat buyers. The content you share should be closely related to your product or industry, as to make it interesting for the people who choose to connect with your online channels.

This type of marketing is very powerful because it shows you as an educated business that they can follow, like and trust enough to do business with you.

Content can include anything from weekly blog posts responding to relevant and industry specific news articles, to sharing links, videos and photos. It’s important to remember content should be focused on quality information, not your product.

The advantage of being a small business is that you can bring a personal touch that bigger companies can’t always achieve. You should also utilise the fact you are local and becomes a valued member of the community.


Engage with your customers:

Social media provides you with the perfect platform to talk to your customers which is invaluable. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions. What do they enjoy? What would they like to see more of? Is there anything they would change? Regardless of your industry, you can be the expert. Answer your followers’ questions, be happy to talk to them and show it. It’s all part of the customers experience after all.

Measure your results:

It’s important to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. What type of posts do people respond to? Digital platforms all for quick change, which means if something didn’t quite get the response you were expecting, learn from it and change it moving forward.


Digital marketing is vital to small businesses, no matter how resistant some may be. If you identify what platforms potential customers are using and how they communicate, this will have a huge impact on the success of your business. With a well thought out digital marketing strategy, businesses of any size can really thrive and achieve amazing results. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Meet the Masterminds! #GEWConnect

On Wednesday 19th November The Women's Organisation and University of Liverpool Management School are celebrating Global Entrepreneurship week with a 'Business Mastermind' networking event.  Want to pitch your question to our masterminds? Check out their bio's below and email joaustin@thewo.org.uk with your question, name and business name/area of study to be in with a chance of having your question answered at the event. 

Meet Our Business Masterminds
Dr Dale Heywood – Specialist Subject: Staring & Growing a Business 
Dale Heywood is a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool Management School and Director of the MSc in Entrepreneurship. Dale is interested in entrepreneurship, small business formation and self-employment as an occupation. She has been researching SMEs for many years and describes herself as a serial and portfolio entrepreneur, after spending 30 years running her own businesses. Dale is fully engaged with students who are looking to become Entrepreneurs and experienced in supporting them with the issues that they face, including: choosing business ideas; start-up and growth; exit strategies and any of the connected issues and anxieties that go with being your own boss.

Elaine Clarke – Specialist Subject: Growing a Business 
Elaine Clarke is a perfect example of how hard work, tenacity and determination can change your life. Since its inception Elaine’s business ‘Baa Bar’ has continued to thrive.  From a £250,000 turnover in 1992 to £10.9m in 2013, the portfolio of bars is now 11 strong, including 8 under the Baa Bar brand and employs a total of 340 staff. The company now has 4 venues in Manchester, 5 in Liverpool, 1 in Nottingham and 1 in Leeds, and intends to open further venues this year.  Elaine has been recognised for her business acumen, winning 32 national business awards including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Named as one of the most influential Scousers on the Planet in 2008, one of the 42 under 42 by North West Business Insider, Elaine is The Women’s Organisation’s Entrepreneur in Residence 2014. 

Claire Moxham – Specialist Subject: Supply Chain Management & Operations
Claire Moxham is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool Management School.  Claire is interested in how the different parts of supply chains relate to each other, and how this impacts on the overall success of the business and the wider retail network and also looking at operations management more broadly including both profit and non-profit sectors and within the UK and internationally. Claire is founding Chair of the British Academy of Management Special Interest Group on Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management. I am also a Board Member of the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA).

Nicola Pink – Specialist Subject: PR and Marketing
Nicola Pink made the career move into PR after several years working as a journalist for Trinity Mirror. After a stint as a runner and researcher for Granada Television in Manchester looking after both news and sports programmes, Nicola started as an intern at the Merseyside Weeklies, where she ended up writing for five different newspaper titles distributed around Liverpool. For the past six years Nicola has specialised in PR and marketing and have worked with clients including Voodou, Habitat, Whistles, Malmaison, Sutton Kersh, Sefton Park Palm House, Delifonseca, Haines Watts Accountants, Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, Venmores, Morecrofts and Il Forno & Sapporo – to name a few. Founder and Director of Pink Media Ltd. Nicola is approaching her 3rd anniversary as a business owner and is continuing to develop her successful enterprise.

Denise Preece – Specialist Subject: Leadership & Change Management

Denise Preece is a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool Management School, and is passionate about high performance working at an organisational, team and individual level.  Denise has many years’ experience in guiding people and organizations through issues around change, leadership, learning, development and relationships at work and team working.  Denise’s experience includes: Transformational Change Capability; Being a Business Change Leader for major Blue Chip organizations; Organizational and Business Development Consultancy; Exec Mentoring and Business Coaching; Working as a Senior Lecturer in Leadership; Mentoring and Executive coaching; Learning and Development Management; European IT Integration Programme Management; and Business Transformational Change. Denise holds several Non-Executive Directorships roles with both National and Public bodies

Not yet booked a place at the event? Book now via eventbrite!



Come along to find out more about our Venture Accelerator Programme, available to women in Merseyside who are running a business that is ready to grow.  Free support available to help you to develop a strategic business growth plan, take on staff and expand your services. Chat to any of our team on the night for more details and to check eligibility.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jackie O’Carroll Knew the Time had Come to Make Space in her Life for her New Business Venture...

Having worked in the public sector and later in consultancy, Jackie O’Carroll knew the time had come in Spring 2014, when she had to focus on her business idea entirely to let it realise its potential.

Jackie O'Carroll

Make Space, a social enterprise, is a developing community of people who are seeking more joy and fulfillment in their lives. People who are committed to a journey of self-discovery, of finding more meaning and more spiritual self.

Jackie says that Make Space is; ‘a reflection of my own spiritual journey – learning to get out of my own way, learning to live from my heart and less from my head.’ With the assistance of a mentor who had set up a similar membership community in London, she was able to focus on her vision and starts to see the possibilities of her ideas.

Holding her back were two aspects, her initial vision for the community and her own self-belief. Realising she wanted to find someone to help her take her first step and start the business, Jackie wrote an ‘intention’ for ‘someone with the right skills to come into her life’. A month later she met Karen at Liverpool’s ‘Soul Full Reading Group’, an events manager with experience in communications and project management. Jackie says; ‘I found it hard to believe she was real.’

Working together with Karen, Jackie approached The Women’s Organisation and worked with Business Adviser Janine to register Make Space as a Community Interest Company (CIC) – a social enterprise – earlier this year. Launching in 2014, Jackie has begun to enjoy the freedom that comes with working for herself, after nearly 25 years of working for others.

Make Space is growing and developing every day, not just encompassing events, but a whole calendar of exciting workshops, meditation groups, reading groups and speakers taking place in Liverpool and Chester.

As well as this, Make Space is becoming what Jackie hoped it would be; ‘A community for people who are beginning to recognise, or already know, that life can be much more meaningful and want to explore that at a deeper, more spiritual level.’

Make Space is now 8 months old and the community is growing fast in terms of numbers and in commitment. One of the most important things that Jackie has come to realise through launching her business, is to keep focussed and trust your instincts. The self-doubt that she was feeling, just a few months previously, she believes was clouding what her intuition was telling her; ‘take time to focus on your vision – for yourself, your purpose and passion.’

Doubting whether people would ‘get’ what she was trying to accomplish, or making assumptions about whether people would want to hear about Make Space, is a thing of the past. Jackie continues ‘Now I speak to everyone I meet about the possibilities in our lives.’
The plans for 2015 are taking shape, with a full list of all of Make Space’s events on Eventbrite; www.makespaceliverpool.eventbrite.com

Their next events will be on November 27th and 28th, hosting Molly Harvey, a renowned public speaker, at her only open event in the UK this year.

Molly works with CEO’s of top companies and teaches them about working in a different way, leading projects such as taking some of the top 1% of CEO’s to Nepal, and other remote areas of the world, involving them with the local communities to take the learning back to the working environment.

Jackie says; ‘Molly has been an inspiration for me. I have heard her speak on a number of occasions and love that she speaks from the heart, how open she is and how ready she is to offer her wisdom and insight.’

On the 27th November, Make Space will host Molly Harvey, speaking about ‘Making Changes, Not Excuses’, and on the 28th November, there is a day-long workshop, looking at a five step approach to living from the inside out, from the heart, rather than the head.
If you are interested in attending these events, please head over to Make Space’s Eventbrite page to book your tickets!



'Get Connected' to Business Start Up Support This Global Entrepreneurship Week

Next week is Global Entrepreneurship Week where people all over the world will be holding enterprising events. The theme for this year is ‘Get Connected’ and The Women's Organisation are encouraging women to 'Get Connected' to support available to help start a business.  Join us at one of our our series of #GEWConnect Drop-In’s which will be taking place all over Merseyside to find out more about the support available to you. 



Listed below, are is a full list of all the drop-in sessions that are taking place in November as part of our GEW Connect Campaign!

·         Friday 14th November – 9:30am-12pm – Let’s Eat Café, 37 Allerton Road, Woolton, L25 7RE

·         Friday 14th November – 2pm-2:30pm – Prenton Library, Dickens Avenue, Wirral, CH43 0TQ

·         Monday 17th November – 10am-11:30am – Wallasey Central Library, Earlston Road, Wallasey, CH45 5DX

·         Monday 17th November – 1pm-3pm – Everton Children’s Centre, Spencer Street, L6 2WF

·         Tuesday 18th November – 10am-12pm – Allerton Library, Allerton Road, L18 6HG

·         Tuesday 18th November – 1pm-3pm – Old Swan Library, Prescot Road, Old Swan, L13 5XG

·         Thursday 20th November – 10am-12pm – Childwall Library, Childwall Fiveways, L15 6UT

·         Thursday 20th November – 1pm-3pm – Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW

·         Thursday 20th November – 2:30pm-4pm – Hoylake Library, Market Street, Hoylake, CH47 5AA

·         Friday 21st November – 8:30am-11am – The Women’s Org, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

·         Friday 21st November – 12:30pm-2pm – Birkenhead Central Library, Borough Road, Wirral, CH41 2XB

·         Monday 24th November – 1pm-3pm – West Derby Library, West Derby Road, L13 7HQ

·         Monday 24th November – 2pm-2:30pm – Meadows Library, Maghull, Hall Lane, Maghull, Liverpool, L31 7BB

·         Wednesday 26th November – 9:30am-11am – Heswall Library, Telegraph Road, CH60 0AF

·         Friday 28th November – 10am-11:30am – Netherton Activity Centre, Glovers Lane, Netherton, L30 3TL

·         Friday 28th November – 12:30pm-2pm – Southport Atkinson Library, Lord Street, PR8 1DJ

·         Friday 28th November – 3pm-4:30pm – Crosby Library, Crosby Road North, Liverpool, L22 0LQ

All of these events are free, and we will be offering friendly and supportive advice to women who are interested or are thinking about starting their own business and would like some fantastic advice and support.

Find out about how The Women's Organisation are offering extra support to local women with the help of RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise funding.