Friday, December 18, 2015

54 St James Street Tenant of the Month - Siren Catering Ltd.

So, Tenant of the Month is back! Each month we will be publishing an interview with one of our lovely tenants in the building, asking them what they like about the building and finding out what their business is all about!

And we are kicking it off with the one and only, Siren Catering. Siren keep the tenants of 54 St James Street fed and watered all year round and the cafe is the perfect place for a quick meeting or a long lunch.

We took the opportunity to have a quick fire chat with Jeni and Natalie and find out what they like about 54 St James Street...

Name of Your Business: 

SIREN Catering Limited

Your Name and Role in the Business:

 Natalie Hardman & Jeni Wadkin - Managing Directors

What do you do?: 

We provide conference catering services at 54 St James Street & other external venues, run SIREN which is open 7 days a week & host bespoke events & weddings at our venue. 

When did you move into 54 St James Street?: 

We have been here for 3 years in February ( the fastest 3 years ever!)

What do you like about working here?: 

We love seeing all our regular customers & have fallen in love with the space & the Baltic area!

Your best achievement to date: 

We were the sole provider of all catering services for IFB 2014 which took place in Liverpool. 

Is there anything people should know about you?

We have a 10% discount to all tenants and you can follow our social media platforms for updates on other special offers 

Contact details: 0151 706 8148

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Business Club’s First Event of 2016 – Start The Year With A Strategy!

After such a successful ending to 2015’s Business Club events with our Cheesey Festive Networking, we are looking forward to the first Business Club networking event of the new year; Start The Year With A Strategy!

Join us on Thursday 14th January (9:30am-11:30am) and kick start your business year with a strategy! We will be joined by our event sponsors, Bold Online marketing and their founder, Judith O’Brien who will be telling us why 2016 is the year to get to grips with digital media.

Judith O’Brien has over 25 years in the IT and Digital Marketing industry, and is the founder of Bold Online Marketing which is based at 54 St James Street. Bold; ‘Provides a comprehensive range of services covering all aspects of Digital Marketing, including Web Design and Development, Hosting, Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Advertising and Social Media Marketing for SME’s across the North West’, so Judith is a woman who knows her stuff!

If you haven’t heard Judith speak before, you’re missing out! But worry not, because she will be taking some time out of her schedule to speak at our Start The Year With A Strategy Event, on the topic of digital and social media and its importance for your business, and what tools and tips you can use to make it work hard for your business.

Also speaking will be the Park Road Credit Union, giving us tips and tricks on how to save for a rainy day, and our very own Senior Business Adviser; Claire Pedersen on how to grow your business in 2016.

We’ll be speaking about what tools you can use to help you plan for a successful year, resources that are readily available to you and can help you keep a tighter record of what you are up to with your business…

So! If you want to come and get a strategy to start 2016 with, then you need to get your ticket for this event!

Thursday 14th January (9:30am-11:30am) at The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Members £5 / Non Members £10

As always, we would like to thank your Business Club sponsors, Mitchell Charlesworth for their support of Business Club. 

Mitchell Charlesworth, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers offer a locally based complete financial and accounting solution for businesses and individuals. They have offices across the North West with a presence in Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, Warrington and Widnes. 

If you would like to find out more about Mitchell Charles worth, you can check out their website...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Alishia Thomas Launched Her Business, 'Oh Me Oh Mama', After The Birth Of Her First Baby...

We often hear great stories from women who have had their children and gone on to start up their own businesses as an alternative to returning to work. Not often do we hear stories from women, who have their own children, and start their own business pretty much the next day! But that’s exactly what Alishia Thomas did when she had her daughter last year. It’s an amazing story and probably even more amazing if you’ve had children! Everyone understands that when you’ve just given birth, starting your own business might be the last thing on your mind.

Alishia’s business is Oh Me Oh Mama which provides gift hampers for all new, expecting and breast feeding mums. Alishia says; ‘Oh Me Oh Mama is made for mamas by mamas and is a way of providing new mothers with products to help them on their new journey into motherhood…We have hampers for all types of new mamas, whether it’s someone starting out on their breastfeeding journey or for those who simply want to relax at the end of a stressful day.’

After giving birth to her daughter last year, Alishia struggled with breast feeding, and worried constantly that her child was getting enough milk and food, and feeling isolated from other sources of help, Alishia turned to the internet to find ways which she could increase her milk supply and began exploring galactagogue’s, these are natural ways that can help increase milk supply, and it was specifically herbal galactagogue’s that Alishia began to investigate.

‘I found all of these recipes online and a lot of them were Australian, there was nothing from the UK and nothing that you could go out and buy, everything had to be made from scratch. I just thought this was crazy, when you’ve got a baby, you’re tired and exhausted and making cookies that will help to increase your milk supply is stressful!’ It was cookies that Alishia first tried her hand at and she says; ‘I must have tried about 10 times to make these cookies until they were edible!’

Alishia then began to explore other natural ways in which she could help herself breastfeed, increasing her milk supply as well as making herself more comfortable in the process. She came up with a lactation tea by sourcing the ingredients that would benefit her and meeting with Phom, a Liverpool based loose leaf Tea Company who brewed her up her own blend of nursing tea! It was at this point Alishia thought; ‘There is just nothing else out there, so why I don’t I just take matters into my own hands and create something not only for myself but for other Mothers who may be in the same position.’

Alishia began to create hampers with all different types of goodies in them for breastfeeding mama’s and has now branched out and sells hampers for father’s and expecting mamas too. Some of the goodies included in the hampers are the lactation tea and cookies, silicone gel pads for sore breasts, superfoods like chia shots and the best bit in our opinion – the boobie beanie – hand knitted especially by Alishia’s Mother-In-Law, which she says is for Mother’s when they breastfeed out in public, although she’s quick to point out, it’s for the baby’s head, not a cover-up for the women! Alishia says; ‘People often shy away from feeding their children in public, and I have found myself going to the toilet to feed my baby, but now I’ve realised it’s my child and she doesn’t deserve to eat in the toilets.’

When Alishia was at home with her baby and thinking about all the different ways she could help herself and others who were struggling to breastfeed, she began to research online how to set up a business and came across The Women’s Organisation. She got in touch with us and has been working with one of our Senior Business Adviser’s; Claire Pedersen. Alishia says; ‘Claire has been an angel since the very first day that I met her. She’s given me so much advice and pointers, which is great because it’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off of, because you can get wider, fresh eyes on what you are up to.’

Last month, Alishia had her official launch party of Oh Me Oh Mama, in partnership with the charity, Kitty at The Liverpool Women’s Hospital. 10% of all Oh Me Oh Mama’s profits are donated to the Kitty fund at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital who say; ‘Kitty is our new friendly face of Liverpool Women’s Charity and from now on she will be the focal point for raising awareness of our work and particularly of the benefits we bring to the patients and families of Liverpool and the surrounding areas.’ – And of course, is inspired by the pioneering Kitty Wilkinson who fought disease and poverty in nineteenth-century Liverpool.

Now with seven different types of hampers available at Oh Me Oh Mama, it’s clear to see that Alishia has taken this opportunity to branch out her business and continue focussing on the clear brand and innovative ideas that she has for Oh Me Oh Mama. With an idea like this, we know her business will go far!

If you’d like to find out more about Oh Me Oh Mama, you can do so by following the links below, and if you’ve been inspired by Alishia’s story and would like to talk to us about starting your own business, whatever stage of your life you are at, then get in touch! Ring us on 0151 706 8111 or email


Monday, December 7, 2015

#WIBAs Return to Celebrate Achievements of Women in Business

Downtown Liverpool in Business, in association with The Women’s Organisation are delighted to announce the return of The Women in Business awards. The #WIBAs celebrate female entrepreneurs and business owners from across Merseyside.
The fourth annual Women in Business awards will be hosted on Friday 4th March 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  As 2016 sees The Women's Organisation's turn 20 years old this promises to be extra special. 
This gala lunch event will reward female entrepreneurs, business owners and decision makers from across the city region.  Breaking down stereotypes and promoting role models, this awards event will recognise the achievements of women who have created successful ventures and contributed to economic growth.

The Women's Organisation know all too well how women's achievements can be lost in translation with women still greatly underrepresented at leadership and management level, in parliament, when it comes to business ownership etc. Events like this are so important to start to tackle gender inequality in the workplace and we are keen to encourage women to shout about their achievements. 

If you are woman in business who would like to put your business forward for an award, or if you know another woman who is deserving of recognition, you can nominate here:


Friday, December 4, 2015

The Women's Organisation Host Enterprise Educators for Erasmus + ACE Project Focus Group

Last week, here at The Women’s Organisation HQ, 54 St James Street, we held a Focus Group to talk about Lifestyle Entrepreneurship as part of the ACE Erasmus + Project, what it means to us, and how we have gone about working with this type of Entrepreneur and how we can think of new and innovative ways in the future to do so.

So you might be thinking, what is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur? Here is what we found out from one of our Focus Group participants, Carole Buckman, Business Gateway Manager at Liverpool Hope University…

‘A lifestyle entrepreneur tends to be based on the person’s hobbies, passion and skills; they may just like to make things to sell and may not be too concerned or knowledgeable about the finer points of business.’

Our Focus Group was made up of 10 individual from across the enterprise sector in Merseyside and these will go towards helping focus the project’s aims and outcomes!

And as with Focus Groups, we all got our thinking hats on, used big pieces of flip-chart paper and scribbled all of our ideas down! Here’s a few photos from our Focus Group, and keep your ears and eyes peeled for more updates as our Erasmus Plus ACE Project progresses!

'Successful Devolution for our City Region Rests Upon Capitalising Social Value: A Policy into Practice Discussion'

Social Enterprise Network are hosting an interesting discussion that The Women's Organisation are proud to be a part of: 'Successful Devolution for our City Region Rests Upon Capitalising Social Value: A Policy into Practice Discussion'.

On:       Wednesday 9th December 2015
At:         6-8pm
Venue: City of Liverpool College
             The Learning Exchange
             Roscoe Street
             L1 9DW

The Liverpool Social Value Charter was launched in May 2015 with a significant potential to impact upon the local economy.  It is highly relevant to consider social value for the city-region at a time of continued public sector retrenchment and a persistence in what seem to be intractable problems of poverty, ill-health and unemployment for many communities in the city-region.

As the devolution agenda in England moves slowly towards a city-region solution we ask if the businesses and institutions in the Liverpool city-region have the appetite and wherewithal to exploit the social value that exists within the local economy.

Panel members will offer their views on social value and discuss further with the audience the idea that only through realizing the social value of the city-regions institution, businesses and communities will successful devolution occur.

Jim Hancock, former Political Editor, BBC North West

Confirmed panel members include:
Hazel Blears, Member of Parliament for Salford and Eccles who actively championed the Social Value Act, 
Philip Blond of Republica, 
Maggie O’Carroll, Chief Executive, The Women’s organisation
Clare Dove, Chair, Social Enterprise UK, 
Martin McTague Federation for Small Business