Thursday, October 19, 2017

Back On Track Are...On The Right Track With Excelerate Labs Support!

We just love getting reports from our Manchester Business Advisers and this latest case study about Back on Track is no different! Back on Track were supported by Business Adviser; Ameena Ahmed under our Manchester growth programme; Excelerate Labs and here’s what they have to say…

‘Back on Track is a Manchester charity that enables disadvantaged adults to make lasting positive changes in their lives.’


It was formed in 1977 and is based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter where they work with adults who are going through a process of recovery or rehabilitation, having been through problems with alcohol or drugs, offending, homelessness and mental health.

Sioban Pollitt, their Chief Executive and Services Manager said; ‘Our projects at Back on Track enable people to build the skills they need to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.’
Ameena worked with Siobhan and also, Kate Downes, who is responsible for the development and direction of the café at Back on Track, as the organisation celebrated its 40th birthday!

Back on Track operates through delivering training courses either at their training centre or on outreach courses, it also offers clients volunteering opportunities and work experience. As well as this they have an amazing on site café; Swan Kitchens – which is staffed by volunteers and service users.


‘Back on Track is our in house café – staffed by those who are rebuilding their lives after problems with homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and offending. Swan Kitchen offers real work experience opportunities and a chance to explore a career in catering.’

Ameena worked with Back on Track to explore planning for a new food outlet in Manchester City Centre, building on the experience that they had with Swan Kitchens. She worked with them to produce a three year business plan that would specifically focus on this social enterprise project and fit into their wider plan as a charity too!

Siobhan and Kate hoped to create this food outlet which would target the health and wellbeing of shoppers and tourists in the city as well as becoming a trainer and employer to the adults that received support from Back on Track – A great plan for the growth of this business!

Siobhan told us; ‘The help we received from Ameena was fantastic! It enabled us to articulate our plans for our catering social enterprise. Already now we have implemented the first stage of our expansion by employing two catering assistants, both of whom have lived experience of some of the issues we address at Back on Track.’

So it’s great to see that the plans are in place for Siobhan, Kate and the rest of the team at Back on Track, to expand in the very near future!

If you’d like to find out more about Back on Track, you can do so by using the contact details below!

Website
Twitter
Phone Number: 0161 834 1661
And if you’d like to find out how we can support your Manchester based business – then get in touch with us today! For more information about the project please contact exceleratelabs@thewo.org.uk

The Women’s Organisation is proud to lead the way in innovative business growth support through our new programme 'Excelerate Labs'.  The programme open to men and women running a business in a B2B sector will enable businesses in Greater Manchester to innovate, diversify and grow creating new jobs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Business Club gets SALES SAVVY With the Retail Biz Queen

October’s Business Club was all about perfecting your sales strategy in time for the Christmas season. And we were joined by Retail Consultancy Expert, Vicky Powell-Carden, to lend us her expertise in achieving retail success.

What Vicky Powell-Carden doesn’t know about sales isn’t worth knowing. Vicky has spent the last 20 years working with, and helping to build some of the UK’s largest, most successful retail brands, including; Matalan, Pound Stretcher, Home Bargains and Liverpool Football Club. 


She then decided to set up her own business, ‘Retail Business Queen Consultancy’, and use her experience to support small business. Vicky is passionate and knowledgeable and able to establish what customers want and need and implement a retail strategy to drive business success.

The biggest date in the calendar for most businesses is Christmas. Vicky hosted our October Business Club to inspire retail enthusiasm in our self-employed women in time for the most profitable months of the year. Vicky’s stance was that every business, no matter what your trade, can benefit from the Christmas season; “you can sell anything, it’s about the research you do and how you market it better than your competitors”.

Vicky’s three top tips included;
  1. Know your stock – make targets!!
  2. Develop a marketing plan – think ahead to forthcoming seasons
  3. ‘Spy’ (or benchmark as it’s more widely known) – constantly check on what your competitors are doing 


If you would like to find out more about Vicky’s services, head to http://www.rbqconsultancy.co.uk/ 
You can also download her FREE 14-page e-book “10 Ways to Supercharge Your Retail Sales” here!

It was a great event which included some 60-second pitches from our members and of course, lots of time for networking.

Comments included;

“Amazing! Found Vicky’s talk really interesting and useful.”

“Vicky’s talk sparked some good ideas in me! Very interesting.”

“Today has been so informative and definitely gave me a boost of confidence. I was nervous to begin with as this is my first networking event – but everyone was so lovely and supportive.”

“Interesting to understand more about retail business and how selling, targeting and planning works.”

“Inspiring – this has motivated me again! Great group of women.” 

“Great networking – linked up with a few new contacts. Very interesting talk by Vicky.”


Thanks to Vicky and all of the wonderful women who attended. 

Our next event is LIVE. Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, we will be paying homage to ‘The Accidental Entrepreneur”, by introducing YOU to a panel of four business experts who will lead a discussion on mastering the crucial elements of your business, from marketing to strategizing, to sales – we’ve got it covered.

Join us to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week and ‘The Accidental Entrepreneur’ on Wednesday 15th November at The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

21 Years | 21 Women | We Need Your Help!

This year has been a pretty special one for The Women’s Organisation, it marks our 21st birthday!


That’s 21 years of supporting women. 21 years of celebrating their successes. And 21 years of being inspired, every single day by the women we get to surround ourselves with.

Over the past 21 years, we have…
  • Offered support to more than 50,000 women around enterprise and employment
  • Provided intensive enterprise support to more than 15,000 women
  • Helped to establish over 3,000 new businesses

And had an incredible journey along the way…And we think all of this is something to celebrate!

We’ve had a great year of celebrations so far, lots of cake and a few parties, but in the background we’ve been working away on something incredible.

The Women’s Organisation are producing a book!

This is going to be a book of interviews. Interview with 21 inspirational and empowering women across the region. And the list is nearly complete, apart from just one person.

And here is where we need your help.

We are looking for our 21st woman – And YOU know who she is!



If there is a woman in your life, or in your community, in your family or one of your friends. Whether she is your employer, your employee, or a woman you might have met only once – If you think she is simply empowering and inspiring – tell us who she is!

We are looking specifically for a woman who is living in Merseyside, so we can interview her and invite her to a photoshoot – but other than that, it’s down to you!

All you need to do is send us a few sentences about why you think they should be our 21st woman.

Email us on abiinglis@thewo.org.uk by Monday 13th November 2017 – and leave the rest to us! 

Any questions, give us a shout - email us or ring us on 0151 706 811

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Meet Our Not-So-New Team Member, Mandy Meaghan!

Mandy joined our team last November and we’ve only just managed to tie her down for a ‘Welcome to the Team’ blog. Mandy has been super busy delivering our Progress to Success programme in the community working out in Kensington, Fountains and Granby and helping the women of Liverpool to ‘Change It’. Mandy has made quite an impression on the office and has us laughing all day. She is definitely part of The Women's Organisation family, and if you haven't already met her, we'd like you to get to know her too.

What's your name and where are you from?

Amanda Louisa Meaghan and I am born and bred in Huyton Liverpool but have not lived there since I was 18 years old.


How did you find out about The Women's Organisation? 

I first met Maggie 21 years ago at Train 2000 when I was setting up my Health awareness through Comedy programs which ran for 14 years and yes a lot has happened since then.

I suppose if you are interested in Women focused initiatives in Liverpool or Merseyside then you are going to know about the WO so I always knew about what they did but had never had any direct dealings with them. Then a post came up for Women Development Training Officer and I applied and got the job.

What kind of things have you done prior to coming to the WO?

I set up a very successful Theatre In Health UK touring company called Alltalk Productions producing award winning health presentations using drama and comedy to highlight awareness of for cervical, breast and testicular cancers. I left the stage for a more quiet life and set up my own personal development training company running programs for the NHS, Community Organisations, Workers Educational, Adult Learning Services, Connexions and other public organisations. I have in-fact always worked for myself until my job here at the Women’s Org and after being here for eight months I absolutely love it here.

What has surprised you about working at the Women’s Org?

As a Training and Development Specialist I suppose what surprised me most was the different types of training I would be delivering from personal development teaching on the Change It program for women, to building a social media strategy for those women who are developing their own businesses. I also train Business planning, Be a more confident you and Start up business conferences. There is so much going on here it’s full of new ideas and initiatives and if you are a woman with a business idea then this is where it’s at. When you work for the Women’s Org you really do feel like you are part of the family they are just so nice.


Could you describe one of your workdays?

As my job is varied (as I like it) I can be chocker block on business training days generally starting at 8:30 am to plan the sessions which are generally full to the brim and on other days I can be delivering in the Change It course in the Children’s Centres, this is a personal development program that gives women the skills to change their lives and gain the confidence to become what they want to become. I love it.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

Well when I was young about 15 years old I used to block ballet and tap dance and also I’ve had 102 driving lessons so hence I don’t have a car.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

As a mother of three kids (oldest is now travelling in Australia) I spend a lot of time bossing them about and sorting their lives out. I am a new fan of Game OF Thrones so lately I’ve been indulging in Box set mania. I love to swim and walk around Liverpool’s exceptional parks and am now considering a new physical activity …Salsa so watch this dance space. 

Thanks Mandy! We love having you here at The W.O. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

‘Just Leap!’ – How Emma Started Her Own Business; Sweet Pea & Little Wolf

Sweet Pea & Little Wolf – this business name conjures up all sorts of lovely images in your mind, and meeting Emma Purchase, you’d think just the same thing! Emma, the founder of Sweet Pea & Little Wolf, who recently gave an inspiring speech at our Summer Social Business Club, is just that – inspiring and a breath of fresh air!

Just look at how she describes her business!

‘Sweet Pea brings the delicious range of herbal tea, Little Wolf brings the neat range of wanderlust themed enamel mugs, clothing and accessories. Together they make the ultimate team.’
Emma and her girls! 
But we all know being self-employed and running your own business is A LOT of hard work, but for Emma she faced challenges, some bigger than other head on, and her story of how she set up Sweet Pea & Little Wolf, is a truly motivational one!

Emma told us; ‘I decided to start up my own business for a few reasons. I am a single mother to 4 beautiful strong girls, and I have a need to show them that with a lot of determination and hard work you can achieve something amazing! And I also needed to be more financially independent and this is one of the reasons that spurs me on when I’m working away into the early hours!’

Some of Emma's lovely stock! 
But there were other even deeper reasons which motivated Emma to start her own business. When her Father became ill with Motor Neurone Disease she felt even more motivated; ‘It really did shock me into realising that time is very limited!’ And she came up with some rules for herself;

‘You have to use your time sensibility, push boundaries, get outside your comfort zone and take risks!’

And take risks she did! For Emma even setting up her business was a big risk! And she told us; ‘One of my big struggles was having absolutely no capital. None! I’m a single mum and a student, so I had to think smart, use the resources that I did have and work harder than most, never giving up!’
Emma's clothing modelled
These challenges lead to Emma getting in touch with The Women’s Organisation where she was paired up with Senior Business Adviser; Claire Pedersen, and she had some lovely things to say about the work she did with Claire!

‘For every no I got from every other avenue, Claire said yes! She said ‘Yes, we can do this, there has to be away around this’ I now consider Claire a friend and her support and advice has been priceless. It was so nerve racking trying to always push forward, but having Claire’s support was amazing.’

So, whilst working alongside The Women’s Organisation, Emma was continually striving to build her business more and more, and her tenacity and determination is unparalleled, facing all barriers head on! 

Emma told us; ‘One problem I found was not having a car, so I usually try and hump most of my bags and stock on the bus which is quite comical! And I’ll walk for miles with my stock to save money too!’



More of some of Emma's lovely gifts
Now things are going well with her business, and Emma is able to rent out spaces in four different shops to sell her stock in! (Gifts For Me & You, Practical Magic Vintage, Red Brick Vintage and Siren) and spend her days doing what she loves!

Emma told us; ‘The best thing about starting up my own business is being a bit more in control of my time so I can spend it with my daughters! Also, it’s about having that pride in my work, when I see someone wearing my t-shirt, it is so rewarding!’

AND – What advice can she offer anyone else who is thinking about taking a leap, and starting their own business?

‘Just make the start! We all put things off. Sometimes we are too scared to make the first step, but seriously…Life is way too short – Just leap!’

You heard Emma…Just leap!

And if you’d like extra support taking the leap, we are here to help you! If you’d like to access our advice and training for starting your own business then email us on hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111

We Are Proud To Be A Disability Confident Employer!

This week we are delighted to announce that The Women’s Organisation has been awarded the Disability Confident Employer Award, and we wanted to take a little bit of time to tell you all about this important scheme…

The Disability Confident Employer scheme is helping thousands of employees across the United Kingdom, and is designed to help employers recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions for their skills and talents, and they say; ‘Being Disability Confident could help you discover someone your business just can’t do without.’

We 100% agree with this sentiment, and are proud to have been awarded this certification. Diversity and inclusivity is at the heart of The Women’s Organisation vision and values and we work hard to input these into our everyday working life and culture.

Through the Disability Confident scheme, thousands of employers are…

Challenging attitudes towards disability

Increasing understanding of disability

Removing barriers to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions

Ensuring that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations

So as a Disability Confident Employer we have…

Undertaken and successfully completed a Disability Confident self-assessment

Are taking all of the core actions to be a Disability Confident employer

Are offering at least one activity to get the right people for our business and at least one activity to keep and develop our people

IF you’d like to find out more about this scheme as an employer and employee – then you can do so here! We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer and we are always looking for ways to continue developing our core values of diversity and inclusivity. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

"What Would It Mean For Your Business If You Lost Your Voice?" - Su Grainger (Guest Blog)

Client of The Women's Organisation, Su Grainger, is taking over our blog today! Su is a Voice and Presentation Coach at Vocal Power Training and is passionate about helping others discover their own unique voice. Su helps clients combat fears of public speaking with confidence, deal with physical and emotional nervousness, and trains indivisuals to be more confident in personal and work related situations.  



"Even for a day or a few hours? Would it affect your business if you were unable to attend a meeting, make a phone call, or talk about your services? Have you thought about the health of your voice before? If you have, maybe you didn't think there was anything could do about it? I have found most people dont give it a second thought until they have a throat infection, bad cold or laryngitis.

They are extreme cases but most of us in business would like to sound and feel confident throughout the whole day. Some people find their voice isn't good in the morning and can take a few hours to sound and feel normal, whilst others feel it gets worse the more they talk so by the end of the day it can be a struggle. Maybe you dont have specific physical vocal problems but would like to sound more confident, project without shouting or change the way you sound when you talk.

The good news is your voice can be strengthened and exercised and there are many ways in which you can avoid vocal weakness and loss.

As well as courses on Fear of public speaking, Vocal confidence and communication skills, Vocal Power Training run courses specifically on how to look after your voice.

If you would like to learn more then this is the course for you

Your Voice - Health, Strength, Sound & confidence master-classes

Do you understand how your voice works? Would you like to strengthen and develop your voice? Do you ever experience hoarseness, raspiness, cough regularly or lose your voice from time to time ?

Does it appear weak or doesn't sound or feel right?

If you speak regularly in your work, over the phone, in meetings, during presentations or to clients then this workshop is ideal for you to look after and develop your voice.

Vocal Power training will teach you how to

Understand your voice
Learn how it works,
Take care of your voice
Strengthen and develop your range
Learn how to project and increase volume without shouting
We have a small number of participants on each workshop so you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about your own voice. You will also be given specific advice and an exercise plan to work through once you have attended

We will be running one to one or half day courses throughout the year. or arrange a skype consultations

Morning or evening sessions are available on all dates

Morning 9.30am to 1pm

Evening 5.00pm to 9pm

Cost £50

Dates

Thursday 19th October Vocal health, strength and sound

Thursday 26th October Vocal health strength and sound

Thursday 9th November Fear of public speaking Full day 9.30am to 4.30pm £75

Thursday 23rd November Vocal confidence and communication skills Full day 9.30am to 4.30pm £75"

You can contact Su for more information on sugrainger@hotmail.com or 07717181826! Thanks for guest-blogging Su. 


Monday, September 18, 2017

‘Everyone Should Be Able To Do What They Love…And Now I Do!’ - Jane Clappison; The Make Up Academy

Jane Clappison is a pro in every sense of the word! A professional make-up artist who has been working in the industry for the past fifteen years, in areas such as film and television, to make up counters and college – She has now turned her hand to another area of the industry and started her own training centre; The Make Up Academy.

Jane Clappison - Founder of The Make Up Academy
Prior to starting her own business, Jane’s most recent job was teaching as a make-up lecturer at a further education college, but found herself losing the love she once had for the job; ‘I love teaching and I love make up, but I had taught for over 12 years and it had changed dramatically in that time and not for the better.’

She always had a dream of starting her own academy, but it wasn’t until last year that she decided to go for it;

And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’

The Make Up Academy
We all know starting a business can be terrifying, and Jane certainly felt apprehension towards the leap she was about to make, but getting in touch with our team at The Women’s Organisation was the first step that Jane took in her journey…

‘I got in touch with The Women’s Organisation online and they got in touch the very next day. They set me up a meeting with Huda, who became my Business Adviser. I don’t think I could have made my dream a reality without her help and support, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened as quickly!’

‘At the beginning, I was nervous, excited, scared and doubtful…But determined!’

And determined Jane would have to be, because a big change was happening in her life. As she had given up her job, she faced a barrier of financial insecurity to overcome; ‘I had given up a full-time job where I’d been used to receiving a steady income for the past 12 years, so to go from that to nothing was difficult, worrying and stressful! But thankfully I had some financial support from my family, which I am extremely lucky and grateful to have.’

The practicalities of running a business where the next barrier that Jane faced, but with the support of Huda, she found this easy to navigate! As a new entrepreneur who hadn’t run a business before, everything was new to Jane and the support she had from Huda was crucial.

‘Huda went through the various steps that I would need to take to legally register my business, and helped me look at tax, insurance, cashflow and health and safety. She helped put it into an order that felt achievable and not like an unknown mountain of work!’

Some of Jane's handiwork! 
The Make Up Academy launched in October 2016 and has its home in the heart of Liverpool City Centre on Old Hall Street and it is a beautiful space! Here Jane runs Level 2 and Level 3 make up courses, both of which are fully accredited by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT).

She says; ‘So far things are going really well! I’m still only in my first year, but I’ve had some amazing students who are now working in the industry and that’s just the best and most satisfying feeling!’

And she can now begin to reap the benefits of being self-employed which is fantastic for her and suits her lifestyle; ‘The best thing about running my own business is being in complete control of it, doing it the way I want to do it and not being tied to the daily grind of 9 to 5. I feel a lot more in control of my work/life balance now.’

Starting her own business has been a massive learning curve for Jane and she has had to overcome many barriers, but she has faced them all head on. Jane told us; ‘I’m not the most confident of people, so to do this has been quite a challenge and stressful at times, but I’ve had the most amazing support from my family and friends, and I really believe in what I’m doing.’

‘Huda and The Women’s Organisation have been brilliant, Huda was so supportive but also firm!’

Jane in action! 
‘Now…It’s all about moving forward with The Make Up Academy! I genuinely want my students to have the best experience at my academy, to learn the skills they need to break into the industry and have a successful and fulfilling career…’

And she gave us some great words of wisdom that we think anyone can take away with them…

‘It’s not just about running a business. This is a passion of mine. Everyone should be able to do what they love, and now I do!’

If you'd like to find out more about The Make Up Academy, you can do so by getting in touch using the contact details below!

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Email - info@themakeupacademyltd.com

AND - If you've been inspired by Jane's story and would like our support to turn your business dream into a reality - get in touch! Email us on hello@thewo.org.uk or ring 0151 706 8111

Meet One of the Newest Members of Our Team - Ellie Vick!

If you've popped into 54 St James Street recently, you may have had the pleasure of meeting one of the newest (and smiliest!) members of our team. Ellie is a member of our Admin Team and operates Reception - and after four months we can't really remember a time that Ellie wasn't here! So, we thought this would be good time to catch up with Ellie and find our a bit more about her and how she ended up with us at The Women's Organisation. Have a read and be sure to give her a hello when you visit us ... 

What’s your full name and where are you from?

Eleanor Vick and I am originally from Wallasey on the Wirral.

Tell me how you first found out about The Women’s Organisation and become part of our team?

I first found out about the women's organisation via social media, and I attended courses and kept my eye out for job opportunities on the website. It was an organisation that really appealed to me, I have been a member of the Women's Equality party from the beginning and was brought up as feminist, a place championing women's rights on a grass root level is something I really wanted to be a part of.


What kind of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?

I completed a degree at the University of Sheffield in History and English Literature, working two jobs to fund myself, one in the very glamorous role of a night club cleaner and one as a disability assistant (helping students with disabilities get the most out of their university experience). Following on from university I worked at the National Museums of Liverpool (the Walker Art gallery and the Museum of Liverpool). I took up a 6-month placement at the galleries in Edinburgh which was such a wonderful opportunity to work in one of my favourite cities! However, due to funding cuts the job couldn't be made permanent so I moved back to the Wirral and I took a job as a Wedding and Events coordinator at a Hotel. I decided that my future didn't lay in the hospitality industry and made the decision to focus solely on achieving a job I wanted. Which is how I came to apply for this role at the Women's Organisation.

What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The diversity and complexity to the influence that The Women's Organisation has, not just a local level but nationally and internationally. The many branches to the organisation astounds me. Perhaps more so, the staff each hold a multitude of roles and all play a part in achieving the goals of the organisation. The passion and unity of the office is something I have come to really enjoy working within.

What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The people by far. It would be nothing if each staff member did not actively participate in the values and aims of the organisation. It's an inspiring place to work.


Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

Reception is the first point of call for the organisation and the building, so it can be a very fast paced place to work. Queries come in all forms - phone, email and in person. As receptionists for the whole building, we greet and direct all visitors to the building, so knowing the building and its occupants is crucial. With many tenants and virtual tenants, we deal with their post, take messages on their behalf and answer any queries they may have. Other aspects of our role include setting up internal/external events, processing room hire enquiries, helping with projects within the organisation and any other admin related tasks that crop up on daily basis.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

Perhaps that I have a qualification in archery!

What do you do when you aren’t working? 

Most of my time off is spent with friends and family. We are close knit family but are scattered all over the country so I enjoy travelling to see them. I enjoy visiting galleries and museums around Liverpool and beyond! Most of my travel trips evolve around art! I love travelling, I can never get away as much as I would love to but I am always planning my next adventure!

Thanks Ellie and welcome to The W.O family!

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to use Linkedin to Grow a B2B Business

If you are in a B2B (Business to Business) sector and not on Linkedin you could be missing out on tons of potential leads. If you are ready to grow your B2B business then listen up. 

Linkedin is a professional social network that many people join because someone sends them a link request, briefly set up a profile and then forget about it.  I read somewhere that only 20% of people on Linkedin actually ever speak to any of their connections. What a waste! But what an opportunity! This is exactly why those who are proactive on Linkedin will thrive. 

Here are the essentials for using Linkedin to grow your B2B business:


  • Fill Out Your Profile - Sounds daft, but people will judge you on what they see, so make sure every part of your profile is filled out, and that it emphasises the skills and responsibilities you have that are relevent to the service you are selling
Linkedin will indicate how strong your profile is and offer tips to make it better

  • Find Your Crew & Get Them to Big You Up - Link with every person you've ever worked with or for who know you are good at what you do and get assertive. Ask for endorsements and recommendations.  Even be specific and tell them what you want to be recommended for. It's great to have "They are a lovely person" comments, but "They know their stuff when it comes to strategy" is far more valuable and specific, so give guidance on what you would like them to say.
 



  • Be Specific in Search - Make a list of the types of people you are looking to connect with.  Is it the director of a business or the marketing person?  Type that job role into the search bar and narrow the results to 'people' results to find potential connections. Then use the further options to narrow down by location or other factors to really target your market. 

  • Be Personal - When you've found the right people click to 'connect' but don't get lazy, add a personal message to let them know why you would like to connect. People are far more likely to let you in their loop if you have taken the time to bother. Don't get too salesy, just open the conversation. "Looking at your profile I can see a real synergy with what we do. Would love to meet for coffee to discuss further".

Whatever you do, remember that Linkedin is a professional social network.  People are on there to do business, so why not join in?

Tips by Engagement & Digital Marketing Coordinator at The Women's Organisation Jo Austin

If you are running a B2B business in the Greater Manchester area, our Excelerate Labs team may be able to offer you free advice and guidance to help you grow your business more.  Build on your success and evaluate areas for improvement with our experts by contacting exceleratelabs@thewo.org.uk

Excelerate Labs is part funded by European Regional Development Fund, supporting businesses in Greater Manchester to thrive and grow. 




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Enterprise Evolution Team Help Gwrp Llandrillo Coleg Take Home National Award!

Last week the Enterprise Evolution team returned to our HQ with some fantastic news – Gwrp Llandrillo Menai Coleg (GLLM) who we have been working with for the past 18 months, had been awarded the Further Education Team Enterprise Award for our work in Thailand with the British Council and Thai Department of Education.


The 2017 National Enterprise Educator Awards, celebrate the UK’s top enterprise and entrepreneurship educators annually.  This year the awards ceremony took place Glasgow, during the Gala Dinner for the 12th International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference  which was being hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Further Education Team Enterprise Award was sponsored by Cobweb Information – the company that bring us the all-important Cobra information sheets! Representing the team on the night were Christine Evans (Head of Commercial operations, GLLM), Penny Matthews (GLLM) as well as our very own Lisa McMullan from Enterprise Evolution.

Enterprise Evolution have been working to support  Grwp Llandrillo Menai Coleg in  developing a new approach and curriculum for student enterprise and entrepreneurship in vocational education and in designing and facilitating staff development programmes. 

This work has been piloted following approval by the British Council Thailand (BCT) and the Thai Ministry of Education’s Office for Vocational Education Commission (OVEC).  Plans are to roll out the programme and activities nationally.

We were delighted to have received this award as part of the team with Gwrp Llandrillo Menai Coleg! We’ve been working hard in Thailand for the past eighteen months and it was fantastic to have this work recognised by the National Enterprise Educators Award.

We also wish our best to the highly-commended organisations in the Further Education Team Enterprise Award category – Barnsley College Enterprise Team, Barnsley College and Leeds City College Enterprise Festival and Leeds City College.

It was a fantastic evening with a great outcome for both the Enterprise Evolution team and Grwp Llandrillo Menai Coleg, so thank you to everyone involved!

Enterprise Evolution is the boutique consultancy service of The Women’s Organisation.  For more information about our work visit their website.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Who Joined Business Club At Our Sunny Summer Social?!

Last week marked one of our favourite events of the year, it was the Business Club Summer Social! ☀☀☀

Last Wednesday we hosted our Summer Social at the fantastic Baltic Triangle location, Constellations and what a great evening it was!

We had a room full of business women inside the beautiful, light space at Constellations and we all agreed that it was great to have a change of location and shake things up a bit!


Sponsors of the event, MSB Solicitors kindly provided us with welcome drinks so whether that was a gin and tonic, glass of wine or a soft drink, everyone felt very looked after! So thank you to MSB for that! J

As always, the Summer Social was a purely networking evening, but we did get the chance to hear a few words from Wendy Evans of MSB Solicitors about the type of work that they do, and also we heard an incredible story from our featured business, Emma Purchase of Sweet Pea & Little Wolf who shared her experience of the evening on our Facebook page the next day!

Here’s what Emma had to say;

‘I got to spend the evening with the amazing Women’s Org again last night at Constellations in the Baltic Triangle, for their big Business Club Summer Social, where I met a whole bunch of inspirational strong women!


The Women’s Organisation has always been a great source of strength and support for me, I’ve gained an enormous amount of knowledge about starting up my own business. I basically got told to give up on trying to start my own business at every turn, as I had no capital, no previous experience of starting up a business and because I was a single mother who was and still is struggling financially.

For me, this is a few of the reasons why I wanted to start up my own business! I’ve always took a challenge on with gusto. And if that means skipping a few meals for me to pay for stock or to get to the nest level for my business, or being up every morning to work on new designs and more ideas, then that’s what I’ll do! I have this force that pushes me to achieve the best for my girls, to show them you can make something of yourself from getting your head down and working day and night!

I especially take great strength from pursuing this crazy venture as a single mum! So, thank you to everyone at The Women’s Org, you all do a magnificent job! And to everyone who also has ideas of a venture, or a dream of something different, start NOW! Push the boundaries! Take that risk, start your own magnificent, bold, life-changing journey. Good luck!’


How amazing is that?! And for us, THAT is what Business Club and indeed The Women’s Organisation is all about! The evening was spent networking away with women just like Emma! Who have taken the chance and changed their lives. And we couldn’t be more proud and honoured to spend time with them all!


So! If you came and networked with us at our Summer Social, thank you! We hope you had a lovely time, we know we did! And thank you again to our event sponsor; MSB Solicitors!

If you want to find out about MSB, you can do so here! And if you’d like to find out more about Business Club and becoming a member, you can do so here!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'Change It: Progress to Success' is BACK and Recruiting for the Next Cohort! 🙌🙌

We have been helping the women of Liverpool ‘Change It’ through our confidence-building programme, and we are now delighted to announce that we are recruiting for our next cohort.

Losing confidence in life happens to everyone. Our self-esteem is affected by the way we feel about ourselves, the way we think, whether or not we feel worthy or valued. ‘Change It: Progress to Success’ is designed to help you see your true potential and turn that potential into success. Whatever age, background or stage of life you are at, this programme will help you build positively for your future.


‘Change It: Progress to Success’ covers many topics including becoming more assertive and breaking negative thinking habits in order to develop a more positive outlook in all aspects of life. ‘Change It: Progress to Success’ enables you to identify the clear and practical steps to take in order to build a better world for yourself at work, at home and in relationships.

The dates and venues for the programmes are:

Life Rooms Walton, Eevred Avenue, L9 2AF: Wednesday 1st November, 1-4pm

The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB: 7th November, 10-3pm

Reach, South Liverpool Homes, Parklands, Conleach Road, L24 0TY: 1st November, 9:30-12:30pm


Feedback from previous programmes include;

‘Wow – what a great course! If anyone wants to break out of their current way of thinking, go on this course.’

‘The course has been thoroughly enjoyable, informative and insightful.’

‘A fantastic course that has helped me in many different ways. I have my bad days, but I now have the strength, confidence and knowledge to deal with it. Thank you!’

And another of the women who attended 'Change It' wrote an open letter to share with those who are thinking about attending, read Maureen’s story here.

If you are a woman and would like to book a place or find out more about the programme, please contact our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk.

If you are an organisation and would like to refer someone onto the programme, or contact a member of the Change It team about opportunities, please contact a member of our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk.