Thursday, October 25, 2018

Lisa McMullan becomes one of the first fellows of EEUK

Our director for development and consultancy, Lisa McMullan, is one of the first individuals to be awarded with the accolade.

The national EEUK Fellowship was launched at the International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (IEEC) 2018, with the first fellowships presented at an awards ceremony on 6 September.

Lisa McMullan, director for development and consultancy at The Women’s Organisation, was one of six individuals to receive the fellowship which was presented at the National Enterprise Educator Awards (NEEA) in Leeds.

The fellowship is designed to recognise the personal professional achievements of the individuals at the centre of enterprise education and rewards their pioneering work.

The fellowship recognises Lisa’s professional competence in working across the sector for her work as principal consultant at Enterprise Evolution, the consultancy arm of Liverpool-based charity, The Women’s Organisation.

Enterprise Evolution works to support individuals and organisations to add entrepreneurial value through bespoke consultancy services. This includes mentoring, enterprise education, group facilitation and workshops, as well as evaluation and research services.

Lisa’s work in the sector spans over two-decades and has impacted enterprise education on an international scale. Lisa has worked in countries including China, Nigeria and Thailand, as well as across the UK.

Lisa has been an integral part of a number of award winning teams including for her work with Thai Enterprise Educators (NEEA 2017 winners) and ICURe - a SETsquared university research commercialisation programme (THELMA 2016 winners).

To become a Fellow of EEUK, individuals are required to demonstrate their professional practice through a written portfolio comprising of four written pieces reflecting on their professional practice. 

Professor Sarah Underwood, Director of Enterprise Educators UK, says: “The fellowship has been thoughtfully designed to encompass (and celebrate) the widest definition of ‘enterprise educator’. This reflects the breadth of activity in enterprise education and seeks to include and encourage educators passionate about innovation in teaching.

“Lisa, who has worked for many years with graduates and small business owners as well as contributing to policy and frameworks to support enterprise education, is an excellent example of someone who deserves to be recognised with this award.”

Lisa McMullan, director for development and consultancy at The Women’s Organisation and Enterprise Evolution, says: “The EEUK Fellowship is a much-needed addition to the enterprise education sector, offering the only sector-wide recognition of its kind, and I am delighted to be among the first recognised through the fellowship.

“Becoming a Fellow of EEUK has been a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable process, in particular the time taken to reflect upon my professional practice. I would thoroughly encourage my colleagues from across the sector to take the opportunity and apply for the fellowship.”

The fellowship comes following previous success for Enterprise Evolution at the 2017 National Enterprise Educators Awards, where Lisa was part of the Grŵp Llandrillo Menai (GLLM) team who took home the award for the Further Education Team Enterprise award. GLLM worked with the British Council to develop a new approach and curriculum for Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Thailand.

Read about Lisa's success in the press:

Women’s Organisation executive Lisa McMullan wins national accolade

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

5 Easy Tips to Make Great Videos For Your Business

Figures show that 98% of people have watched an online video to gain an understanding about products and services. This is because videos can help demonstrate notions that are difficult to understand, such as how do products and services work. Creating videos is a must in interacting and engaging with potential customers, so here are five important tips in creating a video for your business.

1. Location 

Location is important because it is the overall visual aspect of your video in which it will set the mood and feel for your business. For example, you could provide videos from either inside or the surrounding areas of your business which could set the overall tone and feeling of your business. 

The location could provide a background to surrounding areas of your business in which people could recognise and could make the viewers more inclined to watch your video and make them engage more. Recording Inside your business could provide viewers with the background of the office. An office location and background could transfer a sense of realism about your business by seeing people working.

2. Audio 

Once you have found your ideal location you need to make sure that no unnecessary sound disrupts your video, for example, if you are recording outside you need to make sure that traffic noise does not interrupt the quality of your video. Other aspects like the wind can also be a problem with the audio. Therefore, location is important, you need to find an area where none of these potential factors could be an of issue in effecting your video. 

3. Landscape video camera 

By recording videos vertically, the content will appear crammed due to having less coverage area. Therefore, videos should be recorded in landscape mode. This is mainly because videos need to be presented in widescreen format in order to be viewed on TV and computer screens etc. 

4. Be prepared with a script 

By having a prepared script before the video, it will give you the chance to practice what needs to be addressed before you record it on the video. Therefore, this will ultimately save you time. 

5. Using subtitles on videos 

There are a number of reasons why you should provide subtitles on your videos, these include, providing the opportunity for people who are suffering from hearing loss or people who are deaf the chance to watch your video. This is a big issue within the UK with figures suggesting that 11 million people have problems with their hearing. By 2035 this will increase to 15.6 million people. By providing subtitles you are giving a large portion of the total population a chance not to miss out on any important information about your business. 

Providing subtitles are not just for people who can’t hear, it can be for times when it is unsuitable to play sound such as work offices, public transport; subtitles presents people with additional alternatives to view your content. 

Engaging visually is a much easier way to understand your business message compared to text-based content. By implementing these five easy tips you could then share your video on your social media which will increase traffic to your website. 

If you'd like to find out more about services we offer around digital marketing and growth strategies, contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Monday, October 22, 2018

New Dates Added for Money Mentors Accredited Training!

Money Mentors is back by popular demand!

Are you interested in learning more about managing money / debt, and then helping others to understand more?

You can access accredited training and become a community based Money Mentor. This is an excellent opportunity from Money Marvels to access learning on Supporting Universal Credit Claimants.

This two day program is being run at 54 St James Street in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.

Supporting Universal Credit Claimants

27th November & 4th December 2018

10 – 3pm

These courses are level 2 accredited and lunch will be provided.

These courses are part of the wider Money Marvel Programme.

To be eligible for the training and for the programme, participants must live in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens or Halton) and not in paid employment.

Expenses may be available on request.

To find out more contact the team: on 0151 706 8111 or

Friday, October 19, 2018

Manchester Café supporting adults with learning disabilities wins National Food Award

The Dressing Room Café received national recognition last week picking up an award from the 15th Observer Food Monthly Awards. Winning by the OFM judges vote, the café took home the ‘Local Food Hero’ award, a category for businesses who have made a difference to the food industry in their own communities throughout the UK. 

Since launching in Chorlton in April 2015, The Dressing Room Café, which is part of the Manchester Award Winning Theatre The Edge Theatre offers art space and runs a dedicated catering and restaurant training facility for adults with learning disabilities, each year working with 24 adults to deliver 12 week one to one tailored training placements.

Janine Waters, CEO & Artistic Director at The Edge Theatre, said: “Participation is at the heart of everything we do at The Edge, from opportunities taking part in our participation programme right through to our award-winning hospitality programme.  We’re immensely proud of The Dressing Room and all the trainees that come to us to develop skills in our café, which is a busy and important part of our theatre space. For our project to win an award that, in our eyes, is one of the highest accolades in the food industry, is a huge honour and testament to our wonderful staff, partners and of course trainees.”

This will be the second award The Edge Theatre have received this year after support from Business Growth Programme, Excelerate labs.

Waters said: “The advice from Excelerate Labs has been helpful on so many levels. The work around helping me to understand Search Engine Optimisation has come at the perfect time to increase our website rankings on search engines”

The Dressing Room Cafe was also featured in the Guardian for the achievement:

If you would like to benefit from the support received under the Excelerate Labs programme then please contact:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Baby E Coffee & Deli Brings 'Good Food and Good Vibes' to Liverpool's Commercial District

Descend the stairs into the basement of this iconic grade listed building and you’ll find Baby E; rustic exposed brick, towering ceilings, industrial-style beams and cellar windows that offer a snapshot into the lively and diligent business community of Liverpool’s Commercial District.

From living in London’s Bermondsey to Australia’s Melbourne, elements of Owner & Chef Lauren Clinton’s travels are visible in every aspect of Baby E Coffee & Deli. With the innovative branding and interior, the alternative menu and the overall vibe of this cool and quirky eatery, you could be anywhere.

So, what exactly is Baby E? It’s a bustling coffee and deli that serves all-day brunch and transforms into an intimate deli bar of an evening, proclaiming ‘good food and good vibes’ as it’s mantra. It’s one of those rare places that gracefully metamorphoses from morning to evening, and a place where both eggs benedict and coffee or wine and jazz are equally apt.

Like most entrepreneurs, Lauren has quite the story to tell. Completing her Business Management degree, she packed up and moved to Melbourne working in coffee shops and kitchens and simultaneously discovering where her real talent lay: “I was lucky enough to work with owners who let me design specials menus and introduce new tastes and flavours. It was in Australia where I realised my passion and knew that working in the food industry is what I have to be doing.”

Lauren moved back to her hometown and used her degree to begin a career in finance in order to fund her long-term ambition of owning and running, alongside her partner Chris, an eatery in Liverpool. Working in the iconic Liver Building, she meticulously analysed people’s lunchtime rituals (where they were eating, what they ate, how much they were willing to spend) to shape her eventual food offering and brand.

For nine months, Lauren weighed up venues on Castle Street, Wood Street and Bold Street realising the battle she was up against in burgeoning business rates for premises across Liverpool City Centre. It was only when walking home from work she came across a vacant space in grade listed The Temple building on Dale Street: “I spotted this venue by chance and straight off the bat I wanted it and knew it had to be mine. We pursued it and here we are.”

Late 2016, Lauren began working with Senior Business Adviser at The Women’s Organisation, Claire Pedersen, to get her business idea off the ground. The doors to Baby E officially opened in June this year, operated by Lauren and her partner Chris, as well as a small but extremely talented team of five: “the support from The Women’s Organisation was unbelievable. It was so helpful to bounce ideas back and forth to my business adviser, as she had worked with other aspiring and established food businesses and knew industry trends, what works and what doesn’t.”

A fervent lover of quality homemade food, Lauren tries to push the boundaries of her menu by putting a unique spin dishes. She has been inspired by delis and the nature of customers ‘picking and choosing’ what they want to eat. Baby E prides itself on serving, where possible, locally-sourced fresh ingredients delivered daily, meaning the menu will adapt to seasonally. Current menu customer favourites include: bangers & hash, shakshuka baked eggs, fluffy pancakes and pesto potatoes. Having travelled far and wide to find the right bean, Baby E also offers specialty sourced coffee from HasBean of Manchester and Lauren has invested time into training her baristas.

Lauren’s business idea evolved once she secured her premises: “the initial idea was a coffee shop that served all day brunch but when we took on a space of this calibre, I thought it would be a sin to shut the doors at 5pm. The idea of a deli and wine bar was born out of the nature of the premises”.

Baby E now caters to evening-socialisers offering a small but fine selection of wine, gin or beer to be enjoyed alongside a cheese board. Lauren and Chris are connoisseurs who have carefully selected a white and red wine to pair fantastically with the cheese and meat on offer. Now, having expanded to host live music including jazz nights, corporate bookings and offer an online ordering system, Lauren credits the company’s ‘openness to opportunities’ as her recipe for success.

With a degree in business management and a burning passion for homemade, hearty food, setting up her own food business was a venture surely written in the stars. As the business develops and grows, Lauren hasn’t lost sight of the reason she started out and her love of cooking: “I’m a business-owner, but my day-to-day role is a chef in the kitchen – it’s where I love to be.Being your own boss is the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m so proud of what me and my team have achieved. The best feeling is to go home every night knowing I’ve cooked and served people food they’ve enjoyed”.

Lauren is already looking to the future and, in the next two years, hopes to have a second venue in the pipeline. Her advice to aspiring-entrepreneurs? Lauren said: “You’re a fool if you go into a business thinking you know everything. I think it’s important to know your strong points, but also know your weaker points and get advice and support from Enterprise Hub to fill in those gaps.”

To find out more about Baby E, head to their website or follow them on Instagram.

And if you'd like to find out more about how our team can help you to start a business through our Enterprise Hub programme then call us on 0151 706 8111.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Making PR Sweet: How Social Sugar Thrive in The Industry

Combining 25 years industry experience in PR and the desire to run her own business, Lara Besbrode found herself moving back to the UK after years living overseas to become more actively involved in the rise of social media. Setting up Social Sugar, the PR and Digital Agency has seen an increase in turnover and expanded it's team since being established in 2016. 

Lara Besbrode, Managing Director of Social Sugar
Being a single parent to 3 children and finding herself as the sole bread winner to her family, Lara started looking at ways to get herself back in the UK job market but found herself not wanting to be tied down to employment or dedicated set hours due to childcare commitments. She turned these potential setbacks around and started to focus on the future she really wanted. 

“I’m proud that my personal life has not defined me and neither has my age and I have been able to build my business from nothing”

Focusing on building Social Sugar and looking for support to help grow, Lara received help from The Women’s Organisation through the Excelerate Labs programme. Programme Manager, Mike Marsden helped Lara to work on a strategy to start applying for agency and business awards, something which to date has been very useful for the business.

It’s been a busy year for Social Sugar who have recently joined the Central Manchester BNI and been nominated for ‘Social Media Presence of the Year’ by Downtown in Business: City of Manchester Business awards. Currently pitching for a lot of new exciting business accounts, they have already won PR for a national brand which helped them launch the PR department for their business. 

In the second year of trading, Social Sugar has gone from being based at a home office into its own larger office space and has been able to take on 2 permanent apprentices and currently employs 6 freelancers. Doubling their turnover in the first 2 years, Lara is now setting her sights on increasing this turnover by 25% for it’s third year.  

In the tough world of entrepreneurship, building a successful business can be challenging, something which Lara has set about overcoming “It is very competitive in the PR agency world, there will always be an agency or freelancer that can offer the same services as you at a cheaper rate. That’s why it’s important to find your unique selling point and make sure you shout about it loudly across your social media”

Social Sugar is a boutique agency and being able to match large agency results at a more affordable price for their clients is what makes them stand out from their competitors. “I take a personal interest in all my clients, offering them a direct hands on approach which they really appreciate” and when it comes to her key to success “I can honestly say that when you are trying to grow your business you have to be comfortable putting in the long hours as it can be hard work” 

Lara is looking at sharing her story at women’s events to help inspire future entrepreneurs and ensure them that starting a business from nothing can be possible.

“I have learnt that if you don’t ask, you don’t get! You need to be willing to ask for help and support. You may feel like you have all the answers but it’s never too late to learn, look at me – nearly 50 and running a business from scratch!”

Social Sugar have been nominated for a Downtown in Business: City of Manchester Business award for ‘Social Media Presence of the Year’ you can go and vote here!

If you would like to get in touch with Social Sugar you can find them online over on FacebookTwitter & on their Website

If you would like to benefit from the support Lara received under the Excelerate Labs programme then please contact:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

How to send a press release in five simple steps

When it comes to getting your business name out there, good PR is a trick you can’t afford to miss. And one of the most effective tools to communicate your message is through the good old-fashioned press release. 

As a small business owner its important you get your name out there as quickly (and cheaply!) as possible. So, we’ve rounded up the steps to not only creating the perfect press release, but also the inside scoop on how to get great coverage in the press.

Here’s how to send a press release in five simple steps…

1)      Deciding on your topic

First things first, you need to decide on the topic you want to communicate. Perhaps as a new business you want to tell perspective customers that you’re open for business. Or maybe you’ve been involved in an innovative new project you want to shout about.

Whatever your topic, make sure its relevant.  That’s both to journalists and to their audience. Think of the journalist as the gatekeeper – you need to get your story past them first! Tell them a story which will be interesting to them. Otherwise you risk wasting your time – a precious commodity in the first year of business – and souring your relationship with busy journalists.

Ask yourself: does this news story add value to the reader? Does it tell them an important piece of information, or inform a point of interest? Or does your press release tie in to a topical story (this is PR gold!).

Top tip: In some cases, you might not even need to produce a press release. Are you an expert in your field? Have latest statistics, or a breaking news story in your industry just landed? Then your voice could be in demand. Producing a quick, snappy comment to send to a journalist could save you loads of time.

2)      Writing your content

As the saying goes, content is king. The aim is to make your press release match ready to hit the printers. Make life as easy as possible for journalists and you will be their new best friend.

You’ll need a catchy title, an informative and succinct sub-heading, and a strong body of text. Let them know exactly what your story is as soon as it hits their desk.

Top tip: check you’ve included the 5 w’s. Does your release answer who, what, when, where, why and how?

And remember your voice. You’re not writing as yourself, or even as your business. You’re writing with your journalist cap on. Don’t say “We opened our doors in 2018 because I saw a gap in the market”. Instead, try “[business name] opened its doors in 2018 to offer a bespoke service unique to the market”.

Including a quote from your key spokesperson will introduce a variety of voice to the news story. And of course, the chance to add your own personal slant. If you can secure a quote from a third party, even better. Think of this like a celebrity endorsement – PR is all about getting other people to say you’re good!

The final point to remember is that one size doesn’t always fit all. Consider writing a couple of versions of your press release, tailoring the title and sub-heading accordingly. Make the journalist feel a bit special! The best way of doing this is adding a regional, or local slant. Or consider tailoring it to a specific industry. This will make sure that your release is directly relevant to the publication.

 3)      Creating your press list

You’ve got your press release, now you just need a target press list. Think of this like a wish list of the publications you’d like to appear in.

Deciding on the right press list is super important. If you’ve taken time to write a press release you want to secure all the right coverage, in all the right places. Avoid just sending it to a couple of people, otherwise you’re unlikely to see a return on your time invested.

Top tip: As a rough guide, a list between 10-20 journalists (as long as its relevant to them!) is ideal.  

Wondering how to choose a journalist? A quick google search should throw up a good selection of publications covering your industry or chosen topic. Then of course, your go-to local papers and online platforms. Try searching business press Liverpool as an example and see what comes up. 

When you’ve found a publication or site you’d like to target, have a look at the type of articles on there. See who has written the ones most relevant to you and make a note of their e-mail address.
Once you’ve created your target press list you can divide them into your contacts into your chosen segments (think back to your tailored press releases from point 2).

Now you’re ready to pitch!

4)      Perfecting your pitch

Now for the tricky bit. Grabbing the journalist’s attention. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Follow these key points and you can’t go far wrong.

The best way to get your news to a journalist is via e-mail. To do this you need to grab their attention. And fast. Journalists get hundreds of press releases every day, so get straight to your point. Swiftly introduce what the release is about, who it is from and pull out why it is interesting.

Top tip: copy the body of the release below so it’s easy to read straight away.

The most important thing about issuing your release is your timing. To get your e-mail seen you need to think like a journalist. Send a release too early on a Monday morning and it might get lost in a busy inbox. Send it too late in the day and it might get lost in tomorrows to do list. If you’re targeting a print publication make sure you know its press deadline and get it in well ahead of time.

Top tip: if you want to be included in the next day’s e-newsletter aim to get your news out by 3pm.

The final step is to follow up. 9 times out of 10 the best way to secure coverage is to speak with the journalist on the phone. Sending one e-mail is unlikely to secure coverage, unless you’re a regular!

Select your very top tier target publications and get the relevant person on the phone to draw their attention to your story. Tell them in one line why your release is relevant to them. This will make you more memorable. If its not for them, remember that feedback is invaluable. Ask what type of news they would be looking for and what would make your piece more relevant to them.

5)      Complete the circle

Awesome! You’ve secured some great press. Now to tell everyone about it. Make sure you’re sharing any online links via social media. And don’t forget to add your coverage to your website or blog.

Top tip: Retweeting and sharing content directly from the publications platforms is a great way of adding variety to your feed.

For more information about how we can support you and your business, please e-mail or call 0151 706 8111.

Story Explorers: New mum Claire strikes the balance in her first year of business

After a whirlwind career taking her from Buckingham Palace to working as an undercover surveillance officer, Claire Jackson decided it was time to take control and re-adjust her work-life balance following the birth of her daughter. 

Claire found that her work wasn’t flexible enough for her to strike a good work-life balance. A dilemma which many new mums and women returners face. She says: “My previous role was pressured in what I was expected to do and so I found it difficult. Certain issues made me feel unsupported. I believe people expect you to return to work after having a baby to be the same. Your priorities shift.”

For Claire, starting her own business was the ideal solution. Offering interactive storytelling, creative play and adventures for under 5’s, Story Explorers was born.

Wanting to find out how to make her small business more successful in its first year, Claire joined Enterprise Hub for its ‘Boost Your New Business’ course. We caught up with her to find out more about her new business and how things have changed since we last saw her…

Why LinkedIn Should be Part of Your Growth Strategy

The majority of people mainly associate LinkedIn with job searching and increasing their own personal professional network, LinkedIn also as the same significance in relation to forming business relationships and helps to direct your business to valuable sales leads.  

A company page on LinkedIn will offer your organisation with the chance to express your brand story, which will encourage followers to interact and engage by sharing your content for other LinkedIn viewers to see. Furthermore, LinkedIn also displays your public image on an international level as a reliable company.

The following tips can help your organisation be viewed on a much wider scale and therefore should be apart of your overall business growth strategy.

1. LinkedIn allows for your company to differentiate from their competitors.

On LinkedIn, you can provide a description about your organisation to highlight the unique attributes about your organisation and how you differ from your competitors. It should comprise the latest organisation news and share information about the culture, values, mission and vision to increase the views of your business.

Another way to differentiate from your competitors is by providing visual aspects to your brand storytelling. Visual content in the form of videos, photos and artwork will provide your followers with a sense of trustworthiness and an optimistic feeling about your organisation and provides users with a clear idea of how your business thinks and acts.

2. Increase your ranking in search engines 

Search engines favour LinkedIn company pages and posts. Therefore, by providing regular updates to your company page and enhancing posts for SEO will increase your search engine ranking in the results page. This will develop your business, with more viewers interacting and engaging with your organisation and the offerings, with the rise of online traffic you could receive through LinkedIn.

3. Search states that LinkedIn may be most effective platform for product launches. 

LinkedIn as now become the main channel to introduce products. This is because LinkedIn has a bigger influence on how to spread the latest product news with a much bigger reach to the media, bloggers, and customers. According to polling done by Regalix, LinkedIn is now the #1 platform used for product launches among B2B businesses. A whopping 81% of B2B businesses say they use LinkedIn for launches, compared to 71% who use Twitter and just 54% who use Facebook.

4. Checking on what your competition is doing. 

By viewing your competitors LinkedIn pages, it is a simpler way to observe any changes which could be taking places within your industry which could have some impact within your business. You can also take notice to what your competitors are currently doing and have achieved in which you could use to your own advantage by obtaining ideas which could be implemented for your own business.

This will ensure that your business will be staying relevant by keeping up to date with the latest trends and ensuring that you will not fall behind with your competitors. Therefore, this is an important factor in developing growth within your business. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often.

5. Create awareness and improve reputation. 

LinkedIn is a social media for professionals. Research suggests that more than two professionals every second are now creating a profile and signing up to LinkedIn, and organisations currently have the chance to interact with a growing number of different contacts. By using different features LinkedIn offers, organisations can increase their visibility and credibility.

If you'd like to find out more about services we offer around digital marketing and growth strategies, contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

We Got 'A Taste of Business' with Talks from Posh Nosh and our Enterprise Hub Team

Last week we invited serial food entrepreneur Anthony Zausmer to join us at 54 St James Street to share his pearls of wisdom with budding food and drink entrepreneurs.

With over 40 years in the industry Anthony has watched businesses come and go in the city region and has learned valuable lessons himself along the way of how to make a business sustainable. Pricing has been one of the key areas Anthony has had to reevaluate, and with business partner Hannah (owner of Fodder Canteen).  Having recently benefited from Enterprise Hub's Boost Your New Business programme for his latest enterprise Posh Nosh Catering Ltd. led Anthony and Hannah to reprice their menus realising they needed to value what they were offering more.

Anthony pictured with business partner Hannah in Fodder

Sharing some of his legendary meatballs Anthony encouraged those attending to get some real experience in the catering industry before taking the leap and going into business.

Training Coordinator from Enterprise Hub partner The Women's Organisation Bernie Cox also talked 'location location location' with Engagement Specialist Sabah Shams talking the attendees through the key legalities surrounding food and drink start ups such as ensuring you complete your food hygiene certificate, checking you have the right insurances and who else to inform about your business. 

Some of the comments from those who came along included:

"It's very useful"
"Really helpful"
"The talk from the guest speaker was really useful. Very enjoyable morning. Thank you"
"Fab information for those starting out"
"Lots of support and advice available. Such a brilliant service. Thank you"
"Lots of useful advice and contacts. Friendly delivery. A great free help to people thinking about starting up their own business"
"It's given my ideas of how to prepare to start my own business"
"I most enjoyed finding out about qualifications and training that would be useful and hearing Anthony's story"
"Excellent, very informative"
"Inspiring company - people optimisitc and forward thinking"
"It was and enjoyable experience getting to know some people in the same position"
"It encouraged me to do more research on the legal side"

If you would like to follow in Anthony's footsteps and find out about how to get started as a foodie entrepreneur then you can contact the Enterprise Hub for free advice and guidance via or 0151 706 8113.

Enterprise Hub is part funded by European Regional Development Fund and offers a one door access point to expert business start up advice for anyone living in Liverpool City Region.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Guest Blog: Just why are there so many dyslexic entrepreneurs?

The following is a guest blog from freelance journalist, copywriter, PR and media communications professional Jasmine Comer. 

Just why are there so many dyslexic entrepreneurs? And what we can all learn from their way of thinking in Dyslexia Awareness Week (1-7 October)

What do Cath Kidston, Jo Malone and Anita Roddick all have in common?  They’re all hugely successful business women I hear you say. Well yes, that’s true. But they have something else that binds them - they’re all dyslexic.

Yet despite this they’ve managed to single handedly build multi-million-pound businesses. Struggling to read and write has not held these women back. Nor Steve Jobs or Alan Sugar.

So just why are so many entrepreneurs dyslexic? What gives them the edge in business over the rest of us?  Statistics show that around 20% of UK business self-starters are dyslexic, compared to 10% of the general public.  And astonishingly 40 % of self-made millionaires identify themselves as dyslexic, which is massively disproportionate. Maybe working for yourself is preferable to trying to fit into someone else’s business?

What they possess that non-dyslexics don’t is what UK charity Made by Dyslexia terms Dyslexic Thinking – dyslexic minds tend to think multi-dimensionally, so, using all their senses. If nurtured they can have higher than normal intelligence and extraordinary creative abilities. They’re naturally curious problem solvers who think creatively outside the box.  This makes dyslexic entrepreneurs exceptional at identifying solutions to problems, and in creating new ways to tackle challenges. Great skills in business, eh?

Jo Malone made a fortune from honing one skill in particular to compensate for inability to read and write.  “I’m a woman who’s dyslexic, can’t tell my left from my right. I can’t fill out a form on my own, and when I go into a bank, I have to ask someone to help me. But I use my sense of smell like my eyes and hands. It's something that happens naturally to me, so I would look at what you're wearing, and who you are, and I would be translating it back into smell’.

 So Jo took her “million dollar nose” and made a fortune creating a multi-million dollar fragrance empire. Creative, resourceful, resilient, dyslexic.

Similarly Agatha Christie (yes, the best-selling novelist of all time, surpassed only by Shakespeare and the Bible was dyslexic) developed her imagination due to the isolation she felt living with her disability. She was described as the “slow” one by her family, but it was this rich imagination that set her apart and ultimately sealed her place in literary history. 
Jo Malone

Kate Griggs, from Made by Dyslexia, firmly believes the onset of the merging of robotics and virtual reality, dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will call for precisely the type of intelligence dyslexic people have in abundance: creativity, imagining, exploring, connecting and reasoning.
The British intelligence service now recognises their ability to analyse complex information in a "dispassionate, logical and analytical” way.  That’s why GCHQ recruits a higher than average number of dyslexic employees to decipher facts from patterns to combat terrorism.

There is talk of lessons in entrepreneurship for dyslexic school children in the US. “They’re hard wired for it”, says the wonderfully named dyslexic business woman Tiffany Sunday.

So far from being a “disability”, being dyslexic is actually a gift. Dyslexics have the skills for the future and the cards, it seems, are stacked in their favour. Or are they?

The success that Jo, Cath and Anita achieved is all the more remarkable when you consider that when they were at school there was much less support for dyslexia (if it was even diagnosed in the first place!) and much more stigma. They were pigeon holed for their disability as well as their sex. But I guess that’s where the resilience comes back in! Challenging those stereotypes and succeeding against the odds in a predominantly male arena.

Surely today it’s different though? Well, education funding has been slashed and SEN departments are cutting down. So, if a child’s condition is picked up at all, teachers are faced with limited funds with which to support them.

Not surprisingly UK dyslexic charities are calling for a change in the education system.  Made by Dyslexia believes that rather than taking brilliant dyslexic minds and squashing them into an education system that doesn't fit, all children would benefit from being taught the skills of creativity, visualisation, problem solving and innovation.

Toddlers have these qualities in abundance but by the time they start secondary school much of it has gone by the wayside. Rote learning, excessive testing and league tables have removed much creativity from the curriculum. And the Government’s commitment to making GCSE exams tougher must be a concern to every parent of a dyslexic child.  Who then will lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

We’re going to need thinking outside the box more than ever in the 21st Century.  The world is crying out for people to look at it in a new way.  We should be harnessing the potential of dyslexic abilities, tapping into their brilliant minds, not focusing on their disabilities and erecting barriers.

In Dyslexia Awareness Week (1st to 7th October) we’d do well to remember the words of another notable dyslexic, Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

This blog was written by Guest Blogger, Jasmine Comer. Find her Linked In here:   

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