Thursday, October 31, 2019

Smiles all round for Julie and the Dental Hygiene Studio

After over two decades working as a dental hygienist, Julie Fisher decided it was time to take the plunge and launch her own studio.

Working with our team of advisors through the Enterprise Hub programme, Julie launched The Dental Hygiene Studio earlier this year – Wirral’s very first drop-in dental hygienist studio!

Julie celebrating the launch of
The Dental Hygiene Studio
They do things a little differently at the Dental Hygiene Studio.

A recent change in the law means that you no longer have to see the hygienist at your own dental practice - you can see a hygienist of your choice anytime, anywhere.

This was a business opportunity Julie didn’t want to miss out on. She says: “With today’s busy lifestyles, it can be quite difficult to book and appointment with the dentist, then wait for another appointment with the hygienist, so we wanted to do things a bit differently.”

Enterprise Hub caught up with Julie to find out more. Click here to read the full case study.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Celebrating Enterprising Women 2019

Small businesses are at the heart of our local economy, creating jobs, solving problems and shaping our communities and culture. It isn’t easy to start a business. Those who dare to are risk-takers, innovators and driven by their passion and desire to do something differently. 

Our annual awards were set up to congratulate the very best of women-led businesses across the Liverpool City Region, and the powerhouses operating them.

Our 2019 award-winners!

We know that awards applications can be costly and time-consuming, but here at The Women’s Organisation, we like to do things a little differently. That’s why we decided that our awards would have no shortlists and no gracious loser faces. Simply, our awards are an opportunity to celebrate twelve stand-out businesses and the ambitious and determined women who lead them.

Joined by nearly 100 of our clients and friends, this year we took Celebrating Enterprising Women to Oh My Oh My for an afternoon of highlighting the stories and successes of local women who are impacting our local economy.

Welcome from our CEO, Maggie O'Carroll

This whole event was made possible by our headline sponsors, Lewis Evans Accountants, who through the leadership of another inspiring woman, Rosie Evans, are showing what’s possible when you have entrepreneurial spirit. Their unwavering support to women-led businesses across the Liverpool City Region and beyond does not go unnoticed. Find out more about their services here.

Another thank you goes to our incredibly talented host of the afternoon and long-time friend of the organisation, Eithne Browne. Eithne truly is the star of any show!

Lewis Evans Accountants team

And now onto our 2019 award-winners:

Training and Development Business of the Year, in partnership with The Isla Gladstone
Winner: The Make-Up Academy – Jane Clappison

Social Impact Award, in partnership with Arriva
Winner: Macy’s Café – Amanda McDonald

Best New Business 2019, in partnership with MSIF
Winner: Ava & Harrison – Joanne McCormick & Sara Burgess

Women in Business Champion, in partnership with The Women’s Organisation
Winner: Natalie Hughes

Retail Business of the Year, in partnership with Home Carers Limited
Winners: Mohokini – Serene Papafio

Construction Trades Business of the Year, in partnership with Whitesides
Winner: Gecko Interiors – Caz Jackson & Amy Burgess

Young Entrepreneur of the Year, in partnership with NatWest Business
Winner: Connect Studios – Kelly Phillips

Professional Services Business of the Year, in partnership with Aabyss 
Winner: Xact Payroll Solutions – Jennie Size & Tricia O’Rourke

Campaign of the Year, in partnership with LCR Activate
Winner: InnovateHer – Chelsea Slater & Jo Morfee

Health & Well Being Business of the Year, in partnership with Kays Medical
Winner: Ell&Dee – Claire Morton

PR & Marketing Business of the Year, in partnership with Lewis Evans Accountants
Winner: Pink Media – Nicola Pink

Empowering Others Award, in partnership with Privilege HR
Winner: Ametrine Enterprise Solutions – Irene Afful 

Inspirational Woman of the Year, in partnership with Lewis Evans Accountants
Winner: Poppy Belle Florals – Carmel Donohue

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Back Her Business: Supporting female entrepreneurs starting new businesses through crowdfunding

We’re excited to welcome Crowdfunder for this ‘Back Her Business’ event here at The Women's Organisation, to show you how together with NatWest, they can help you raise money for your new business through crowdfunding.

What's more, if you're a new female-led business which has not yet crossed an annual turnover of £1,000, then you could be eligible for a special grant funding opportunity from NatWest to receive up to £5,000 for your business!*

**Please see below to find out if you're eligible for this session**

Join us to hear from Samantha Mauger, Head of Coaching at Crowdfunder, to:

  • Understand the crowdfunding process and how it can help you raise the funds to start your business
  • Find out how you can access donations or rewards-based funding through Crowdfunder’s platform
  • Hear about exciting grant funding opportunities from NatWest, up to £5,000*
  • Discover the wrap-around business support available through Back Her Business

What is Back Her Business?

Crowdfunder have joined forces with NatWest to help more women get started in business.

Together they can help you raise money for your business through crowdfunding, and will also provide free wrap-around support, including coaching, mentoring and opportunities to meet like-minded women.

What’s more, NatWest may also choose to offer successful projects up to 50% of their fundraising target (max. £5,000) in grant funding!*

How does the process work?

  • Those wishing to apply should set up a crowdfunding project (with a minimum target of £1,000) and complete a short application.
  • If your application is approved, Natwest may then choose to give your project match funding of up to 50% towards your crowdfunding target, up to a maximum of £5,000.
  • To receive a pledge from Natwest, your project must have raised at least 25% of your initial target from the Crowd, from at least 10 unique backers.
  • This will take the Project to up to 75% funded, and the Project Owner can then use the message that they have received NatWest support to drive further support.
  • Projects must go on to achieve 100% of their initial funding target to receive the NatWest funds


A project has a target of £2000, with a campaign length of 28 days…

  1. The project raises £500 from 10 backers in 16 days ­
  2. NatWest pledge of £1,000 applied (assuming the full 50% match funding is granted) ­
  3. The Project raises a further £750 from 14 backers in remaining 12 days
  4. The project closes successfully after 28 days having raised a total of £2,250 from 25 backers.

Who is eligible?

  • Women-led businesses based in the UK
  • Must be a new trading activity i.e. not growing an existing business venture
  • If the business is already up and running, it must not have crossed an annual turnover of £1,000 at the point of application
  • Must be able to satisfy Crowdfunder’s due diligence checks
  • Please note - this session is aimed at those based in the Liverpool City Region. If you're outside of this area, then please click here to see what support Back Her Business has in your area. 

 *Please note: There is no guarantee that a project will receive NatWest grant funding, the decision to fund is at the discretion of the programme management.

If you'd like to find out more, or book directly with us, then please contact our team on 0151 706 8111, or via e-mail on

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Think you're ready to GROW your business? 📈

So, you think you're ready to GROW your business. But how do you really know? 

Growth can mean different things to different businesses. For some, it can simply mean that they want to increase their sales turnover, profits, or their share in the market. For others, it might look like taking on more staff or even expanding into offering new products or services. Another example of a growing business is one that's ready to increase its physical presence with more premises or shop outlets, while those selling online might look at increasing their virtual presence.

As you can see, growth can take many forms.  

But how do you know you are ready to grow YOUR business? Head over to the Enterprise Hub blog for expert tips and advice on taking those next steps...

Here's our client Cheryl Grogan, founder of AJ's Playdays, on how we helped her to scale-up her business...