Thursday, 8 November 2018

Baby E Coffee and Deli launches in Liverpool's Commercial District

With a mantra of 'good food and good vibes', Baby E is the international-inspired eatery taking Liverpool's business community by storm. Located in a grade listed building on Dale Street, this coffee and deli was opened by foodie-fanatic, Lauren Clinton.

Having lived in Melbourne, Lauren worked as a chef and discovered her passion for good, home-made and creative food. She returned to Liverpool and utilised 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. 


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.”

Baby E is a lively coffee and deli that serves all-day brunch and transforms into an intimate bar of an evening. Current menu customer favourites include: bangers & hash, shakshuka baked eggs, fluffy pancakes and pesto potatoes.


To read Lauren's story in full, head to The Women's Organisation blog.

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.


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Jeane sets her designs on tackling pickpocketing


After becoming victim of pickpocketing while away on holiday, Jeane Melbourne is on “mission invisible” to combat the crime through her innovative new clothing line. Jeane designs and sells anti-digital pickpocket clothing online, specifically designed to combat the problem when visiting large cities.

Wanting to find out how to take her new business, Tarsius Creations Ltd, to the next level, Jeane joined us for our ‘Boost Your New Business’ course. We caught up with her to find out more about the business and how things have changed since we last saw her…
  
If you’ve been on a city break recently, then you will may have been wary of watching your personal belongings when moving through the hustle and bustle of busy streets. Sound familiar?

Entrepreneur Jeane Melbourne has developed a solution to this growing problem with her unique clothing range. Her answer comes in the form of invisible pockets with multi-layers of security. This means that that it is impossible to access the pocket from one side and two hands are needed to access the secure inner pouch. Creating a handy, safe-space to keep your money, credit card or mobile phone.

That’s not all.

Jeane explains that as technology advances, more and more pickpocketing crime is becoming electronic. The digital thief can easily steal private data from unsuspecting passers-by, simply by carrying a Near Filed Communication (NFC) device to transmit data from mobile phones, credit cards, biometric passports or any ID embedded with microchips.


During her time working for a surveillance and ground recognition company in Luxembourg, Jeane developed a knowledge in radio frequency technology – she had an ‘eureka’ moment. Why not combine a Radio Frequency ID (RFID) blocker with her designs? This meant that Jeane was able to develop a fully anti-digital pickpocket range, tackling electronic pick pocketers too.

Never before seen on the market, Jeane tells us where it all began: “I spotted a gap in the market when I became a victim of pickpocketing in Paris. On the same trip I saw another victim who was sitting right in front of me on the train - it happened in just seconds. Loosing your passport, wallet or mobile phone can be very stressful, especially if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language.


“Since then, I became obsessed in finding anti-pickpocket clothing, but I couldn’t find any on the high street or online. I saw some in the USA, but none in the UK or Europe, and in all of the designs I found the pockets were still visible. None of these satisfied me so I asked myself, ‘why not make this a business and fill the gap in the market?’.”



Wanting to turn her idea into a reality, Jeane first came to Enterprise Hub back in January 2017. Working with our business advisor, Francine Taylor, Jeane was able to explore her idea and get Tarsius Creations Ltd ready to launch. Taking full advantage of the courses and training on offer, Jeane received support with her business planning, bookkeeping and understanding tax and national insurance.

She says: “I contacted The Women’s Organisation as I had known about them for a while and thought they will put me in the right direction, and they did! All those steps really helped me to move forward with my business.”


One year on and Jeane decided it was time to see what further support was available to her. Keen to take her business to the next level, jean came on Boost Your New Business two-day programme.



Talking about her experience with Enterprise Hub, through The Women’s Organisation, Jeane said: “I’m so thankful and feel blessed to have the support of The Women’s Organisation. I’ve been able to attend, 1-2-1 meetings, courses and workshops which I’ve applied to every aspect of my business.

“Boost Your New Business was a very useful programme. My trainer Bernie was very professional, energic and positive. I came away with areas to improve, especially around developing my marketing strategy. I’m now reviewing some of my content and building up my social media platforms.

“Their slogan that “when a woman is empowered, women are empowered” it truly reflects their work and dedication to supporting women.”

Jeane explains that finding the Enterprise Hub was the push she needed to follow her business dreams.

“I had been wanting to explore the business for some time, but I have been suffering with severe back pain and neck pain. When it flares it can be really painful, which created doubts in my mind about whether I could do it. My positive mental attitude made me challenge myself and channel it in a positive way. I asked myself ‘can I do this?’ and I said loudly ‘YES I CAN’. As the old adage says, ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and here I am today making it possible.”



Now with plans in the pipeline for a Liverpool city range and her sights set on collaboration, we’re sure we’ll be seeing more of Jeane and her creations.

To find out more about Tarsius Creation, you can contact info@mission-invisible.co.uk or visit www.mission-invisible.co.uk. You can also find them on Facebook.

If you’ve been inspired by Jeane’s story and would like to see how Enterprise Hub can help you boost your new business, then get in touch with us. Email hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111.



Thursday, 4 October 2018

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. 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 us for our ‘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…



Following the birth of her daughter and returning to the workplace, 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.”

“I placed high expectations on myself as well and this contributed to me having anxiety and depression. I needed to find a new job to stop these triggers and find a way I could achieve some of the elements I was missing.”

For Claire, starting her own business was the ideal solution. With support from her family she took the plunge. “I have always had this little idea to start something myself and use my education and passion. Having a child made me believe that I could work with children and so I just needed a push to make me take the leap!”

As with any start-up business, taking those first steps to becoming self-employed was daunting for Claire.

“It’s very daunting – you can feel like you are alone out there. I was so used to having peer and management support before and now it’s just me so you feel like you are making it up as you go along. I was worried financially but my family have been amazing - we’ve had to cut back but we are getting used to it!”

Claire now enjoys the flexibility of working from home and being her own boss. “Being remote means I can take my sessions anywhere – even outside which gives me lots of flexibility. I choose when and where I work and I can factor in more time with my family.”


Story Explorers’ unique sessions carefully tie in to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, so they are the perfect mix of education and fun for little ones. Claire also creates bespoke sessions to fit around exhibitions, events or different locations.

So, what does one of Claire’s sessions look like? She explains: “I create and provide fun 45-minute story sessions based on themes in popular stories. We do a song warm-up before finding clues relating to the story with our binoculars. Then we embark on some educational activities which are related to the story. We end with a bubble dance and then I read the story on the story mat!”

Looking to take her business to the next level, Claire decided to take advantage of Enterprise Hub’s ‘Boost Your New Business’ course. The course is designed to help those in their first year of trade review important aspects of business, including sales and marketing strategy, as well as business planning and management.

“It was a fantastic two days of sitting in a room with other small business owners, knowing you are not alone and hearing about new approaches to give what you are already doing a big boost.”

So, what did Claire take away from her time with the Enterprise Hub?

I immediately got a card machine! This now means attendees are not put off by having to pop to the bank before a session. I refreshed my business plan by putting it into a new format which was suggested as part of the session. It helps me to better understand what it is I’m offering and gives me a clearer view of what I’m trying to achieve. I now have a clear handle on the social media platforms that I need to be using for my desired audience and I also now say no to doing things for free!”

Now into her second year of trading Claire hasn’t looked back: “I am finding more and more people attending and I am thinking of other ways I can share what I do. We now have four sessions in various Wirral locations as well as themed events. I have started to do more parties and festivals as well as working with charities and being in schools.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing her pretend to be me at home with her teddies watching her leading her own little class! I am a happy mum who now can spend more time together with her family.”
We asked Claire what advice she’d give to someone wondering how to start up a new business: “Find someone who can hold your hand whilst you start such as The Women’s Organisation. You need a business advisor to make sure you create a strong foundation – a business plan to start from a firm platform. Simply having one gives you confidence!”



To find out more about Story Explorers, you can contact storyexplorers@outlook.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

If you’ve been inspired by Claire’s story and would like to see how Enterprise Hub can help you boost your new business, then get in touch with us. Email hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111.




Monday, 17 September 2018

Jonathan launches new business JC Fitness


Having worked in different roles in the leisure industry since the age of 16, 30 year old Jonathan Cahill launched his own mobile personal training business JC Fitness with the support of St Helens Chamber and Enterprise Hub.
As an Advanced Personal Trainer, Jonathan offers individual training sessions in people’s homes, workplaces and parks, as well as group sessions and post-natal fitness boot camps. He specialises in offering nutritional advice, creating customised meal plans and training programmes to meet individual needs.

Jonathan commented: “I’ve worked in a number of different areas of the leisure industry and personal training is the area that really stood out.
“I enjoy helping people to achieve their goals and interacting with clients face-to-face. I decided I wanted to work for myself and have the flexibility of being my own boss.”
Jonathan met with a business start-up adviser from St Helens Chamber, Steve Mather, to discuss his business plan and attended a business essentials course covering basic start-up knowledge and skills.
Jonathan added: “The tax aspect of the course was really interesting for me as registering my own earnings was new to me at the time.
“I learnt quite a lot on the course and Steve helped me to set up my online tax account so I could declare my earnings.
 “All of the start-up support from the Chamber has been great, I can email their advisers any time I need support.
“Staff have been friendly, helpful and approachable throughout the start-up process, they are quick to get back with any queries and have a wealth of knowledge to advise and support.”
To find out more about JC Fitness visit www.jc-fitness.co.uk
St Helens Chamber is part of Enterprise Hub, the enterprise gateway for business start-up support in Merseyside.  Offering expert advice and support to anyone thinking about starting a business including help to:

  • Understand the process of starting a business
  • Research a business idea
  • Build a comprehensive business plan
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Create financial forecasts to understand the costs of running your  business and potential income
  • Identify sources of finance to get started

Enterprise Hub is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information about the support available contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk




Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Taking the Franchise Route Proved the Road to Success for Ste


Like many struggling with mobility, Ste Ives had been left wondering if he would ever work again after an injury left him jobless.  Being out of work for over 3 years after an accident in his previous job Ste was keen to find a way back to work.


While working on the docks in Liverpool Ste was involved in an accident where he fell seriously injured his back. Having worked there most of his life, this was a massive shock for Ste who realised due to his injuries that he would never be able to do the job he had known all his life again.  Struggling with his mobility he felt his career options were limited.

Taking back control of his situation Ste approached Enterprise Hub partner Franchising works in April 2018 and signed up to receive support through the programme to explore enterprise at the start of May.  He had taken the decision the get his Driving instructor license, but was unsure of what steps next to take, should he go independent or go with a Franchise.  Ste met with Franchise 'RED Driving School' and decided this was the best route for him, with the benefits and support they offered new instructors through their franchise.

Working with Franchising works on a 1-2-1 basis Ste received support to understand and complete a survival budget, business plan, marketing plan, cash flow and projections.  Looking closely at his survival budget helped Ste to understand what he needed to live on and how to ensure his business worked and his family could survive. Franchising works also offered general business advice and support to help Ste feel confident enough to take the step to start his business.  As this was a franchise Ste was taking on RED had already started to support him with clients and marketing, making the transition a lot smoother for him.

Ste started with RED in May 2018, and is finding running his own business rewarding and beneficial to his life.  He told us:

Working with FranchisingWorks on the Enterprise Hub, helped my tremendously, I was lost and unsure of what to do, until I spoke to Vicky.  She sat down with me and went through everything, step by step, what was best for me, how many clients I need on a daily and weekly basis to survive, plus she even helped with my financial planning for the next 2 years. She’s been a great support and I couldn’t thank her enough, as even now she is always at the end of the phone, if I have a question”.

If like Ste you are trying to explore new ways to get back to work and would like to look at business start up as an option, get in touch with the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Child-Friendly Salon, Ava & Harrison, Launches in Old Swan

Having worked together in the 90's, Sara and Jo went on to pursue different career paths, but desire to create their own path brought them back together to build their dream business 'Ava and Harrison' Liverpool's first child friendly hair salon.


Feeling "nervous, excited, doubtful and confident all in one" the friends contacted Enterprise Hub partners The Women's Organisation for advice and guidance and soon got their idea off the ground.

Within weeks of starting they needed to expand their team when a facebook post by a local mum who spotted their new shop sign went viral. 

Read their full story of success here.

And if you are friends thinking about going into business, you too can get advice and guidance from European Regional Development Fund supported Enterprise Hub programme get in touch with our team via 0151 706 8113 or enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk


Jenny Farrelly takes over Wirral Institution



Despite her many years’ experience in supply and retail of school uniforms and branded workwear, it was still a big step to consider the challenge of setting up independently.  To add to the magnitude of the change, Jenny was considering taking over an existing business that was long-established on Wirral. 

Jenny was partly financing her venture but needed to apply for a StartUp Loan to make her entrepreneurial dream a reality.  She also had to contend with unfamiliar territory in the shape of TUPE staff obligations, decisions involving stock, collating accounts history, both for the loan application and the organization she was taking over.  Wirral Chamber’s startup team were with her every step of the way and Jenny made the most of the expertise at hand, building a great business plan and realistic cash flow as well as building great relationships with the team.

The business she was buying was a Wirral institution with a fairly reliable customer base that, with strategic marketing and planning, she could retain and grow.  There was additional seasonal pressure for Jenny to secure the loan and to be in the business during the summer holidays as this is a peak time for sales of schools uniforms.  She did it!  The StartUp Loan application was successful and Jenny took over the shop August hit the ground running with parents and pupils getting sorted for the new school year.


The Enterprise Hub Team always knew Jenny had the determination to succeed and we enjoyed working with her to make her business happen.   She had particular words of thanks for Patsy Crocker: “Patsy went through detailed cash flows with me for the loan application, she was amazing and helped my confidence hugely.” 

StartUp Wirral from Enterprise Hub is helping start-up businesses like Jenny’s with the support required to become successful companies.  If you’re thinking of starting a business in Wirral, please contact Lisa, Paul or Warren on 0151 541 0976.