Thursday, 29 October 2020

Debbie Helps People Train and Develop with Purpose at Nurture Training

Debbie Richards, Owner of Nurture Training LTD, is providing vital training to people all across the region. After falling into the role of Assessor, Debbie decided she had enough experience to set up her own business, and hasn’t looked back since taking the leap into self-employment over a year ago.



Debbie explained: “I ended up falling into the role of assessor and worked through to management roles. While I was working in various educational roles,  I just fell in love with the sector. I loved everything about it; enrolments, the admin, the processes – everything!

"I’d worked with a number of providers so I had quite a lot of experience, and I thought I could go this alone and have my own training company. So, I approached the Chamber to find out more about how I could go about starting up.”

Debbie approached St Helens Chamber’s Start Up team, who can provide support for people looking to start their own business; with everything from writing a business plan to accessing funding.

Debbie continued: “Once I had it in my mind to set up my business, I called the Start Up team and booked an appointment with Steve to start putting everything in motion. 

“I’d actually approached the Start Up team the year before, but I decided I wasn’t ready at that point. But, this time I knew I was ready to take the leap!”

With the support from St Helens Chamber’s Start Up team, Debbie set up Nurture Training. Nurture Training have an extensive list of training courses, with the aim to “Train & Develop with Purpose” and allow people to gain deep insights into the areas they are studying in.

Debbie explained: “I’m extremely passionate about the adult education sector, so setting up Nurture Training has allowed me to pass on this passion.

“I’ve always been committed to my own professional development, so this combined with my passion for education means I can deliver a range of professional and industry qualifications.”

St Helens Chamber’s Start Up team worked closely with Debbie to help her become more business-minded, and have continued to support her as her business grows.

Debbie commented: “The Support was fantastic, Stella and Steve were both very informative and even now they still get in touch to check in on me and see how I’m doing. They are really invested my success - Steve is getting in touch to help me with growth and marketing soon too which is great.

“It’s nice to have that followed up and know the support is still available even after I’ve set up. The support is outstanding - I’m really pleased it’s there.”

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

To find out more about Business Start Up Support visit https://www.sthelenschamber.com/startup

Get in touch if you are thinking of starting a business in the Liverpool City Region or have a new business under three years old. You can speak to our team via enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8113.




Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Changing the way we learn with Talk Twenties

Whilst school education is a crucial part of every young person’s life, many argue that some essential skills are left out of the curriculum. Noticing the lack of life skills being taught to help the transition into adulthood, award-winning blogger and former teacher Gaby Mendes has decided to change the way we learn with her business Talk Twenties

Gaby Mendes

Navigating her way through her twenties, Gaby soon discovered that there were still a lot of life skills she did not know about. When it came to renting for the first time, starting a new job, or saving for your first home – it was obvious to her that there was a lack of support for young people to access.

She decided to set up a blog to write about the challenges young professionals face in their twenties. It was through this blog that she started to hear back from others in the same boat as her – confused and unsure about who to turn to for advice. 

This feedback got her thinking about the benefits of building a community of twenty-somethings to support each other – and just like that, Talk Twenties was born!

Ready to make her idea a reality, Gaby reached out to The Women’s Organisation after hearing about the support from a colleague. 

She told us: “I was feeling really overwhelmed by the finance and marketing side of starting up and I really didn’t know where to start.”

She was able to access training sessions on business planning, marketing, and business finance. The sessions helped her to start building her creative content and stay up to date with the latest HMRC regulations for self-employment. 

She was also able to attend regular 1-2-1 meetings with her business adviser Jo Mountfort. 

“Jo helped me with putting together agreements for my contributors, this helped me set boundaries with others supporting my business. She also helped me work on a cash flow document to manage my finance”

Talk Twenties officially launched in 2020, upskilling people with a range of content that is not taught in schools. The one-stop shop produces a regular podcast, online resources, webinars, courses, and topical blogs from members of the community. 

The original concept for the business was to create festival style events with expert guest speakers, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, Gaby had to act fast to adapt the business to run online. During the outbreak, the business launched their first podcast that now boasts over 26 episodes and has had special guests including Girls in marketing and Less Waste Laura. 

Gaby recently monetised the business by launching an online shop selling colourful prints and online courses, with the first courses supporting first-time buyers to understand the house buying process.

So, what plans does Gaby have next for Talk Twenties?

“We hope to launch physical events when it’s safe to do so! It is still early days, but I have been able to monetise my business, bring in contributors and increase my exposure with the support of enterprise hub. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without The Women’s Organisation!”

To find out more about Talk Twenties you can check out their Website, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

If you have been inspired by Gaby’s story and are interested in starting or growing a business of your own, then Enterprise Hub could help!

Get in touch if you are thinking of starting a business in the Liverpool City Region or have a new business under three years old. You can speak to our team via enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8113.



Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Sarah Evans Jewellery is a Hidden Gem!

Well, they do say:  “What goes around, comes around!”  And this is certainly the case for Sarah Evans and her partner, Ian, the co-owners of Sarah Evans Jewellery.  

Having lived opposite each other and dating as teenagers in Dorset, their paths diverged significantly into very different trajectories.  But 33 years later, they are back together again with a shared passion for being creative and running their own business – Sarah Evans Jewellery! 

Sarah Evans and her partner, Ian

Sarah has over 25 years’ experience, knowledge and skills of working in the jewellery trade, having cut her teeth at a prestigious jeweller’s in London’s West End.  She then moved on to teaching at local schools and at the Royal College of Art.  Ian, on the other hand, developed his people and organisational skills working for the Civil Service and local government.  But like Sarah, Ian reached that stage where he wanted to be part of something more creatively fulfilling, so starting their own business made perfect sense.

Now when it comes to quality, bespoke jewellery, Sarah Evans Jewellery certainly shines!  As well as remodelling and repairing existing jewellery, they can produce wedding and engagement rings, necklaces and other jewellery items that are fabulous, of great quality and that can be treasured for many years to come.  And all are hand-crafted to your individual requirements using materials of the highest quality.  Not sure what you want?  Well Sarah is well-qualified to give you the best impartial advice.  Sarah Evans Jewellery has also had to adapt to Covid-19 and has done so by offering Zoom and Skype consultations with customers, along with safe, socially-distanced meetings when appropriate.

And what’s the future for Sarah Evans Jewellery?  Well they are looking to exhibit at jewellery fairs in the UK and overseas and will be hoping to attend Covid-secure events over the coming year.  Sarah would also like to teach customers how to make their own wedding rings along with delivering autism-friendly work-experience opportunities for young people.

And any words of wisdom from Sarah and Ian for anyone starting their own business?  “I’ve always felt that it’s important to follow your heart and to keep creativity in your life,” Sarah replies.  Ian comments further, “It’s what makes us both tick and sometimes you have to have the courage to follow your heart, try something new and believe in yourself!”

Sarah and Ian also acknowledge the support received from Enterprise Hub at Wirral Chamber.  Both are quick to point out that Enterprise Hub has helped them both formulate their ideas into a coherent plan and given them the tools and knowledge they didn’t know they needed, to help them develop their business further!

If you’re looking for a fantastic piece of bespoke, high-quality jewellery and would like to contact Sarah Evans Jewellery, then either ring Sarah on 07941 227 757, e-mail her at sarah.evans.jewellery@gmail.com or visit their website at www.sarahevansjewellery.com

If you have been inspired by Sarah's story and would like to see how Enterprise Hub can help you start your own business, then get in touch with us. Email enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk 




Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs Join Launchpad Event



Budding Merseyside entrepreneurs are invited to find out how to plan to launch a new business during a Pandemic at a special 'Launchpad' event. 

Led by The Women's Organisation in partnership with BIPC Liverpool this Launchpad event will outline the practicalities of getting started as well as connecting aspiring business owners with entrepreneurs who have been there, done it and even re-adapted in the face of Covid 19.


The panel:


Sharron Crawford - Objet Dahlia




Objet Dahlia sells faux florals and Homeware. Sharron used to run a wedding floristry business but due to having an unexpected rare type of cancer took a couple of years out and that business folded. Sharron was then working freelance when Covid hit and that work stopped almost immediately. Sharron launched Objet Dahlia just before the Covid lockdown, so not what many would suggest is an ideal time to start anything new but lockdown gave Sharron the free time to put all her efforts into her new business, which is doing pretty well considering the current financial climate. Objet Dahlia is based online only and has just partnered with Not on the high street.


Gaby Mendes - Talk Twenties




Leaving the teaching profession at 23 Gaby wanted to expand her skillset and explore her business idea for Talk Twenties. Gaby felt overwhelmed by the finance and marketing side of things and didn’t know where to start, so reached out to The Women's Organisation for support. Gaby launched Talk Twenties in January of this year to cover all the things that school never teaches you ranging from figuring out how to buy your first home, navigating a career change to prioritising your mental health. Talk Twenties are basically a one-stop-shop for any question you may feel silly for asking in your twenties! They have a popular podcast, online resources, webinars and courses and blogs for our twenty-something community.


This event is part of our Enterprise Hub programme, part funded by European Regional Development Fund and offering FREE advice and guidance to those living in the Liverpool City Region thinking of starting a business.

To book a free place click here.




Friday, 2 October 2020

Self Assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans

Self Assessment customers can apply online for additional support to help spread the cost of their tax bill into monthly payments from today (1 October), without the need to call HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).   

The online payment plan service can already be used to set up instalment arrangements for paying tax liabilities up to £10,000. From 1 October 2020, HMRC has increased the threshold to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers, to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The increased self-serve Time to Pay limit of £30,000 follows the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 24 September to increase support for businesses and individuals through the uncertain months ahead.

As part of his speech, the Chancellor announced that Self Assessment customers could pay their deferred payment on account bill from July 2020, any outstanding tax owed for 2019 to 2020 and their first payment on account bill for this current tax year in monthly instalments, up to 12 months, via this self-serve tool. Customers who need longer than 12 months to settle their tax liabilities are invited to contact HMRC in the usual way.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said:

“We are supporting jobs by giving more breathing space to up to 11 million Self Assessment taxpayers when managing their tax affairs.

“Enhancing Time to Pay should ease the financial burdens and protect the livelihoods of these taxpayers, as they navigate the months ahead.”

More than 11 million customers complete a Self Assessment tax return each year. Once they have completed their tax return for the 2019 to 2020 tax year, those who have payments to make may have the option of using the online self-serve Time to Pay facility through GOV.UK to set up a direct debit and pay any tax that is owed in monthly instalments, up to a 12-month period.

HMRC estimates around 95% of Self Assessment customers who are due to make payments on 31 January 2021 could qualify to implement a Time to Pay arrangement using the self-serve Time to Pay facility online, without needing to speak to an HMRC adviser.

Customers who wish to set up their own self-serve Time to Pay arrangements must meet the following requirements:

  • they need to have no:
    • outstanding tax returns
    • other tax debts
    • other HMRC payment plans set up
  • the debt needs to be between £32 and £30,000
  • the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date of a debt

Customers using self-serve Time to Pay will be required to pay any interest on the tax owed. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

Be aware of scams claiming to be from HMRC, offering to help you set up payment plans to pay any tax owed. These scams are trying to harvest your details to steal your money. Check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. Self Assessment customers can set up their own online payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax bill by visiting https://www.gov.uk/pay-self-assessment-tax-bill/pay-in-instalments.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Entrepreneurship - Alive and Well During Covid-19

I’m sure everyone would agree that the ongoing Covid-19 crisis has been a huge challenge for all of us.  But how has it affected entrepreneurs, not to mention start-ups and young businesses?
Paul Rittenberg from Wirral Chamber of Commerce shares his experience of working with inspiration businesses over the last couple of months...

There’s an old saying that “necessity is the mother of invention” and this is certainly true for those starting and running a new business.  However, with the added complication of a global pandemic, this has stretched even the most resolute of souls during the last few months.
However, having worked in the business support sector for many years, it still amazes me how the human spirit can triumph over adversity, whether it be by adapting a current service or product offer, or just by doing things differently.  The capacity for humans to be able to reinvent themselves and ‘shape-change’ and be ‘chameleonesque’ in response to an ever-changing environment is something we sometimes take for granted.
For example, at the very beginning of the crisis, one of our new Enterprise Hub start-up businesses put out an online ‘call to action’ for people to pre-order her brand-new product range at an early-bird discount but tied it into a crowd-funding opportunity to give her pre-start business a much-needed financial boost before she could physically open her doors.
But does it have to be something innovative or can it be just a simple ‘tweak’ of a business offer to meet a change in demand?  Another of our Enterprise Hub clients was looking to offer his transportation service to a particular target market. However, Covid-19 put paid to that and so he just …. well changed his target market!  Same vehicle, different client group, money coming in.
I’ve been particularly impressed by how the restaurant and pub trade have adapted their services.  Click and collect, delivery services and innovative seating arrangements have all been simple but effective ways to keep the tills ringing, their business going and their sanity intact!
And then there are those businesses which have adapted their services to an online platform such as tutors/life coaches/yoga classes – an adaptation which has taken people out of their comfort zone but opened up a whole new world of opportunities and clients which will remain long after Covid-19 has disappeared.
And then there are those businesses which have suffered, been allowed to eventually re-open under restricted conditions, but have then managed to prosper by following the guidelines and going the extra mile for the customers.  I’m reminded of a local barber who cut a colleague’s hair.  He had a mask on, a visor, wipes outside, wipes inside.  The place was spotless and appointments could only be pre-booked.  My colleague said it felt as safe as being in his own home.  So sometimes, just a little change in the way we do things, thinking about others and going the extra mile is all it needs to develop a best practice model for these unprecedented times.
Sometimes it can be the little changes that make the difference.  British cycling owes a lot of its success to ‘marginal gains.’  Maybe you could too.
If you have a business within the Liverpool City Region and you're looking to grow - we can help! get in touch with us on Enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk to find out more



Thursday, 24 September 2020

Elsie Hayford tackles injustices in health systems with her business Lamèsè

Born in Russia, raised in Ghana and Liverpool, Elsie Hayford has experienced the best and worst of health systems. Whilst completing law studies at the University of Liverpool, she developed a passion for global health which eventually led her to obtain a Master of Laws in Global Health Law from Georgetown University, Washington DC.

Eagar to expend her legal skills to strengthen health systems and bridge the health equity gap in developing countries, Elsie launched Lamèsè’ in 2019 - a global health firm that works to restore accountability and tackle injustices within health systems globally.



It was during an event hosted by The Women’s Organisation over 10 years ago that Elsie first thought about setting up her own business. With little legal work experience at the time and almost no savings, she told herself that she would not be qualified enough to run a business – this was until she met with Senior Business Adviser, Huda Mamoun many years later.

Attending 1-2-1 meetings with Huda, she was able to start pulling together a plan of action of what she wanted her business to look like:

“My business adviser Huda was a big help in pointing me to the right resources, she was also able to connect me with other woman who were on the same journey as me”

“I found the training courses particularly useful – they broadened my perspective of running a business, gave me solid concrete information about legalities involved and simplified otherwise complex concepts”

Starting off self-employed  – Elsie secured several consulting contracts from health companies such as Livful Inc, and global health organisations such as The Global Health Advocacy Incubator & The O’Neill Institute of National and Global Health Law where she worked on WHO, Lancet and Global Health Security Agenda projects – many of which included analysing and drafting health legislation for countries.

The business transitioned into a Limited Company in 2019, with the very fitting name ‘Lamèsè’ translating to Good Health in native Ghanaian Language, Ewe. Elsie is the sole director of Lamèsè Ltd in the UK and has a subsidiary company set up in Ghana where she works with 3 other partners. In Ghana, their current work focuses on improving maternal healthcare with the goal of reducing deaths due to medical/and or systemic errors.

Elsie’s position as a Global Health Lawyer and Consultant became even more valuable this year with the COVID-19 outbreak. Her business was able to secure a contract with US global health organisation, Vital Strategies to provide support as part of a Global COVID legal response team - leading the work on legal protections for healthcare workers and the legal infrastructure required for emergency healthcare delivery globally – this involves advising ministry of health lawyers and writing guidelines for national policy makers.

With the business already supporting global organisations, what will be the next step?

“Once we complete our contract, I hope to use my skills to tackle healthcare issues within the UK’s foster care system. I’m excited about the future and very pleased with the support I have gained from The Women’s Organisation.”

“I don’t intend to return to a traditional 9-5 role anymore. The future will see us expand the business and come a relevant voice within the health policy space in the UK and beyond”

To find out more about Elsie and her business Lamèsè, you can find her on Twitter using @EEhayford and @lameseCS

If you have been inspired by Elsie's story and are interested in starting or growing a business of your own, then Enterprise Hub could help!

Get in touch if you are thinking of starting a business in the Liverpool City Region or have a new business under three years old. You can speak to our team via enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8113.