Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Sharp New Start For Lynda

Lynda Zappa is back in a job and working for herself thanks to business start-up support from Enterprise Hub and St Helens Chamber.

Lynda, a British Body Piercing Association (BBPA) trained and certified piercing specialist from Liverpool, found herself off work for a significant period having been diagnosed with cancer. 

Lynda Zappa

Ready to start work again, she approached her local Job Centre and was directed to St Helens Chamber for support from Enterprise Hub. She attended the Business Essentials workshop and was assigned a Business Adviser who worked with her to create a business plan and financial forecasts.

Bringing 10 years of experience and her BBPA credentials, Lynda now works from the Liverpool Ink tattoo studio in Liverpool City Centre. 

Lynda said: “The support I received from Enterprise Hub was invaluable. It has been so helpful, especially the financial forecasts. I was able to see that I didn’t need to see an impossible number of clients a day to make a living – it gave me the confidence boost and support to know that I could do it.”

While recovering from her illness, self-employment has allowed Lynda to get back into work far quicker than if she had pursued full-time employment. 

Lynda added: “It’s the freedom of being my own boss that has allowed me to get back to work and earn my own money. I can be flexible with my working days and if I need to take time for appointments or illness then I can. I know that no employer would have taken me on as it would have been too difficult.

“Working for myself also means that I am not suffering for the way I look – something else that I think would have prevented me from succeeding in conventional employment.”

George Betts, Business Start-up Adviser at St Helens Chamber, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Lynda and to help get her back into work. She is putting her 10 years of experience to good use and, having put together a good business plan, is already succeeding in picking up clients.”

Lynda added: “Working with George and meeting other people in the same position, trying to start their own business, gave me a huge amount of confidence. As a single parent I was honestly terrified about taking the leap but the support I have received has been fantastic.

“Attending the workshop and getting guidance from George really helped me to get organised and stick to a plan of action.

“I would highly recommend getting in touch with St Helens Chamber for start-up support. It has been invaluable for me.”

Receiving funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Enterprise Hub is 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

For more information about the support available from St Helens Chamber to start a business, call 0845 340 9980, email, or visit

A Social Business For These Times

Rarely these days are the dreadful problems being experienced by the people of Syria out of the news. Equally all too rarely do we hear of initiatives designed to speed the integration and enhance quality of life of Syrians who have chosen to live here in the UK, especially not those that are designed and delivered by the Syrian Community itself.

At the beginning of 2016 Sameer Hesso, a Kurdish Syrian living with his family and working here in Liverpool approached Alt Valley Community Trust about setting up a social business to improve the wellbeing of his community.

Sameer was introduced to the Business Advisors at Alt Valley Community Trust in Croxteth and immediately signed onto the Enterprise Hub business start up support programme.

Sameer comments:

“There are around 150-200 Kurdish Syrian families in the Liverpool City Region area and we wanted to create a means whereby we can encourage them to become directly involved in the activities we are planning. We are setting out to enhance the physical and mental health of those from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East granted refugee status and their dependents so as to advance their abilities to adapt and thrive in their new communities. “

After being introduced to Enterprise Hub Advisor Roy Meredith at Alt Valley, Sameer began the process of learning how to set up and go about doing business in the UK. After attending an initial start up workshop with 7 other new business starters, Sameer then proceeded to develop his business plan as well as understand the different types of business structure and the obligations of holding a directorship.

In June of 2016 along with 2 other Directors Sameer formed Rojava Kurdish Community CIC to deliver a range of activities to raise awareness of Kurdish Syrian society and culture and thereby promote cultural understanding and cohesion in local communities.

Sameer adds:

“Without the support of the Alt Valley Enterprise Hub team we would not have been able to get as far as we have. The level of detailed information and mentoring that they have provided is amazing – from Kayleigh Clarke on the administration side to Alan Johnson who has helped us set the CIC up correctly from the beginning.

“We are now in position to start making our plans a reality in 2017, in the knowledge that the Enterprise Hub team are always there to help us along the way.”

Alt Valley specialist Advisor on Social Enterprises, Alan Johnson, comments:

“It is very important when forming a Social business of this kind to make sure everything is set up correctly at the start to ensure that the company can access as wide a range of opportunities as possible. Sameer and his colleagues can now move forward with confidence bidding for the support funding they need in order to do the great things they are planning.”

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Cheryl Grogan Spotted A Space In The Market For Her Business Idea...

Cheryl Grogan found her passion which she turned into a business after noticing a gap in the market! This month her new business; AJ’s Play Days is launching!  AJ’s Play Days is a soft play centre aimed at children under the age of 5 with a specific focus on the development needs of babies and toddlers through play. It will help parents bond with their children by offering bay and toddler yoga, positive parenting classes, hypnobirthing and a relaxation area. 

Twenty-something Cheryl told us; ‘Whilst I was on maternity leave I noticed that there were not many places where a mum can take their smaller children without being uncomfortable and feeling out of their depth, especially parents with more than one child.’

‘When I was later offered redundancy I jumped at the chance of starting my own business. I have always wanted to be my own boss and the flexibility of having 2 small children was a must. I wanted to be able to spend time with my children and hopefully offer other parents a comfortable, relaxing place where they could take their babies and toddlers.’ 

But as AJ’s isn’t just an ordinary soft play centre, it’s clear to see that there was another area of interest that Cheryl took into consideration when imagining her business up and running…Developmental Psychology and Cheryl told us that after having her two children she used the techniques that she had studied; ‘I found that I enjoyed watching my boys reach a higher potential than I could imagine’ – and this was the aspect that she wanted to share with other parents and families. 

If like Cheryl you would like to access expert advice to start a business, contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Friday, 16 December 2016

Anne Pennington From Sefton Realised Her Dreams Of Self-Employment...

Now, we know that we do our jobs well. Each and every day we are a team of people who one simple mission in mind – To improve the lives of the women that we meet. But as you know, sometimes daily life gets on top of us all and that’s why it’s so amazing to be reminded of why we do the work that we do! Anne Pennington was just the woman for this and we couldn’t be more delighted to have helped her realise her dreams of self-employment!

Anne Pennington has one of those business that we hear about and think; ‘Now that sounds interesting!’ Anne is an award-winning researcher and leader in the use of insights in the public sector; she works with clients from across many different sectors from their first idea through their planning, design and implementation all the way to evaluation. And since launching her business has worked on an incredible variety of different projects including; a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse, a campaign to improve breastfeeding and even the massively influential campaign This Girl Can. 

Prior to setting up her business Anne was a Principal Insight Analyst with Public Health Knowsley for 10 years and before that worked for National Museums Liverpool for 17 years as a Research Officer. She told us; ‘I had always been interested in working for myself but I’d never had the courage to make the leap from employment to self-employment. But when I took redundancy in December 2015 it was the perfect opportunity to have a go on my own. I was ready for a new challenge!’ 

If like Anne you would like to access expert advice to start a business, contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or email

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Melissa Wavell Made Big Changes In Her Life And Started Her Business – The Dog Haus Ltd.

Every once in awhile we get to help a business that really makes us smile – and Melissa Wavell from Widnes new business; The Dog Haus Ltd. is one of those. Melissa describes it as ‘A new breed of day care for the contemporary dog.’

‘At The Dog Haus Ltd. we believe that socialising is very important. Dogs are pack animals by nature and they rarely get to be part of a pack in today’s world. We allow the dogs to play and socialise in a controlled environment which is more natural for them. The contemporary design led crèche has been created so the dogs feel like they are in a home from home.’

But how did Melissa, who had previously been a manager for the luxury fashion brand Jaeger, come to opening up her own doggy day care centre? It’s the simple matter of wanting to follow a dream! Melissa told us that it had always been her dream to work with animals wanting to be a vet when she was younger. She also had some entrepreneurial spirit in her as she spotted a gap in the market for her business idea; ‘I decided to set up my own because I already had a lot of business experience from my previous job and I’d also seen a space in the market for more of a ‘luxury’ doggy day care. A lot of dog day cares that you see now are very basic and I wanted to create a fun environment similar to what you would see at a children’s crèche! Just because they are dogs, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the best!’ 

If like Melisssa you would like to access expert advice to start a business contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or email

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Start-up Support Helps Claire Go It Alone

Claire Ross has used her industry skills and experience to launch a training and coaching business with the support of Enterprise Hub and St Helens Chamber.

St Helens-based 3B Coaching offers training, development and coaching for individuals and businesses. 

Offering tailored business support, including assertiveness and confidence coaching, Claire also works with the Institute of Leadership and Management as one of their 
Specialist External Verifiers for leadership and management coaching.

Claire said: “My sister-in-law had set up a business a few years back and had nothing but praise for St Helens Chamber, so they were the first place I approached when I decided to set up my own business.

“The support I have received has been invaluable. I attended a six-session training course that not only gave me all the basics I needed to start up my business but also had me thinking whether this was the right way forward for me.”

As part of the support she received Claire was assigned a dedicated business coach to work with her on developing a business plan.

She commented: “Enterprise Hub really helped me to get a full picture of what needed to be done, how I needed to do this, by when and what implications there were.

“I was encouraged to take the leap into self-employment in my own time, once my business plan was achievable and realistic. On completion of the course I also gained an Understanding Enterprise qualification, so for me it was highly beneficial.” 

Since launching her business with Enterprise Hub support, Claire has gone on to receive 12 hours of fully-funded support for growth through St Helens Chamber’s dedicated Business Growth Programme, part of the Liverpool City Region Integrated Business Support (LCRIBS) Project. She has also been able to take on a new business partner and hopes the support she has received will help her to win bigger contracts in the future.

George Betts, Business Start-up Coach at St Helens Chamber, said: “We’re delighted to have helped Claire become her own boss. She is using her years of industry experience to grow a successful business and it’s great to see her accessing further support for growth from the Chamber.”

Claire added: “The Chamber is a welcoming environment where I feel supported and encouraged to develop my business at my own pace.

“The staff are so friendly and helpful and I feel that I would not be where I am now without their help. I know the Chamber will continue to support me as long as I need.”

Receiving funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Enterprise Hub is 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

For more information about the support available from St Helens Chamber through the Enterprise Hub Programme to start a business, call 0845 340 9980, email, or visit

Monday, 28 November 2016

Liverpool Central Library Business & IP Centre Supports Enterprise Hub Entrepreneurs

Have you visited Liverpool Central Library since its fantastic refurbishment?  If you haven't and you are looking to start a business, then definitely add it to your 'must visit' places as they have a ton of FREE support available.  Based on the first floor of Central Library, the Business and Intellectual Property Centre can support you if you're looking to start or grow your business.
From taking those first steps to successfully launching and developing a business, you will find people and business resources there to help you.
Working with a range of partner organisations the Business & IP Centre can offer:
  • Free access to Business and Intellectual Property databases and publications including market research, company data, business news plus information about intellectual property to protect your ideas
  • Access to business advisers and experts including our Entrepreneur In Residence, Councillor Gary Millar, Liverpool’s Mayoral Lead for Business and International Growth
  • Workshops and events to help you get to grips with all aspects of starting and growing a business including access to chartered patent attorneys and information specialists
  • Inspiring spaces that will help you to think creatively and meet like-minded people
  • Signposting to other business related events and activities within the Liverpool area

Online resources

If you're a member of Liverpool Libraries, you can access some of our subscriptions at home by logging in with your library card.  These include:

Events and drop in sessions

There are a number of other useful events and drop in sessions are held in the Business and IP Centre, first floor, Central Library:
  • Entrepreneur in Residence drop-in advice session with Cllr Gary Millar and team – every Thursday from 1pm to 4pm
  • Trademarks advice with Kate Cruse (Forresters)  – first Thursday of the month from 1pm to 4pm.
  • Patents advice drop-in with Dr Les Prichard (Culverstons) – last Thursday of the month from 1pm to 4pm.
  • Patents clinic (Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) – first Tuesday of the month from 5pm to 7.30pm (booking necessary).  Please email or telephone 0151 233 5835.
  • Be your own boss (Enterprise Hub Partner St Helens Chamber of Commerce) – second Wednesday of the month from 2.00pm to 4.15pm.
  • Business Advice Appointments for Women Starting a Business (Enterprise Hub Partners The Women's Organisation) Booked via 0151 706 8111
Scheduled changes over festive period: There will be no Entrepreneur in Residence sessions on 22nd or 29th December. Patents advice drop in will be on 15th December, not 29th. Patents clinic will be on 10th January, not 3rd.
To find out more about any of the services listed above contact the library team here. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

How to be your own boss…

Being your own boss can be hugely rewarding, but it doesn’t come without its own risks as Adrian Ellis, Business Start-up Manager at St Helens Chamber, explains.
“Moving into self-employment can be hugely beneficial in terms of the flexibility it offers around lifestyle, the freedom it provides to be able to manage your own time and the ability it offers for people to be able to follow life-long dreams and ambitions; but one of the first things we do with anyone who comes to see us about starting a business is give them a reality check.
Adrian Ellis, Business Start-up Manager St Helens Chamber
“Whilst being your own boss can be a fantastic experience, it isn’t without its risks so it’s important that we make sure anyone venturing into it understands that. There can be a lot of financial instability when you first start in business and you may not always get a regular income, so you have to make sure you can plan for this. But on the flip side once things do take off, the potential earnings for someone who is self-employed are usually higher than someone doing the same job working for someone else.
“Statistics show that less than 50% of start-up businesses survive the first five years of trading, so it’s important to make sure that you have a strong business plan in place and a unique selling point that ensures you are in that minority. Developing a business plan for a sustainable business is one of the biggest pieces of work our team carries out with our clients; having a great idea for a business is one thing, but you have to make sure it will work. Often the hardest part of our job is telling someone that their idea isn’t going to work out.

“The other big factor of being self-employed for most people when they first start out is that you’re “it”. You have to be all things in all departments. There is often no-one else there to run decisions past, no one to delegate to, and no one to cover for you when you’re ill. It can be lonely and hard work, but it does give you the autonomy to be the decision maker and do things your way, which can often be a huge bonus for people who have spent years working for other people.

“My advice would be to make sure you don’t go it alone. There is lots of support available for start-ups through Enterprise Hub, a European Regional Development Fund funded project that offers expert advice and support to anyone thinking about starting a business in the Liverpool City Region through a network of partners.”

As an active Enterprise Hub partner St Helens Chamber offers free and impartial one to one advice and support to people across Merseyside and Halton thinking about starting a business. To find out more about whether self-employment is for you, and the support available, go along to one of their ‘Be your own Boss’ sessions. The next events take place Wednesday 9th November, 9.30 – 11.30am Liverpool Central Library or 6-8pm at St Helens Chamber.

For more information call 0845 340 9980 or visit

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Stephen Hatches his New Business with Enterprise Hub Support

Stephen Donoghue has used 17 years of industry experience to launch his own web design and digital marketing business with support from Enterprise Hub.

EggBox Web Design offers complete web solutions to help businesses achieve their goals, whether this is increasing sales, gaining new customers or promoting their products and services more effectively.

Stephen was made redundant from his full time job and finally decided it was time to take the leap into self-employment. He said: “I have wanted to go it alone for years, to make my own decisions and set up my own business as I knew I would be more motivated to work harder to make the business a success.”

Having decided to go it alone Stephen contacted St Helens Chamber for support. He was assigned a dedicated business adviser who worked with him to develop his business plan and attended regular workshops and networking events to grow his skills.

Stephen said: “Once I was introduced to the Chamber I had an interview with my adviser George. After listening to my business idea, I was given instant feedback and advice on the sector I was entering into, which was very helpful. It didn’t feel like I was just another person passed onto the course.

“The workshops I attended were a great way of focusing on key aspects of starting a business; from business planning, marketing, pricing and managing money. We covered many things I hadn’t even considered before setting up my business.

Stephen has also been building contacts with other local entrepreneurs. He commented: “I was introduced to other start ups in exactly the same position as me. This gave me a friendly and supportive environment to be in at the very early stages because we were all facing similar challenges.”

Stephen is very happy with the support he received through Enterprise Hub. He added: “The level of knowledge and professionalism from the advisers plus their encouragement and support really helped me at the crucial early stages.

“I can’t emphasise enough my appreciation and need for this support as I feel the beginning is the hardest when you are trying to get the business off the ground.”

“There will be situations that may lift you out of your comfort zone, but this is all designed to help you face the many real challenges that you will encounter when running a business.”

“If you are looking to start a business, don’t be afraid to reach out and get the professional help that is there.”

If like Stephen you are facing a career crossroads and would like to explore the option of working for yourself, find out more about the FREE support you can access through the Enterprise Hub, part funded by European Regional Development Fund.
Contact the Enterprise Hub team today on 0151 706 8113 or

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Peter’s Online Jewellery Business Shines Internationally

Peter van der Boon is living out his lifelong dream as his jewellery business goes from strength to strength.

Having a childhood interest in jewellery and luxury brands, Peter decided to follow his dream and start his own business with support from Enterprise Hub and St Helens Chamber.

Based in Liverpool, Van Der Boon Jewellery specialises in Moissanite gem stones and sells gold, platinum and Argentinium silver jewellery online.

Peter had previously worked in a number of sectors including accountancy, sales and logistics and marketing. He commented: “I went to the University of Life. I always chose roles where I knew I could learn about business and building a successful brand. I think all of my jobs have helped me on the route to self-employment, always with the final goal in mind.”

Peter started selling jewellery online while he worked full time and as his customer base began to grow he became the first independent seller of Moissanite stones in the UK.

When his circumstances changed Peter decided it was time to go it alone. He approached Enterprise Hub for support and has never looked back.

He said: “I never liked working for a boss. I always had a plan to work for myself and I’m really glad I was directed to St Helens Chamber."

“I am a perfectionist and in the past I have been reluctant to take the plunge and launch my business but the Chamber support really helped."

Peter worked with a dedicated business adviser and attended a number of workshops on business planning, cash flow and business principles. He commented: “My adviser helped me refine my business plan and we agreed a series of deadlines to stick to when it came to taking the first steps.

“I thought I was clear on everything. I’d had this plan all my life but in reality there was a lot of things I still needed to think about. The Chamber helped me cut the nonsense and create a focussed and realistic business plan. They helped me define everything.

 “The Chamber has also been useful in terms of export support. Initially this was a scary process but their export readiness services helped me clarify what I should be doing when I send my products internationally.”
Peter now has business customers around the world, from Germany to Russia and Slovenia to South Korea, and has plans for further expansion in the future.

He added: “Now the Van Der Boon name is growing and I am no longer chasing customers; they come to me. Thanks to my online shop I can be anywhere in the world, selling to anyone.

“I am forever grateful for the support I received from the Chamber. It really helped dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

 “I would urge anyone thinking of starting a business to go through the Chamber’s start up programme.”

If like Peter you would like to turn a passion into a business, find out more about the FREE support you can access through the Enterprise Hub, part funded by European Regional Development Fund.
Contact the Enterprise Hub team today on 0151 706 8113 or 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Tony Found Enterprise Hub Partner SAFE Online & Hasn't Looked Back Since

Tony approached Enterprise Hub Partner SAFE in May 2016 after seeing details of the business support workshops through our website and social media. In addition to turning his ideas into a workable business plan, Tony formed some great contacts with other group attendees and has been able to support his peers effectively during the financial workshops.
Tony says:
“I had wanted to be my own boss for a long time. I already had a couple of clients, and when the hotel I was working for closed its doors, I decided to give it a go.
I knew about the different sorts of business entities that existed, and what sort of business I wanted to be; a sole trader."

Tony turned to the internet to explore his idea:
"I researched the web, and came across SAFE, and their business workshops.
I had the basis of a business plan, and attending SAFE’s business workshops gave me the inspiration to nail down my ideas and to formally write up my plan. It was good to get Brian’s thoughts on how and what I’d put it together, and with his encouragement the final plan came together very quickly."

Tony put his business skills to use early on joining in SAFE'S workshop and finding he could support others attending thanks to his expertise.  
"Helping out at our group’s financial workshop was a great feeling. I know about finances, and I know about spreadsheets, and I love it when the two come together!”
Now running his own Professional Book Keeping business, Tony is now seeing his business moving forward.

If like Tony you are keen to receive advice to steer you in the right direction to start a business, then get in touch with the Enterprise Hub via 0151 706 8113 or 

Budding Entrepreneurs in Sefton Get Some Great Advice

Last week the Enterprise Business Start-up Conference travelled to Sefton.  Supported by Invest Sefton and Start-up Direct, the event hosted by Enterprise Hub Partner The Women's Organisation brought together local men and women who were toying with the idea of starting a business to give them a insight into what is really involved.

Speaking at the event were 3 Successful local business owners and local enterprise experts who each offered key insights into how to make a business succeed.  Here were the top tips on offer at the event that every potential entrepreneur should take note of:

Kevin Murphy Rentaspace

Jacke Foster Crosby Coffee with Julie Swarbrick

Cheryl Grogan of AJ's Playdays

  • Starting a business is "a way to build a job around your family", said Entrepreneur Cheryl Grogan of AJ's Playdays
  • "Market Research is so important" emphasised both Cheryl and Jack Foster of Crosby Coffee, Jo Austin from The Women's Organisation agreed citing 'lack of market research' as the top reason for business failure
  • "Social Media is a Great way to promote your business" said Crosby Coffee's Jack
  • "You only get out what you are prepared to put in" said Kevin Murphy of Rentaspace
  • Think "People and Peers" added Kevin talking about the need for creating a strong network around you
  • "If you ever have a business question get in touch with Invest Sefton" encouraged Business Growth Adviser Julie Swarbrick
  • "There is expert support from Enterprise Hub and it is FREE" said Jo Austin from The Women's Organisation encouraging the participants to soak in expert advice to avoid one of the other top reasons for businesses failing 'lack of or taking the wrong advice'.
If you are thinking of starting a business, are based in Mersesyside and could benefit from expert advice, get in touch with the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or

A full write up of the event can be accessed here. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Self Confessed "Passionate & Determined Woman" Irene is Making a Success of Her New Business

Prior to starting her own business Ametrine Enterprise Solutions Irene was a Detective Inspector for Merseyside Police and was the first black, female Inspector in the history of this organisation. But she had always had ambitions to work for herself; 
"I have always worked in the public sector and have had to answer to a supervisor or manager. I wanted to only answer to myself and choose my own hours so I could spend quality time with my son. I also wanted to prove to myself that I can do this and make it a success."

So Irene got in touch with Enterprise Hub Partners The Women’s Organisation and began working closely with Business Adviser Francine Taylor to get Ametrine Enterprise Solutions off the ground! 

Reflecting on the experience Irene said "I found the idea of writing a business plan really daunting! However after speaking to Francine I realised that it wasn’t that complicated and I was able to complete one! Francine was really supportive, motivating and knowledgeable about the many aspects of starting your own business. Her advice and support was invaluable in giving me the confidence to do what I have always wanted to do!"

Irene is really pleased with how things are going so far  saying "I’m very proud of myself; I know I am capable of doing anything I can set my mind to. I am a passionate and determined women and my confidence has grown immensely since embarking on this adventure. My motto is – ‘Your perseverance is your measure of your belief in yourself’ – Keep persevering!"

If like Irene you would like to access expert advice to start a business contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Julie is Enjoying 'New Beginnings' Thanks to Support from Enterprise Hub Partner SAFE

Recently singing the praises of Enterprise Hub partner SAFE Regeneration via facebook, Sefton's Julie Awang is grateful to have received support to start her new business. 

Julie Awang, (pictured) founder of 'New Beginnings Liverpool CIC' recently attended SAFE's business support workshops and is now set up as a community interest company. 

Here's what Julie told us about the experience: 
"Before I came into contact with SAFE I thought I had a plan of action, SAFE helped me discover an improved, viable plan of action. The team at SAFE made me feel welcome as soon as I walked through the door. The workshop I attended gave me options I had not previously known was open to me. Becoming a Community Interest Company will bring benefits to what I offer, ultimately helping me to achieve maximum impact and provide positive outcomes to members of the community. The team at SAFE have helped me achieve this, they offer an invaluable service."

And if reading this you are thinking 'I would like to find out about the workshops from SAFE' or more about the Enterprise Hub FREE business start-up programme, contact 0151 706 8113 or 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

We Just 'KNOW' Lorraine Lewis Will Make a Success of Her New Business @KnowServices

The brilliant Lorraine Lewis launched her business KNOW Services Ltd. with support from Enterprise Hub Partner The Women's Organisation.

Looking back at where the idea came from Lorraine reflected "I identified a gap in the market for providing businesses access to Intelligence Analysts. KNOW Services Ltd would become an extra pair of hands in times of higher demand, or for those who did not need a full time Intelligence Analyst. I wanted to be able to provide the skills and the services that I have to small or more niche organisations. And within the first six months I successfully secured a contact to provide consultancy services in the establishment of a specialised Intelligence Unit for an International Organisation."

With words like ‘Intelligence’ and ‘Analytical’, we’d be forgiven for thinking that Loraine sounded quite like a Spy or a previous employee of MI5, and frankly we weren’t too far off the mark! Loraine’s previous experience comes largely from within the Law Enforcement sector undertaking roles such as Senior Crime Analyst and as part of a Serious and Organised Crime Team, but launching her new business, KNOW, she is taking the skills and experience that she has garnered for the past 14 years and applying it to businesses who are looking to make those important, informed decisions to improve.

To help her get started Lorraine was linked with a business adviser to talk her through the process and invited to attend a number of free training courses the develop her enterprise skills.  She told us about the experience:
"I had the opportunity to attend the Planning for Success course with Bernie – who is amazing! I loved it because she told us that we would have doubts and that the doubts would come – and they did! However knowing that they are going to come makes it just a little bit easier!"

Loraine’s business model works in three different strands…Firstly there is Consultancy where Loraine can work with organisations to implement specific procedures, "So a business could come to me to setup their own Intelligence Analysis unit, but they don’t know how to do it, and I would come in, establish the unit and show them how to run and maintain it." Secondly, Loraine can also fill in the gaps in organisations that already use analysis but don’t have the requirement for a full-time Intelligence Analyst, and thirdly for organisations that do use Intelligence Analysts and have a higher than normal demand that Loraine can assist with.

If like Lorraine you have a wealth of experience and knowledge that you think you might be able to turn into a business, why not contact the Enterprise Hub Team on 0151 706 8113 or to see how we can help.  FREE support is on offer to Merseyside residents thanks to funding from European Regional Development Fund.