Jane Binnion talks about a Pay-It-Forward grant scheme operating for Women in Business in Lancashire, to help startups & existing businesses.
The Growing Club is thrilled to have been chosen as one of ten changemakers in the UK and Ireland, to collaborate on a Changemakers programme, with a committed £1.5 million over three years to support social enterprises that have created bold and innovative ideas to improve resilience and protect against financial life shocks, such as illness, divorce or change in income.
The Growing Club CIC is training a second group of mentors to support our start-up group. Mentoring plays an important role in supporting women in business and is recommended as a strategy for supporting recovery and long-term sustainability.
This is a comprehensive training course that will strengthen your leaderships skills, support your CPD and enable you to apply for paid mentoring opportunities.
This is a three-session course, running on Thursday 22nd April, 29th April and 6th May 2021. Sessions will run from 09.30 – 12.30 via Zoom or in Lancaster. You are required to attend all sessions.
Is it for me?
This funded opportunity is for you if you:
- are a woman running a small business in the Lancaster District
- have been trading for at least three years
- can remember how hard the first few years in business can be!
- want to support a woman starting her own small business
- can commit to a face-to-face session an hour a month for three years
- understand the importance of mentoring as a tool of empowerment
Claire, a previous attendee and Growing Club Mentor, said:
“I found the training really insightful, from active listening skills to techniques of questioning and reflection to help empower fellow women in business to achieve their knowledge and goals. I’ve since gone on to train in coaching, with the mentoring training directly contributing towards my skills and capabilities.
“I love the fact that The Growing Club has such a strong ethic of women-supporting-women, and I’m happy to support a woman in business through her own personal journey.”
The training is free if you commit to working with your mentee for three years. If we have spaces available, we are able to open up this training to others at a cost of £750.
Training will be delivered by Paul Aisthorpe and Nicola Combe. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 07521 314926. You can download the application form here and return to Jane.
Soaad Patel is the owner of Ayesha’s Attire, an independent boutique providing high-quality clothing that helps busy women dress well to feel good. Here she shares her story about how her business started, and how The Growing Club has helped her gain confidence and create solid business foundations. Soaad took part in the 12-month Roots and Shoots course – The Growing Club’s start-up course.
I’m Soaad, and my business is called Ayesha’s Attire. It’s named after my five-year-old daughter. As a single mum, she is my inspiration. What drives me is to give us both a better life. Before having her, I was very into fashion and loved buying clothes. But when I became a single parent I had to rethink my finances.
So I thought of the concept of buying pieces that I can wear over and over again, which are versatile and can be worn at home, or out with friends and so on. I also heard a lot of other women saying the same thing, so that’s why I started my business to help women buy affordable pieces which will go a long way. My pieces are modern, stylish and require minimal effort, you can dress them up with a belt or a scarf, but you don’t have to. Whether you’re a mum or a busy woman, these pieces help you look good. And when you look good, you feel good, and you have the confidence to tackle the day’s challenges.
Obviously, in this pandemic we’re spending a lot of time at home and want to be comfortable, but if you’re on a Zoom call you also have to be presentable. And this is what my business is all about, providing what women need in their new lifestyle, with high quality pieces you can keep for a long time, which are also comfortable.
I started my business last year before my daughter started school, but as she’s a child with a lot of energy, like most children that age, it was hard to concentrate on the business until she started in reception full time.
One of the reasons I started my own business was because I’ve always been a career-oriented person. I used to have five or six jobs at once, working in schools with children, and I loved it. When I became a mum, I felt like I’d lost that part of me, and I missed working, so I worked in retail for a while, but it didn’t have that problem-solving element which I enjoyed, so when a friend suggested I should start my own business, I started looking for suppliers, and it all went from there.
Obviously, I didn’t know how to run a business and I knew I needed support so that’s when I found out about The Growing Club. I had a chat with Jane Binnion and found out about all their courses and really liked the community feel of it. I also liked the fact that there are women at all stages in their business involved in The Growing Club, so whatever stage you’re at, people will relate to you and can help you.
My business is still fairly new, but I know a lot more than I did. For example, I didn’t know about getting the foundations of your business in place, and I went 10 steps ahead. But now thanks to The Growing Club, I know how important it is to do the right steps in order to be successful and to have a concrete business.
In 2021 I would like to continue to build up my customer base and grow my mailing list. When we’re allowed, I want to do pop-up shops as well, as they’re a great way to connect with people.
I’d recommend to other women that they get to know the ethos of The Growing Club, because they’re not like other organisations. It’s a community where women often go through the courses and then become involved in delivering them to others. I’m helping to facilitate the Sowing Club, for example, and I know other women have been through courses and gone on to volunteer and work with The Growing Club too, which is fantastic.
Overall, I’d say the main way that The Growing Club has helped me is with my confidence. I’m much more confident now than I was before I met Jane, and I’m really excited about the future of my business.
Hello and welcome to 2021! Yes, we are once again encased in COVID-19 impacts, with the UK currently in another lockdown situation.
Fortunately, we’re here for you with Wellbeing January (and beyond)! We’re delighted to have been awarded funding from the fabulous Smallwood Trust. As a result of this, we have a brand-new, sparkly Chief Wellbeing Officer, Sarah Ludford.
Sarah’s been super busy, devising a programme of wellbeing and self-care that’s designed to help you keep buoyant, healthy and present throughout lockdown living. Any of the workshops that are run as Facebook Lives will be available to access again whenever you need them, especially if you can’t tune in at the time they are live.
Have a look below to see what we have planned for you…
6th January 2021 – Facebook Live with Gabi Crossley. Gabi is a fully-qualified pre and post-natal exercise specialist. As The Mindful PT, Gabi works with women to balance all aspects of health and movement with everyday life. Link for the event can be accessed here.
6th January 2021, 10.00 – 11.00 am – Start 2021 feeling calm and positive, with a special mindfulness session with Hazel Hardie. This interactive workshop will include a guided meditation and mindfulness exercise about letting go of your worries and creating a positive vision for your year ahead. This is a Zoom class – link here.
Thursdays 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th of January, 12.30pm – 2.00pm – Weekly Drop-in Sessions. Every Thursday, join us for a relaxed session – grab a brew, talk about your business issues or just join us for connection. All women welcome! We offer good peer support and networking opportunities. Link to each week is here.
12th January 2021 – The Sowing Club is returning this month. If you are unemployed or on benefits and looking for your “What next?”, please join us on this fully funded course. There are still places left. Here’s the link to book your place.
13th January 2021 – Facebook Live on abdominal massage with Nicola Garret. Nicola runs Exhale – a wellness studio – focussing on a variety of massages, pregnancy yoga and women’s wellness workshops
She will be giving a demo on abdominal self-care – a simple self-massage that is deeply relaxing and can help digestive, fertility issues and generally help to boost the immune system.
*Postponed* 13th January 2021, 10.00-11.30 – Wellbeing Walk: Enjoying the beauty of nature with Alex, who runs a walking tour business, offering guided nature and heritage walks.
We have an incredible natural wonder on our doorstep. Morecambe Bay is the largest intertidal bay in the UK, the second-largest bay in Britain, teeming with wildlife – over 200,000 birds visit over winter and hundreds of seals colonise here to give birth.
The Bay is also one of the most bio-diverse areas of the country supporting nationally and internationally important species of wildflowers, and woodlands which in turn provide habitats for rare butterflies and red deer.
Join Alex for a 90 min (socially-distanced) walk, taking in the beautiful scenery of Morecambe Bay, discover some of the amazing nature, connect with others and get some exercise and fresh air.
13th January 2021, 4pm – a Zoom Game Party with Fiona Frank
Fiona will facilitate three or four Zoom games to play. It will be a lighthearted session, designed to help you have fun and a giggle together. The session will finish with a dance party so wear comfy clothes and clear your floor! Fiona has worked for the last nine years, up till September, as Projects and Outreach Manager for the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities which, since March, meant moving all the organisation’s events online. She’s learned lots about Zoom along the way, and has led and been part of zoom tech teams for national and international conferences and for a music festival over the summer. As part of her Zoom journey she’s learned a few fun games that you can do on Zoom with friends, family, work colleagues and across large groups of people – whether or not you share a language. They’re all light-hearted, don’t need much equipment, and will be handy to brighten up Zoom meetings that you might be running yourselves in the new year. Link for more information here.
20th January 2021, 12pm, – join Jennie for a session of Hormonal Harmony!
Jennie Edmondson will run a short session of Hormonal Harmony. If you suffer with hot flushes or low energy, she will show you how to work alongside your body to manage hormonal issues. Jennie is ex-military personnel who now works as a coach, specialising in online nutrition, movement and mindset, dedicated to keeping things simple and achievable to guarantee results.
Tuesdays 18th, 25th Jan and February 1st, 10.00 – 11.15am – join Laura Sandham-Smith from The Laura Sandham School of Dance for a jazzy musical theatre workshop!
This fun musical theatre workshop will be based around All That Jazz from the West End musical, Chicago. This dance-style session will work your body without you even realising, because you will be enjoying yourself so much! The routine will be easy to follow and no dance experience is needed. The cost for this course is just £10. Link to follow.
20th January 2021, 3.30pm – 5pm – 6 Essential Ingredients of Emotional Well-being for Building Personal Boundaries with Elaine Remy, Certified Emotional Well-Being Coach.
In this workshop, you will discover 6 Essential Ingredients of Emotional Well-Being for Building Personal Boundaries to prepare you for potentially difficult conversations and one extra ingredient: the cherry on the cake.
20th January 2021, 10.00am – 12.30pm – our January skills workshop is LinkedIn Essentials with Alex Dickson. Find out how to get the best out of LinkedIn for your small business.
Whatever type of business you are starting, running or expanding, having an engaging and professional LinkedIn profile and using its network is invaluable, and it’s FREE!
In this interactive workshop, Alex will help you get your profile page and your business noticed, and show you how to connect with people, businesses and organisations to help your business grow. Alex Dickson spent four years in the Learning & Development Team at LinkedIn HQ in California and has over 20+ years working in the IT industry around the world. She is now happily back in Morecambe, setting up her own Tour Guide business. You can view her LinkedIn profile here.
Tickets for this workshop are just £10, and as always we have some free places for women in hardship. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
27th January 2021, 1pm – 2.30pm – Art For the Heart: A Nurturing Session on Self-Care with Julia Yates from Lancaster Creative Counselling
Join an online art workshop focused on self-care and relaxation. This session is an opportunity to explore simple creative techniques to self-soothe. This includes a guided visualisation to help you tap into your creativity. No talent is required! Please have some paper, felt tips, pencils or paints to hand. This will be a safe and confidential space to focus on you. Link to follow.
This page will be updated with more events and workshops as they are confirmed.
As always, we have some funded places for unwaged or struggling women for any courses that have a cost to them. Please send us a message and let us know if we can help.
The Women and Enterprise Hub, 6-0-5 Alston House, White Cross, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ