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Enterprise, hope and inspiration...Malawi style

The hustle and bustle of Malawi hits you as soon as you leave the airport. Just wind down the windows, let the dust and heat pour in and breathe, listen, watch and wait… I remember my first trip to Africa as a 23 year old- I was running as fast as I could away from corporate London and realised when I landed that I had absolutely no idea where this year would take me…I was enchanted, inspired and addicted to the busy-ness around me, the never ending chatter, the tinkering of bicycle menders, the haggling of market sellers- entrepreneurship at every corner. All around me were people determined to create, market and sell their products, a raw need to get money to survive. This pure entrepreneu

First Women’s Leadership Programme for Local Business Owners Gets Green Light in Glenrothes

Women’s Enterprise Scotland is working with Fife Council Economic Development and Business Gateway Services in Fife to run the first women’s leadership programme of its kind at the new Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes. The twelve month programme – led by WES - launches on 15 June and consists of four workshops spread out over the year, interspersed with online content and support. It is aimed at women business owners looking to lead their businesses through growth to become sustainable, high performing organisations. It is also aimed at female home-based business owners who aspire to progress their business to the next level. Jennifer Lindsay-Finan, Communications and Training Manager at WES sai

Knitting New Connections in Zimbabwe

June is going to be a hugely exciting month for me personally and for Mixter Maxter, as we head out to Zimbabwe to work with knitwear company GoGo Olive. I have had a real passion for GoGo Olive since they began. Knowing founder Julie Hagan from Orkney, I wanted to stock the products in my retail space in Kirkwall and have grown to love the story and ethos of GoGo Olive as much as the products themselves. And what a story it is. GoGo Olive was set up in 2008 as a response to the huge unemployment problem in Zimbabwe – currently at 97% - at a time when conditions in the country were particularly difficult. As well as creating employment for local women, the aim is to give them hope as they

Let's say goodbye to the mumpreneur...

When the eleventh edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published on 6 October 2011 the word 'mumpreneur' was listed for the first time. ‘Mumpreneur’. It’s right up there with one of the business buzzwords I simply loathe. Like many women, I am a mother and I run my own business. The flexibility it’s given me over the past 13 years has worked well for us as a family. Never at any point have I felt the need to combine my work title with my life as a mum. It’s not relevant. My husband, who has been self-employed almost his entire working life, has never felt the need to combine his job title with the fact that he has two children either. If ‘mumpreneur’ is valid, why don’t we use ‘dadp

Supporting women in enterprise...we know what's needed

For the second time, I was lucky enough this week to attend a Cross Party Group meeting at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, on Women in Enterprise. A lot of really good discussions were had around gender aware and gender specific support for women led businesses: both established and start-ups. Convened by Gillian Martin MSP, there were three other MSP's in attendance, representatives from Business Support agencies including banks, representatives of Women's Enterprise Scotland, several fellow women business owners and myself as business owner and WES Ambassador. The purpose of this session was to get a clear picture of the business support available to women in business in Scotland, i

Gender Pay Gap Reporting Doesn't Go Far Enough Fast Enough

More than one InclusIQ client is nervous about what they will find when they dig into the gender pay gap numbers the UK government is requesting under The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap 2017 Information) Regulations 2017. From this month, UK employers with more than 250 staff will be required by law to start gathering data annually on the mean and median difference in salaries and bonuses, how many women versus men received bonuses and where the two genders stack up in the organisation’s pay bands. The first gender pay gap results must be published by 4 April 2018. This BBC short video gives a great run-down on the history of the pay gap since the first Dagenham strikers inspired the Equa

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