In 2015 I wrote Are business growth schemes being dominated by the male agenda? At the time here in Lancashire we were organising Listening Out Loud, a County wide women and business growth event.
The event went very well with 80+ female business owners attending, great workshops and women had their chance to say what they wanted and needed in the way of business support.
I was very excited about becoming a Business Growth Coach to work with women business owners as well as launching a peer coaching club, when out of the blue the Government cut business growth funding.
And so that pushed me, and after more than 3 years of training, discussion, research and planning; last year I teamed up with Rachel Holme and together we launched The Growing Club, a business coaching club for women business owners and women founders of charities and social enterprises.
Is this separatism?
I am aware that some people don’t like women only business support, and that is of course fine, but this is simply about helping to level the playing field.
Many women start businesses for different reasons from men and this can impact on how and when they are able to benefit from business support (see more at http://www.isbe.org.uk/facts )
Women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises have long been overlooked or not taken seriously, but there is a massive increase of women setting up in business, often from home, to manage their lives on their terms.
In July last year EBay published finding showing businesses set up and run by mums as sole-proprietors are flourishing, generating £7.2 billion for the UK economy in 2014, and supporting 204,600 jobs last year alone. See the report here
That is worth taking seriously!
In the report they predicted
By 2025, increased opportunity and flexibility for mums in business, will:
- Add an extra £2 billion to the economy, taking the annual mum-economy to £9.5 billion
- And support an extra 13,000 jobs, taking the total employed by mum-run businesses to 217,600
There is enough research globally to show that women led businesses do so much better when they have experienced women only business support. There is nothing like another female role model to inspire women and girls.
In 2008 the Goldman Sacs Foundation set up the 10,000 Women initiative providing 10,000 women from across 56 countries with business and management education, mentoring and networking. The graduates reported immediate and sustained business growth. Eighteen months after completing the program, nearly 70% of surveyed graduates have increased their revenue and nearly 60% have added new jobs. On average, graduates doubled the size of their workforces and revenues increased nearly fivefold. This initiative has demonstrated that investing in women creates a virtuous cycle, as women use their income and skills to support their families and communities. Nine out of ten participants pay it forward by mentoring and teaching business skills to other women. (read more here)
Goldman Sacs called it womenomics, as you get a 30 x return on every $1 invested in women’s business education.
So what is The Growing Club?
We know that when coaching is good it significantly increases focus and business productivity, but not everyone can afford a coach.
This is an alternative option. It not only makes coaching affordable but also we know that many women did not have the best of experiences of traditional coaching. It’s crucial that you and your coach are a good match (I’m just writing a post on that).
*The Growing Club is a 12 month commitment, because commitment to accountability and regular nurturing is what we need to grow a healthy sustainable business.
*The members will meet monthly, where there will be a seminar and small group work.
*Each women will get a buddy for support throughout the month to keep them on track and everyone will get a 1:1 coaching session with myself or Rachel.
Is this for you? It’s certainly not for everyone. The group is aimed at women sole traders, micro business owners and founders of not-for-profit organisations who are committed to growing their business. You will find full details and testimonials here
Group one graduated this month and cohort three starts on March 28th and will run on the last Tuesday of each month in Lancaster.
This year membership is just £295 (which is highly subsidised) and you can pay in 3 installments.
I will be running an information session on Facebook Live at 9.30am on March 13th. You can join us there if you have any questions or drop me an email at Jane@janebinnion.com, or leave a comment below if you have any questions.
And of course you can find full details and book yourself in here
**We will also be running the programme as a live online group from winter 2017
Kate Manders If you are thinking about doing this, and wavering… DON’T! Just sign up. It’s the best thing I could have done for my business. It gives you confidence, a group of amazing friends who are wholly supportive, and helps you channel your energies in the right direction.
We’re smarter together