Ahead of our live Let's Talk...event: Grabbing Life by the Goals, Cat Ward - Elevator Programme Manager, discusses the successful initiative driven to empower females across the North East and instil entrepreneurship.
"Picking winners: I’ll be honest, I’m not very good at it. I haven’t yet got the winning lottery line or worked out who’s going to nail it on the Strictly dancefloor.
"And it appears that it’s not any easier identifying who is going to be the next big thing in the business world. ‘What makes a successful entrepreneur’ has been the subject of many academic theses and a Google search on ‘characteristics of successful entrepreneurs’ flags up pages of results.
"It’s a question that we’ve asked a lot over last year, whilst working on our Let’s Talk… initiative. These series of activities - powered by Elevator and supported by Royal Bank of Scotland - have been designed to help women identify the challenges they might face in starting or growing a business and crucially, the actions they can take to overcome these, all following one simple theme – “What’s Stopping You?”
"We’ve talked to hundreds of women about the challenges and obstacles that are preventing many from making that leap. Access to finance, family commitments and lack of business experience have all been raised, but time and again, it’s the psychological factors that have been the biggest barrier to starting a business. That voice in your head that says you’re not good enough and don’t have what it takes to be a success. The belief that what you are good at is just a thing that you do, rather than a valuable product or service that people want and will pay for. And my weaknesses – the black holes of procrastination (if I postpone that until tomorrow/next week/next year, I’ll do it better) and over-thinking (the art of creating new problems out of ones that never existed in the first place).
"And in response to this, we’ve spoken to many successful female entrepreneurs to find out how they’ve overcome hurdles and made business work for them. They’ve told us why you must have faith in what you do – how can you expect people to have confidence in you, if you don’t believe in yourself? And - also, why they all have a strong support system that they share and learn from, and the importance of really understanding everything about your customers and what they want.
"But the biggest message has been that once you’ve established that you’ve got a customer base and you’ve developed your plan, don’t let those psychological barriers stop you from achieving your goals. Just do it!
"That’s why I’m looking forward to our next event, an online conversation between communicator and broadcaster, Clare English and founder and creator of Feel, Look, Be, the incredible Shelley Booth. Both have amazing stories to tell about resilience, overcoming hurdles and literally getting down to business. If you want to make that leap, but aren’t quite there yet, these two powerhouses will give you the inspiration to turn those dreams into reality."
Join us at Let’s Talk: Grabbing Life by the Goals on Wednesday, 29th September at 7pm. Our LIVE event will be help across our social channels...make sure you're following them to find out more.Back to all blogs