Unlocking Potential celebrate five woman-run businesses in Cornwall
Five inspirational women in Cornwall
Smoothing a wedding venue’s transformation into a slick, digital operation; helping a business reliant on restaurants and the weather become more (in all ways) sustainable; keeping a small business’s rapid expansion under control; encouraging the newly self-employed to charge what they’re worth: whatever it takes, Unlocking Potential is proud to be enabling and empowering women in business in Cornwall to pursue their dreams and fulfil their ambitions.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day 2022 (Tuesday 8th March) is #BreaktheBias, which highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world.
It seems a suitable prompt to reflect not just on how many of our client’s businesses are started and run by women, but on how we’ve been able to help them navigate and overcome obstacles to success.
Amanda White – Amanda White Digital
Amanda White started her business whilst on maternity leave and during lockdown. Freelance work grew until – with the help of the Breakthrough programme – Amanda White Digital became a fully-fledged business. And Amanda says that the single biggest contribution was the confidence they gave her.
It was the one thing I didn’t have when I started. I’d worked in my niche for ten years: I SHOULD be confident, but to be a business-owner? Not at all … I went out offering a service that I thought was more than my employee’s wage … but then Breakthrough were telling me I could not only double it, but triple it … Thinking I could have less working hours, more time with my child, and still earn the same amount: win-win, so thank you, Breakthrough!
Abi Taylor – Wild Harbour
Wild Harbour’s founder and director Abi Taylor has successfully provided the hospitality industry with sustainable seafood from Cornish waters for over ten years.
Future Focus, in partnership with the University of Exeter, helped Abi launch Coast to Home, which offered the same sustainable, traceable, fresh local fish, but direct to the public. Not only is Wild Harbour expected to triple its turnover in 2022, but Abi’s leadership means she is a compelling role model for Cornish women in business too.
Jenny Shipley – Cut By Beam
Jenny personifies the dream of leaving the day-job to work for yourself. But has had to navigate the early, turbulent years of a business’s life and, lately, the challenge of rapidly scaling up to cope with sudden growth.
InFocus offered Jenny a three-strand solution to help her rise to that challenge through the input of a Business Development Manager, grant support and access to growth planning sessions to control the business’s rapid growth.
I felt that Cut By Beam was at a point where I needed to be in control of our growth for the future – we’ve been operating reactively over the past couple of years. The grant has enabled us to invest in a new machine which will mechanise some processes, speeding up production, improving efficiencies.
Alison Bick – Alison Bick Designs
Alison Bick’s lampshade-design business benefitted from Breakthrough’s coaching on SEO and Google Analytics, moving away from selling primarily on Etsy to selling through a new ecommerce site. In addition, Alison boldly started running live social content. The upside to all of this? Doubling her previous years’ income in just seven months. Another gamechanger moment came from being contacted out of the blue by the producers of BBC’s ‘Escape to the Country.’
One thing led to another: not only did being featured on the show bring Alison’s lampshades and cushions to the attention of many interested viewers, it also led to stockists getting in touch in such numbers she exceeded her wholesale targets for the year.
Emma Caddis – Treseren
For Emma Caddis a thriving wedding venue, progress was less about solving an obvious problem and more about a leap of faith to transform her business. Always spinning plates, working with the Digital Transformation programme meant that within a year Treseren became a paperless, streamlined operation with a new client portal and showcasing Treseren using Augmented Reality (AR).
It can seem overwhelming, and it is an investment of time and energy, but in the end adopting digital has such a timesaver … the business is so much more efficient now, there are no overlaps, it’s been an absolute gamechanger.
What all these stories share is a common theme of resilience, ingenuity, innovation, and a will to succeed which explains why, in 2022, Cornwall is home to so many impressive and thriving woman-run businesses.