This year has been amazing. Yes there’s been some difficult and heartbreaking times supporting my elderly mum, but let’s concentrate on the amazing journey we have had launching Role.
Last February, as the first crocuses pushed through, we completed the business plan and successfully applied for a Government Start up loan to invest alongside our own capital. Thank you School for Startups for supporting us.
This, of course isn’t the first business we have built, far from it, but it’s always sensible to match your own capital with third party investment.
As Spring advanced and the lambs bounced about the fields at the back of our cottage, I started my weekly training in earnest for the West Highland Way, planned for the end of July and I used the time on these long walks to take stock of business progress and plan my priorities for the weeks ahead.
We were fast outgrowing the office in the spare room and luckily in April found some superb office space just 5 mins drive from home and right next to the local supermarket (always useful for a working wife and mum). With the office rented, I was able to increase Jo’s (office manager) hours and get out and about chairing diversity debate across the UK, working in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce in my role as Director and UK representative for Female Enterprise. This year, I have chaired 12 debates with over 800 business leaders and educators on issues ranging from ‘The prohibitive cost of Childcare’ to ‘Careers advice in Education’ and also presented at 6 Women’s Business conferences from Aberdeen to Norwich. The Alfa Romeo (red of course!) now has 45000 miles on the clock and is 18 months old!
Many of the leaders I have met have kindly agreed to become Role Ambassadors and by the Summer 2014, we had 30 ambassadors signed and ready to mentor women taking our Role Chartered Management Institute qualifications, so we could start delivering in earnest.
In June 2015, with the trees and fields now vibrant green, Blackburn College hosted our launch event – a combination of debate and training enjoyed by all. Sunny July saw the successful launch of our ‘Women on the Ladder’ events with delegates being challenged to push boundaries and refocus on their goals. Rewardingly, at the end of July, I pushed my own boundaries by completing the West Highland Way with my eldest daughter Laura.
So….. all the training paid off for me with my 100 mile challenge and all our planning has paid off too with Role. Here we are, one year since our launch and celebrating the support we have been given this year by the many colleagues and friends who have recommended us, introduced us to potential ambassadors, helped us raise our profile and become our valued clients.
Our Role team is expanding and we now have 4 fabulous trainers and 14 experienced business coaches. Our Ambassador network has reached 65 incredible men and women.
Now, as we launch our exciting new website, we are able to promote our Role membership which offers a wide range of resources to aspiring leaders. Our Chartered Management level 5 qualifications, which give women globally recognized leadership qualifications, one to one coaching and executive level mentoring are providing feedback beyond our expectations. The four years of research and piloting have definitely paid off.
We are so excited about year 2, with 2 x July Women on the Ladder events, 2 Diversity debates and 3 Conference presentations already in the diary for the summer.
As our 2nd year dawns, we hope you will join us on our journey, become a Role member, take part in our debates, challenge yourself on our training courses and benefit from the funding we can access to support yours own Leadership journey.