WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of women living in Wellington Somerset. Our Membership is made up of new and old mums, soon to be mums or even not thinking about it women.
Our aim is to set up a network for Women working from home in Wellington Somerset and Surrounding areas. We offer business women a forum to network their business and meet likeminded individuals. Our membership is open to both business owners and employed women. We particularly want to encourage women who are new to Somerset and women from other communities e.g BAME women and women from Migrant communities living in Somerset.
After having done extensive research we are aware that there are exciting things happening in the world of women entrepreneurs. Women are now a dominant force in small business ownership and succeeding in industries that were once taboo for women, we are looking to attract women from all races and creeds or beliefs. They may be mobile hair dressers, women selling beauty products, Independent Distributors from energy suppliers to health products, women baking cakes, mobile caterers, the creative types selling their products on line, female electricians, female plumbers, web designers and social media experts.
The team is made up of a group of very talented women, some teachers, accountants, lawyers, support workers and mums bringing up young and older children who are in the process of setting up their micro businesses or they may already be running their successful businesses working from home. We want to attract people who are natural people persons and we love to bring people together. Between us we have more than 30 years experience of working with the Voluntary Sector and with Social Enterprises. We recently registered as a Community Interest Company in 2019, this means we are a legal entity.
The aim is to provide advice and peer support and resources to ensure these women run successful business whilst still maintaining their family commitments. As mothers we understand first hand the need to balance family life with the desire to be financially self sufficient.
At New Horizons Somerset, we have one vision: To provide support for women running micro businesses from home. Statistics are not magic formulas for success, but they can give you important clues about how others are succeeding - or failing.
Statistics on the Rapid Growth of the Number of Women-Owned Businesses:
These statistics show where women's businesses have experienced rapid growth in certain industries.
- Self-employed women are the majority of the newly self-employed. The increase in the number of women in the UK becoming self-employed is unprecedented. Historically, women have made up just over a quarter of the self-employed, but since the 2008 downturn 58% of the newly self-employed have been female. In the last year, self-employment has started to decline for men, but not for women. (Women’s Budget Group, 2016)
- There are now almost 1.5 million women self-employed which represents an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn (Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013).
- Women account for 17% of business owners, ie. owners/ managers/ employers ( Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013)
- UK Women’s businesses have a higher churn rate (ie. more start-ups and closures). But women are less likely to attribute closure to ‘business failure’ and more likely to cite ‘personal reasons’ – which peak at age 25-34 for women. (Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013)
In rural Somerset the statistics indicate that Women working in Microbusinesses is much higher than the national trend. Our membership includes women who are mobile hairdressers, women selling beauty products, women selling energy, women caterers, women plumbers and electricians. You can see we have a wide range of talented women working from home ,or it may be women with a bright business idea not knowing where to go or start.
Our aim is to build a peer to peer support network alongside resource library for members of relevant topics on how to run a business, we will have a platform online as a way to discuss issues of mutual concern whether it be Tax advice or Wellbeing.
Our second aim is to help and support members to grow and achieve their business and personal goals. We also aim to stimulate and advance the creativity of mums in business and appreciate the unique ideas and opportunities for women running micro businesses in Somerset.
Build a resource library on line and off line that will appreciate the unique ideas and opportunities for women running micro businesses in rural areas like Somerset.
(Source Business in a Box Resources)
WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER NETWORKS IS SOMERSET?
This project is different because we concentrate on women running micro businesses, they are already a number of high powered women in business networks who charge a fee for membership . Our vision is to make this network free at the point of contact or charge a nominal fee subsidised by other grant funding we are applying for in the future the whole purpose is to:
- Promote and support the development of women working from home running micro businesses.
- Provide the members with professional development and support.
- Provide the members with an efficient way to meet valuable contacts and share ideas.
- Address issues of Isolation particularly working in rural areas like Somerset .
- Provide solution-oriented learning along with access to subject matter experts. Each learner should leave the sessions with resources and real-life action plans.
- Boost confidence and learn from each other.
- Help members grow and achieve business and personal success.
SO WHAT WILL THE FUNDING DO?
- We will be running a financial awareness training that will equip the members with the skills to set their financial goals; topics will include: making realistic financial plans, track your progress, prioritise accountability and of course celebrating the success.
- We will be launching an online resource library that will be free to members and will include information about: registering with Companies house, Model articles and Memorandums of Association, Business banking, etc.
- The funding will pay for the cost of renting the meeting space and where it is necessary buying in the expertise to enable the members to be fully equipped to run their businesses successfully.
WHY THE NEED FOR THIS PROJECT ?
New Horizons is about empowering mums running micro businesses our vision is to provide tangible solutions and to create a free flow of conversation, creativity. It is important to appreciate the unique ideas and opportunities for women running micro business in rural areas like Somerset.
In Somerset there are a number of women in business networks having attended some of these our research suggests that they are run by high powered high achieving women whom to a small business can be quite intimidating.
By keeping our membership to the local area e.g. Wellington Somerset, we enable local mums to attend the monthly meetings in their own times , no membership fees and be able to meet their family commitments, meet with like minded women, meet and make valuable contacts, shared experiences, shared challenges and explore new business partnerships.
THE DIFFERENCE WE WILL MAKE?
At Somerset New Horizons Network our aim is to offer a holistic approach to success this is unique in that members are expected to view their growth in their Micro businesses as a direct link to their emotional well-being. The women within the network are expected to do both internal and external work. And so the resource centre online will include resources on wellbeing, we have a number of wellbeing practitioners in our membership.
WHERE DO WE SEE OURSELVES IN 5 YEARS TIME?
In 5 years time we will have made your investment in us worth while by doing the following:
1. Built and maintained a thriving resource library for members of relevant and current topics on how to run a business from the registration process to business plans.
2. We will have a vibrant on line discussion group of matters affecting women business owners.
3. We would have helped and supported 500 members to grow and achieve business and personal success.
4. We will have stimulated and advanced the creativity of over 1000 women business owners running their micro business form home.
5. We would have appreciated the unique ideas and opportunities for 1000 women running micro businesses in rural areas like Somerset.
To that end we would like to thank you very much for taking your time to read through this project and thank you in advance for all your support.