I was recently invited to a coffee morning at one of my local primary schools to talk to parents about starting up a business.
It was one of the most humbling, yet inspiring experiences I’ve had in a very long time.
Just a small group of parents – initially quite shy – but then get them talking about their business ideas and you realise the incredible wealth of entrepreneurial potential that exists out there.
Aspiring social entrepreneurs, caterers, therapists, interior designers – all bursting with amazing ideas and niches.
But because they’re carers, either full-time or in part-time work, they find it difficult to access the few resources that exist out there.
All they needed was a show of support, validation that their business ideas weren’t daft, but with a little know-how, were perfectly viable.
The type of support that few of them have been able to obtain from their local council or government.
I learnt 3 valuable lessons:
- A little support goes a long way. When you feel like giving up because your back is against the wall, it takes just one person to extend a helping hand, and that one person could be your saving grace.
- Get a group of individuals together with a common purpose and something wonderful happens. You forget (at least for that moment) the challenges you might have encountered up to that point and you come away enthused to carry on, inspired to do everything you can to support each other.
- We need to reach sectors of our local community at grass roots level to make a real difference in peoples’ lives. It’s the kind of work that I’m passionate about here at Work Your Way, in helping parents of young children create a paid working style that suits their personal and individual circumstances. It’s the kind of work that Enterprise Rockers is passionate about in helping micro business owners keep going in their independent businesses. And it’s the kind of work that my friend and colleague Monica Costa founder of London Mums is passionate about, in creating peer support groups for parents in and around London. I’m personally very proud of the work we’re doing to support our communities, and it’s made me determined to continue doing whatever I can to help.
Where do you turn to for business inspiration? I’d love to know, so please feel free to share.