She Inspires Magazine Issue 2

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Helping fight period poverty among disadvantaged women and girls

To find out more about the subscription service and Bear Earth get in touch 07476 044 432



14 Northampton Street, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1PA

Bear Earth continues the fight to


An insight into the wonderful work of entrepreneur Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan and the lives she’s benefitted through her community interest company, Bear Earth Words by Fox Whitemore ounded in the midst of the pandemic by Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, Bear Earth aims to help educate and provide women and girls not just in Leicester, but also in the less privileged countries such as Sri Lanka and Nepal, with sanitary products and a better understanding of their own bodies. The lack of hygiene products and knowledge regarding menstruation is an issue that unfortunately affects women all over the globe, with many girls in the UK alone reportedly missing weeks of school due to a lack of understanding around menstruation. Worse yet, women and girls in countries such as Nepal are often forced to share the same cloth when menstruating, being locked out in sheds until their period ends naturally. Bear Earth is working to change this.

So how does Bear Earth Work, and how can you get involved? By signing up to the Bear Earth subscription service, you too can contribute to the efforts that have already been made these past two years. This amazing community interest company has already donated over 50,000 sanitary products worldwide and provided support to over 500 women and girls that desperately need our help. The subscription service provides your preferred sanitary products each month at a cost typically lower than can be purchased on the high street, with all profits made going to the Bear Earth fund. Subscribe at


Good governance for charities


Taking on staff? The legal issues to consider


Finding your voice through business


An accountant’s guide to starting a business


Digital essentials for start-ups


She Inspires Global update


The power of organisation


Protecting your business


Music and motivation in women


How to gain publicity for your charity

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Business: it’s personal Avoiding mistakes on the journey to success Society’s newfound attitude towards work Setting up a business: where to start Creating revenue streams in on-profit organisations

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial Levitha Biji Aimee Culverhouse Emily Miller Kerry Smith Fox Whitemore Tom Young Design Susan Holmes Katie Brennan Photography Hitz Rao Photography Printed by Soar Valley Press – Marketing, sales, and partnerships Sally Smith

Product of Cross Productions Contact us Disclaimer – She Inspires and Cross Productions Ltd are fully protected by copyright; no part of this magazine may be reproduced or reprinted without the complete and expressed permission of the publisher. The greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy, however, there can be no liability accepted by the publisher for errors and omissions. We can under no circumstance be held responsible for any materials, matter or photographical copy submitted for publication or not within the website or magazine. We cannot be held responsible or liable for any breaches of copyright from adverts, materials, or photography or any other such material supplied by a third party. The views and opinions expressed within our publications are not necessarily those of the publisher or indeed She Inspires or any featured parties.

Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan n this second edition of the annual She Inspires Magazine, I’m proud to be able to feature so many experienced business people who have dedicated their time to making valuable contributions in this edition. Page by page, we’ve laid out these articles with the hope of creating a step by step guide on how to structure your business from inception to growth, and how to face the future. You can expect to read about the legalities around taking on an employee through to how to attract new talent with your recruitment process. You’ll read about how to fund your business through grants and loans that you can apply for, as well as how to get savvy and create your own revenue streams. There are also intimate, exclusive stories within this issue from high-flying women who were once caught up in abusive relationships, or those whose confidence held them back speaking on how they overcame obstacles to succeed, which I believe is an inspiration to all of us. Our front cover features renowned lawyer Glynis Wright MBE who we’re grateful to for sharing her very personal story about why she’s passionate for other women to join the business world. She talks about breaking down the barriers to education and finding her voice through running her own company and how you can do it too. She’s an inspirational woman who has agreed to help She Inspires (Global) Ltd through some upcoming projects. Watch this space. We also provide you with an update of what She Inspires has been up to since our very first issue in 2021. Despite the globally challenging period that has impacted many of us, it has been a positive year for She Inspires, which means we remain confident about our abilities to support the not-for-profit sector and by doing so help some of the most disadvantaged women around the world to become more resilient and work to change their communities.

HOPE AGAINST POVERTY How a start-up company that formed during a pandemic found success through She Inspires Words by Fox Whitemore ver the past few years, She Inspires has had the pleasure of working with a great variety of selfless organisations not just locally, but nationally and internationally too. These partnerships have ranged from social enterprises to charities, community interest companies as well as community based unincorporated organisations. The support these institutions have received are carefully tailor made to meet each individual requirement specifically, ensuring the best results and the best customer service. In this issue, we wanted to highlight the growth and journey of an organisation that we supported, right from the ideation stage through to its starting up and growth. Hope Against Poverty is a local community interest company that was set up during the middle of the pandemic in November 2020, with the aim of providing a range of support services for disadvantaged families in Leicestershire and Cambridge. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, assistance from She Inspires opened the door to developing new income streams as well as securing new customers to generate income. A spokesperson for Hope Against Poverty had this to say about their experience with She Inspires: “The associates of She Inspires were there to guide and help us at every

stage of the process, from developing our idea to talking us through the various business structures that were available, and looking at our income strategies. They also helped us with setting up and registering with Companies House as a Community Interest Company. and setting us up with a bank account.” Thanks to the support they received, Hope Against Poverty was able to successfully secure a number of grants from various funders in 2021 and were able to deliver a wide range of services aimed at our target group. Additionally, in 2021, She Inspires was also able to help them set up the Cambourne Community shop, which is currently providing low cost food and household essentials to communities in need around Cambourne. Founding director of Hope Against Poverty, Mahesh Hettiarachchi, had this to say about their organisation’s new success: “We have recently secured a large grant to expand the activities of the shop, and will enable us to recruit our first staff member. Furthermore, it will also help us become more sustainable. I have She Inspires to thank for this.” Contact She Inspires for business support and guidance like this for your start-up. Email

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GOOD GOVERNANCE Lead your company the right way to ensure success and opportunity Words by Fox Whitemore What is good governance? Governance is vital to the growth and sustainability of any organisation and can be defined as a system by which the organisation is directed, controlled or operates, as well as the mechanisms in place designed to hold the organisation and its employees accountable. Since it cannot be defined as one single activity, it must therefore require a systematic approach, incorporating a variety of elements such as oversight, strategic planning, decision making, financial planning, risk management and performance management. For any organisation to be successful, it is important to implement key principles such as: Maintaining high ethical standards at all levels Identify, understand and manage conflicts of interest Maintaining independence in decision making Having checks and balances across the organisation that hold people accountable Identifying risk and mitigating Control financial processes Ensuring open communication between management and employees/stake holders Legal compliance and accountability By adopting the policies mentioned above, you will not only help your organisation protect and strengthen engagement

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with the stakeholder, but it will also help to build the foundation for positive growth and ensure that the organisation is well placed to respond to these respective internal and external changes to the business environment, more so than ever with the challenging times we are all facing nowadays. With all that said, it is important to remember that implementing and maintaining good governance requires having both the technical and the managerial competence and experience that enables the successful execution of all the tasks involved. It also requires the organisational capacity to implement the aforementioned key principles, reliability to ensure this successful execution, and of course respect for the rule of law that holds the leaders and employees accountable. Additionally, being transparent and maintaining open information systems to enable engagement and participation at all levels is essential for the public relations side of the organisation. The important thing to remember is that organisations cannot ignore the importance of effective governance. It is not a one off task that can be dealt with and then ignored; it is an evolving process that requires frequent attention and tweaking where need be. Fortunately, there are a range of resources that you can tap into such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, or if you are a charity based organisation then there is the NCVO.

FINDING YOUR VOICE A lawyer and entrepreneur tells She Inspires why she’s so passionate about supporting women to enter the worlds of further education and business Words by Kerry Smith here shouldn’t be any barriers to anyone when it comes to education of any kind, no glass ceilings,” lawyer Glynis Wright MBE tells me.” Catching Glynis out of court and in between her various partnership projects across Leicestershire, the well-known lawyer, who is prominent in the family law field, had just finished filming at De Montfort University in her capacity as Chair of the University’s Advisory Board for Business and Law. She spoke on film for DMU’s Education 2030 project, an initiative to make learning flexible and accessible for people of any age, background, or circumstance. “Education models must adapt to suit the learner. Everyone should be able to access education and learn flexibly.” Having enrolled as a mature student herself to train as a lawyer, Glynis is passionate that all deserve the chance to use education as the means of making a career change, starting a business or upskilling. “Becoming a businesswoman allowed me to find my voice,” Glynis explained. “More women should consider the prospect of running their own business. I am committed to encouraging other women to find their voice and economic independence.” Glynis attended Windsor Castle in February to receive the MBE she was awarded in 2021 for her services to female entrepreneurship. Glynis was honoured to receive her medal from Princess Ann and was hugely impressed that she had learnt about Glynis’ endeavours including

the Pulled Both Ways project to help protect children of divorce. “She had clearly taken the time to get to know why we had received our medals. It was such a mark of respect.” On the MBE itself, Glynis said: “Receiving the medal motivates me to look at ways in which I can work to support more women in their entrepreneurship. “I’m passionate about helping other women in particular as so often we are disadvantaged in our careers by being the main carers of our children, meaning our own skillset is lost over the years of caring for our young children. Women often think that they have no choice but to return to work in low skilled jobs after their children have grown up, but this is not the case. I want other women to find their potential just as I did.” Glynis shared that she had no money when she decided to set up her own law firm, borrowing £10,000 from her father, every penny of which she paid back in her first year, to do it. Her firm grew rapidly and when the firm reached a £1.2m turnover, she sold her business to Nelsons law firm as part of their ambitious growth strategy in the Midlands. Glynis is now a Partner and Head of the Leicester Family Law team with Nelsons here in Leicester but is also engaged in multiple partnership projects in the wider community. Glynis adds, “The generosity of people in our incredible Leicester community does exist, they want to support you. To make a positive difference to the life of even one other person is an incredible gift, so search out those who are willing to give.”

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IT’S PERSONAL Starting a business is often solely about making money. But, for one Leicester entrepreneur Hemi Tanna, setting up her own business with the help of Leicester’s business community after leaving an abusive relationship it became a lifeline Words by Emily Miller

or property mogul Hemi, the way back to herself after an abusive relationship was through starting a business on her own. “I chose to focus on the part of myself that my ex-husband never had access to to destroy. The corporate side of me was still there, I put my energy into repairing my identity by embracing my business side,” she opened up to me. “My experience of owning my own business is that they aren’t separate from a personal one. I am thankful that they aren’t, in fact. Through my business I rebuilt my confidence, I got stronger by achieving. I found myself again.” Adopting an ’ask questions’ attitude, Hemi’s confidence grew, and now, as her company reaches an eight-year milestone, she talks about how her working life has taught her what it takes to do business in alignment with your own moral compass. “I do so much on instinct with my landlords and their tenants. There’s strength in using the experiences of our past to shape how we do business moving forward.”

environment of her working life, and who she works for. “I won’t work with clients who don’t align with how I want to do things. I do what I can to encourage the growth of my business in a healthy way.” And grow it has, since starting her property company Bitex Home, Hemi has transformed her life from one of despair to repair and the healing processes it has brought her are all part of the shaping of who she has become. “I compare my experiences to the life of a new home. It takes six years for a house to settle into its foundations, those settling cracks are all part of what makes it a home.” Meeting challenges along the way head on, seeking support when she needed it and reminding herself why she started the business in the first place, Hemi is an example of what can happen when you carve out a goal and head steadfast towards it. “I look back now, and how I started my business – it helped heal me, find myself again and gave me strength at a time when I didn’t have any. I encourage anyone who wants to create a business to do so but by seeking help and support

She adds: “It has affected the relationships I have with my landlords and their tenants in a positive way – I make it personal. I know that a house is more than a house for the tenants and if we all treat it as such, a longer-term relationship thrives – which saves everyone time and money.” Her renewed ability to follow her gut has led her to make bold decisions about the

along the way.” There’s a great deal of help for start-ups here in Leicestershire. Make use of our local business community to support you in your entrepreneurial journey, call upon local companies and experts for advice and guidance. You can also speak to Hemi for advice on any property and rental concerns you may have on 07515 157 136.

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Magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone Get more from your Business with East Midlands Business Coach Phil Nassau

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HOW TO DISCOVER SUCCESS for your new business Business coach Phil Nassau gives an overview of how to plan and the mistakes that can be made on the road to success hat seems to stop most of us from discovering success in business and life is our genetic coding to look for the easiest path. We’re on a never-ending quest to find the path of least resistance instead of committing to what it takes to achieve our desired outcome for our new fledgling business. Most of us at some point have taken this path, we too easily expect success just to happen and when it doesn’t we blame other factors. Success does not come without some sacrifice. For your business to get further along the road to success you need to take time out to plan. When planning, it’s critical to: Understand your current situation Describe in writing the clear outcome of your desire Define the obstacles preventing the attainment of the outcome Design and predict the activities that need to be performed Research the industry your business will be operating in Evaluate the competition’s strengths and weaknesses Figure out your customer’s unfulfilled needs and frustrations Identify the exact problem customers want solving Commit to the promise your brand makes that will remove your customers’ pain

There are three mistakes we can fall into when putting your plan together: 1. Substituting a description of your destination for a ‘road map’; which is your plan of exactly how to get from where you are to where you want to be. 2. Falling in love with the dream, the destination itself. 3. Creating a ten-year plan. It’s never really a plan but rather an idea, a dream, wishful thinking. Too many things are happening way too fast with too many competitors and changes in the business environment to predict any financial performance 10 years out. Stick to no more than a three-year plan, have a focus on the first year and real detail on the coming ninety days, and work on them daily. The value of planning is the clarity of being able to explain your strategy and blueprint, to increase your level of financial success. If you have no plan that details your desired outcome, you’re in a constant state of reacting to the problem. If you are reacting, you’re already too late. Like most things in life, success comes through planning, but with the speed of life in our world today, we lose accountability of our plan and before we know it, we’re off track and then success starts to waiver and we are back to looking for the easiest path. So start today, take time out to create your plan, have someone help you do this who will hold you to account who won’t listen to your excuses. If the success of your business is your goal start today. If you need help, you can find more tips and helpful videos at

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SPRING BOARDING YOUR CAREER Employment specialists ER Recruitment share many of the population’s newfound attitude towards work. Here they encourage others to take advantage of the shifting trend in recruitment thanks to the pandemic

ver the last few years, there has been a real focus on ‘survival’, but as business is in the notion of getting ‘back to normal’ we are gradually seeing the shift from survival mode to thriving mode. COVID restrictions are no longer holding individuals back and neither are their selflimitations. For a long period of time, it was traditional to follow set out routes into a career and in some cases, to have exact qualifications to do certain jobs. One major shift that the pandemic brought about was the changes in attitude towards individuals’ current roles and prioritising where their passions truly lie. Alongside this altered attitude, there have been other notable changes which may be of interest to professionals looking for a new opportunity post-pandemic.

Businesses are adapting The market is heavily candidate driven with skill gaps occurring across a variety of industries resulting in employers being more open minded when it comes to a candidate’s experience. For candidates themselves, this is immensely positive as they are likely to have more opportunities in securing roles that previously may not have ‘matched their skillset’.

Employee’s requirements are being listened to The experience of working through a global pandemic has inevitably altered employee attitudes to jobs and careers. Many professionals are now actively seeking roles that guarantee them a work-life balance. This may be in the hours they work, through the ability to work from home, or the offer of increased flexibility within their roles. Many employers have recognised the importance of these benefits and have implemented schemes to coincide with this.

Top Tips Taking the first step into employment, or making a big change within your career path can feel daunting. However, there are a variety of ways you can take risks and be smart about them at the same time:


Become commercially aware – research the jobs available and the transferrable skills you have that identify with the role.


Grow your personal brand on LinkedIn and through networking to learn from likeminded professionals and share ideas.


Stay focused on why you decided to make a career move and what is really important to you in your next role.

For more recruitment tips or to see how ER Recruitment can support you in your career search, contact our experienced team on 0116 254 9710 or

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An Organisation Covering the basics of starting your own company to earn your own moneyWords by Levitha Biji Starting a business can seem very complicated and daunting initially. Between the phases of having a business idea and registering your business, there are some steps you must consider, including a way to plan, discover funding, and more. To help you out, we’ve covered the basics on how to start your business properly.

YOUR BUSINESS IDEA AND INSPIRATION This will be the backbone of your business: having a great idea. Make it something you are passionate about and that you won’t get bored of. Choosing a niche field will make you stand out from others. Make sure it is something you are happy to put a lot of time, money, and energy into making it a success. CHOOSING THE PERFECT BUSINESS NAME The name you choose for your business will speak for itself as it will be the basis of your brand’s personality. Choosing something unique will help you stand out from the crowd. Keep it short and simple. Dare to be different and be original. CHOOSE A LEGAL STRUCTURE There are three options you can choose from: Sole trader – the easiest business structure with no legal distinction between you and your business. Partnership – this will be ideal for you if you are starting your business with a partner. Limited company – the most complex as it will have more than two admins, which makes your business legally distinct from you as an individual. YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY This step will help you think about your business methodically and is arguably one of the most important document of any business. It assists you with finding out about your essential

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objectives, financials, market research, and likely obstacles. Plan the business location, how much space you need and how much rent you’ll be paying. While you go through the process of creating your business plan, you will come across questions you don’t have the answers to, which you can use as a learning guide. Don’t be afraid of changing things, not everything you write down must be set down in stone. A CLEAR OUTLINE OF YOUR FINANCES You need to think about how much money you are willing to invest into the business. This can be through your savings or using loans from either friends, family, or a bank depending on the size of your business. You might be eligible for business grants, which would lift a weight off your shoulders, so it might be worth checking for government funding. ADVERTISING STRATEGY You can attract customers through marketing, branding, and online and offline promotions. Build a social media presence, create a website with SEO tools, emails, newsletters, print marketing and networking events! Be everywhere. LAUNCH YOUR BUSINESS Now you should have a lot more knowledge about your business than you started with. Focus on your marketing plans during your launch and consider offering rewards as it will help you gain traction early on.

DIVERSIFYING your income

Revenue streams for non-profit organisations during a time when limited funding is available Words by Fox Whitemore ue to the nature of most non-profit business models, charities and voluntary organisations are largely dependent on funding in the form of grants donated by trusts, foundations and other philanthropic organisations such as the National Lottery, for example. Unfortunately, due to the increasing demand for welfare caused by a number of recent factors, fundraising has become one of the biggest challenges for small voluntary sector institutions operating on a shoestring. This inability to raise the necessary funds is leading to many of these firms and institutions having no choice but to close down or reduce the services they can offer, or at best they are forced to design short term projects that ultimately may not create any real impact for their beneficiaries. Additionally, there is always the danger for many of these organisations chasing such limited funding that they end up designing services to meet the needs of the funders, rather than the needs of the beneficiaries that are relying on the support. In this current environment, it is absolutely vital that non-profit organisations look for new ways of diversifying their income and reducing their dependency on grant funding, allowing them to focus funds where it really matters. Listed below are some options that charities and voluntary organisations can explore, depending on the nature of the work they do as well as the capacity and skills they possess within their team.

Corporate fundraising or sponsorships Community events Individual donors Government funding Commissioning (public or private sector contracts) Crowdfunding Trading (good or services) Legacies Social financing It is essential to bear in mind that not all options will be suitable for every organisation, and some elements will require more resources (specifically money and people) than others will. For this reason, it is very important for these institutions to take an honest look at resources they have available and use this information to develop a sound fundraising strategy that suits their situation personally, while also gaining the best return on investment. In addition to this, there is of course the need for organisations to stay relevant to the desires of their beneficiaries, adopting a full cost recovery model when applying for funding. This is done to reduce the risk of having to dip into reserves. It is also vital that the governance for the organisation is strengthened by not just recruiting a skilled board to help run things, but also streamlining existing systems and processes in order to adopt a lean structure that will reduce the need for massive overhead costs. Most importantly, it is essential to think of the needs of the beneficiaries that are in need of support rather than viewing this as an ‘individual passion’ and thinking of setting up a charity or community group as the solution to a beneficiary’s issues. Are there any existing opportunities to collaborate and merge, creating an efficient and effective team to combat the situation properly?

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As a thriving start up with plans to expand and one day, maybe, change the world, the last thing you want impeding your progress is employment law concerns. Our employment law services are tailored to organisations of all sizes - from small start up to any size thereafter. We’ll keep our minds focussed on the legal nitty gritty while you keep your heart and soul invested in those things which set your pulse racing; your products or services and how you can expand your enterprise.

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TAKING ON STAFF Your business might still be in its early stages but if you’ve found that you need to take on someone to help, you’ll need to consider legal issues. Laura Kearsley, partner and solicitor specialising in employment law at Nelsons, explains

t’s a significant milestone for any business or organisation when they reach the point of looking to take on employees for the first time. Whilst having help, support and additional expertise is an exciting prospect, the responsibilities of becoming an employer can be daunting.

Here are our top tips for becoming an employer. 1. GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER It is a day-one right for all employees to receive a written statement of their employment terms and conditions. Not only is it a legal requirement, we also recommend setting everything out in writing so it is clear what is agreed and expected. You should also consider whether the job needs a job description document setting out the expectations and requirements for the role.

2. SET A PROBATIONARY PERIOD Use a probationary period to check out whether this is going to work for you. We recommend including a clause in the terms and conditions setting out that the first three or six months of employment are a probationary period, so the employee knows that their suitability for the role is going to be monitored. At the end of the probation, you can decide whether the employee has passed, whether the probation needs to be extended or, if you’re unhappy, you can terminate their employment.

3. USE FREE RESOURCES As with any internet research, the reliability of information and template documents on the web can vary. We recommend the ACAS website which has lots of guidance notes on HR and employment law topics as well as

4. PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPRESS CONCERNS Make time for regular catch ups with your employees. Give them the chance to feedback any issues and to give yourself the opportunity to informally raise any niggles or concerns before they become more serious.

5. GET YOURSELF CLUED UP Consider investing in training for yourself in people management and HR issues.

6. ASK FOR HELP The more employees you have, the more likely you are to have issues; such as misconduct, performance concerns, sickness absences, or grievances. It can be hard not to take these personally but try to remain calm and objective and consider taking professional advice. If you need help in this area, feel free to email me on

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Starting a new business? We are here to help you start your business. We can offer advice from brainstorming ideas through to setting up and registering your business correctly. Once up and running we will help with accountacy & bookkeeping, tax advice and planning, ensuring all regulations are complied with, and offering continual business support. At AIMS we are here to help your business succeed with professional advice as you need it.

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AN ACCOUNTANT’S GUIDE TO STARTING A BUSINESS There are many aspects to starting a business that can seem daunting when you’re setting up. Imran Sattar of AIMS Accountants gives us a step-by-step guide of what to consider Words by Tom Young

2 Conduct market research 1 Brainstorm your idea A great idea is the reason you decided to strike out on your own and start a business. You’ll need to refine and test that idea to make sure it’s a viable option.

Many businesses fail because there is no market need. To prevent this, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of how and where your business idea fits in the market. Conduct thorough market research on everything from potential customers to industryrelated reports and statistics.

7 Set up an accounting system The right bookkeeping system will help you maintain a good record of what you owe and own. With a bank account, you will be able to accept payments and pay your creditors. You will also be required to set up a business bank account that’s separate from your personal one.

An organised plan is essential. At its core, a business plan serves as a roadmap for how to structure, operate and manage your new venture. It also helps attract potential partners, investors and banks, and lets you break down the cost of starting a business.

4 Choose a legal structure The most common types of businesses are: Sole trader: A business owned by one individual, who takes all legal responsibility Partnership: The formal agreement between two or more people who work together toward a common goal Limited Company: An organisation legally considered to act as a single entity

6 Apply for tax UTR As a registered UK business, you’re going to need to apply for an identification number from HMRC called Unique Tax Reference (UTR). This is how your business is recognised by the government when it comes to paying taxes.

3 Write up a business plan

5 Check out competitors You’ll need to analyse your competition. Conducting competitive research helps you learn about the market, your potential customers and forecast industry trends. It will also help you predict how others will perceive you and make improvements to your own venture. Most importantly, you’ll learn what other companies did right and which mistakes to avoid.

For more advice on points 4, 6 and 7, give Imran a call on 0116 215 4700

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9 DIGITAL ESSENTIALS for start up businesses Sometimes, the most obvious things are the

1. Appropriate laptop/desktop with anti-virus and file backup This may seem like an obvious place to start, but is your hardware equipped for your business needs and do you have the software to protect it? You might start out on your personal laptop, but long-term, you’ll need something capable of keeping your data safe and the memory to process your workload. 2. Internet connection If you work from home, a stable internet connection is vital – you’ll need to decide between mobile or fixed broadband. If

4. Company email address Armed with a domain, set up your company email. This makes you look more credible than a Hotmail or Gmail account. It’s part of your branding, and often the first touchpoint for your business. 5. Company Branding You might not think of this as a digital essential, but branding affects every part of your business. Your website, your email signature, your social media pages… It’s so important to get this right as good branding helps you stand out. 6. Company website This can be a simple web page to start with. Over 80% of customers expect your online presence to include a list of services and how to contact you. As you grow, you can add new elements like client testimonials, blogs or an image gallery. Most customers will find you on Google, so set up a free business profile. This will allow you to highlight your service credentials and respond to reviews. You should also create social media pages – LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook – as they’ll allow you to engage with your customers and build a following and brand loyalty. 7. Microsoft 365 Licence Microsoft’s Office Suite is easily the most universal software for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, meaning you’ll have fewer compatibility issues when collaborating and communicating externally. It also comes with useful tools like OneDrive – this will allow you to securely store your files in the cloud and enable sharing with others. 8. Customer Relationship Management system An online CRM system can help you to log your clients’ and

your business has its own premises, you’ll need to remember to get an internet connection installed there too. 3. Company domain name Your domain name is your web address. Ensure that you can get the domain name you need – no business wants to be using (unless your business is actually called “Megacorp783”). Keep your domain simple.

prospects’ details and keep them ready for future marketing campaigns. There are many free CRM tools to get you started. 9. Telephony requirements A cloud-based phone system allows you to turn your mobile into your office phone, and work remotely via an app. This could be Teams (included in Microsoft 365), Skype, or even WhatsApp.

things we forget. She Inspires spoke with Anil Motivaras from Giga Ops Ltd about the IT requirements that any new business needs to consider Words by Tom Young here are many considerations when starting a new business. Do you need your own premises? Where are you going to sell your product? What is your target market? In the modern age, it’s important to remember that a lot of your business interaction will take place on a digital platform. Giga Ops’ Managing Director and IT Specialist, Anil Motivaras, gave us a list of digital essentials that new business owners need to consider.

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FINANCING YOUR BUSINESS Funding options to help get your business off the ground Words by Aimee Culverhouse When beginning a new business venture, funding can be one of the first things that runs through your mind and, more than likely, one of the first causes of stress. You could have a unique product, service or business strategy all ready to go, but without access to the right funding, it could become quite a challenge to get your business off the ground. We’ve researched some of the funding avenues available. START-UP LOANS If your business has been trading for less than 24 months, a good option would be a start-up loan. These can be applied for via the website and can get you a personal loan (unsecured from your business) anywhere from £500 £25,000. ASSET FINANCE This is a funding option to cover the costs of equipment such as machinery, computers, or vehicles. The benefit of this type of funding is that you don’t have to pay for your equipment up-front and can instead take up to three years repaying the asset finance company. REVENUE LOANS These are good for businesses that are still growing. They’re similar to business loans but instead of a fixed monthly amount, you pay more when you earn more and you pay less when you earn less as repayments are made as a percentage of your turnover. CROWDFUNDING You could create a publicity campaign to gain funding. Crowdfunding is essentially asking for finance support from your business’s loyal base of customers or the general public. Crowdfunding can be great for community projects or if your business has a mission or aim that looks to help

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others, something in which people want to actively support. Fundraising can attract attention and members of the public who donate can develop a strong personal connection to the business and wish to see it succeed. HIGH STREET LENDERS Business loans can often be applied for via banks such as Santander and Barclays to name a few. Businesses that have been trading for more than 24 months are more likely to secure a bank loan as these businesses have a trading history. The funds can be used for a variety of business purposes such as renovations, technology investments, training and staffing, business acquisitions, real estate purchases, and more. THE FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES (FSB) FSB is a community of experts who help small businesses to flourish and campaign on their behalf to bring about positive change in government. They have a podcast and helpful articles that offer advice, support and financial expertise and is free for all to access. FSB offers its own funding platform to their members who pay a yearly fee. Search FSB Funding Platform, to be taken to their sign-up page to get started. EAST MIDLANDS CHAMBER The Chamber offers free business advice calls and access to a large database of companies offering grants, loans and alternative finance options to start-up businesses. The database is provided via Business Gateway Growth Hub. The Chamber’s Digital Growth Programme offers a grant scheme of between £2,000 to £25,000 to businesses across Leicestershire, to assist with the implementation of new digital resources to improve business performance and productivity. Search East Midlands Chamber grant opportunities, to see more of the options available to you and your business.

AN UPDATE As a writer for She Inspires Magazine, I took a look back on the past year since the first published issue in March 2021 Words by Fox Whitemore ver the course of the pandemic, we have been heavily focused on the needs of our partners to effectively deliver emergency support and welfare to communities severely impacted by COVID. This support consisted of distributing much needed food to those who were in need, delivering school equipment to children who did not have access to such items from home, and also working on housing and sanitation projects alongside providing medical aid. Jane Binnion, Managing Director of The Growing Club Community Interest Company (CIC), is one business partner that She Inspires (Global) has previously supported. She said: “Now that New Enterprise Allowance has ended, with nothing but loans to replace it so far, the financial support for women on benefits who want to start a small business has been removed. This will inevitably reduce the number of women who will choose this route as a way to earn their living. “The funding from She Inspires has been a much-needed kick-starter to enable The Growing Club CIC to create a seed funding pot. This will be available for women with strong business ideas, to go through our start-up programme and apply for a small grant for equipment etc, to get their business off the ground.” Since the foundation of our business in 2018, we have personally supported five grassroots projects in Sri Lanka and

Nepal, on top of providing quality enterprise development support and seed funding to over 30 female-led start-ups. The purpose of She Inspires is to help expand small nonprofit organisations and charities and start-up businesses by offering a range of bespoke and useful support services. The company profits raised by She Inspires are then donated to women-led grassroots movements and projects around the UK, as well as developing countries around the world. We also sponsor a number of important and exciting programmes: the Chamber of Commerce Women in Business awards, the Niche Business Awards, and the Leicester Community Champions awards, all of which share the aim of celebrating the achievements of women and of the local community. In 2021, we were happy to announce the launch of the She Inspires Magazine and the official opening of the She Inspires Community and Enterprise hub, located at 10 Bishop Street. It serves to support small but growing voluntary groups and women-led businesses, offering a range of support services such as training, meeting room space, co-working space, networking opportunities and of course support with setting up and growing your business or voluntary sector organisation. For more information on the support we provide, or if you are interested in using the hub services, please contact us at, or call at 0116 482 6598.

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ORGANISATION Perhaps you could call her the queen of organisation, virtual administration business owner Joanne Peters started her own business from home with a busy family life. Here, she tells Emily Miller it’s all in the planning rganising your life in such a way that frees you as a business owner, especially as you start out in business, allows you to work on what you are passionate about, what lights you up as an entrepreneur. “I can’t tell you how powerful organising the administration side of your business is. Not only does it free you up to do the day-to-day elements of your business but it allows you to carve a balance in your business and personal life,” Jo tells me. Perhaps you have an idea to start up your own business but are intimidated by the administration side of things? The skills needed to start a business needn’t all be on you. Seeking outside support, having the right people in your corner from the very start helps to build the right foundations and culture as well as balance in your life. “So many of us have families to come home to or are working from the family home. Having people to support the aspects of your business and your plans for its future is more helpful than you might think. “In addition, hiring the right team, whether that’s as employees of your own business or outsourcing parts of it is another element of running your own business that I have come to realise its importance, not only through my own business, but seeing it in our clients too.” Embarking on starting a new business can feel

overwhelming, as Joanne remembers herself, “It’s pretty daunting, especially if your background isn’t in things like administration, the corporate world, the financial sector or if you aren’t especially an organised person. There are people to help with that though – don’t do it alone!”

Jo’s Top Tips 1. Declutter your space A tidy space is a tidy mind. Whether you are at home working or in an office space make sure you have a way to clear your desk so that things are filed neatly and you don’t feel ‘under’ it all. 2. Automate, automate, automate Use technology as much as possible to do the work for you – automated emails, task lists and spreadsheets can free up some of the repetitive things and therefore time. 3. Manage your workload with ease Outsource your workload – whether that’s through delegation to your staff or outsourcing with a company. Time management is key! Jo has offered She Inspires readers a free no obligation consultation for tips on how to get organised, just call 0116 366 2040 or email

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BUSINESS You’ve had a business idea; you’re very excited about it. You’re ready to take the plunge, but where do you start? Wills and estate planning specialist Bhavin Gandhi, director of Paradigm Wills and Legal Services advises on what to consider when setting up your business s a keen networker, I recommend attending various networking events to meet people so they can get to know you, listen, and understand some of their experiences. At some events you will connect with people that you may be able to help regardless of whether you’re a new business. Likewise, there may be people there who can help you. I love networking and meeting new people but it’s also great to see people you already know that you have not seen for a while. I have built some of my key relationships from networking so I would completely recommend this. Making sure you have the right people around you is key to success and growth. You will need an accountant to help you put some processes in place, making life easier in the long term, and as a start-up you will possibly need someone to hold your hand if you’re new to business. Choosing the right type of accountant is something that needs to be researched early on. If you are looking to recruit, speak to an HR company or consultant to understand what you need to have in place, so when you are ready to recruit you have a robust on-boarding process to take on staff. At times, I see people recruiting without issuing contracts of employment, even after new recruits have been working for a few weeks already. With both the accountant and HR team, you need to make sure you are

on the same wavelength and there is good synergy between you. These relationships tend to be for the long term, so don’t rush into choosing people straight away. When setting up your business, it’s wise to start by ensuring it isn’t solely reliant on one person, setting it up for longevity and survivability. If you are setting up a business with someone else, speak to a lawyer about shareholder agreements to outline who owns what shares of the business. I have come across many issues when this document has never been made between business partners and one of them has passed away. Regardless of being friends and family, this is a must. This might sound biased, but the first thing I’d recommend is to establish your business’s Lasting Power of Attorney. It will instruct who can act on behalf of your business in case you’re incapacitated by accident or severe illness and ensure things like salary payments continue to be processed. Similarly, get yourself a business coach. Someone who’ll push you to keep progressing and stay focused on your goals. It’s useful to have someone to bounce ideas off. My main advice; never be too shy or scared to ask someone you know for help. Your network is invaluable, whether that be personal friends or business contacts – even if they can’t help personally, they might be able to put you in touch with someone who can.

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Beat the blues by bringing in the jazz! No matter what your business you want it to run smoothly, be this assigning workloads, managing partnerships or setting out your budget. But running a successful business is about more than just your day to day operations. It’s about providing an excellent service for your customers or clients. It’s also about encouraging teamwork and supporting collaboration; but most of all, it’s about keeping your workforce focused whilst safeguarding their well-being. Many of us choose to listen to music in our day to day lives as it has the potential to make us feel more positive and upbeat. Listening to music at work could have a similar effect. Playing music in the workplace could help to create a more upbeat and energetic environment and could help to keep staff positive, engaged and support with mental health and well-being.

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GETTING INTO YOUR GROOVE It’s long been researched and debated that music can have a positive impact on productivity and motivation, particularly in women. We spoke to music licensing company PPL PRS about why this could be Words by Kerry Smith e all have our own talents, individuality and creative ideas, so it really is no wonder that the number of start-up businesses is consistently growing – nearly 80 new businesses were registered per hour in the first half of 2021, according to Small Business HotSpots UK. This of course includes those lead by women. Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship by HM Treasury reported in 2019 that around a third of all UK entrepreneurs are women, with many stating factors such as family commitments and work-life balance as the main reasons to start a business rather than to not. With women making up less than half of all entrepreneurs, we wanted to investigate ways that women can feel more motivated to set up their own businesses. The music licensing team at PPL PRS has found some research that shows women are actually more motivated by music than men. According to research by the BPI, over three quarters of people said that they feel more motivated after listening to music, a figure that was even higher in women, rising to 81%. Music plays into our lives so often that it’s bound to come into play in our working lives. you might not realise consciously, but if you’re looking to set up your own business – perhaps you want to launch a brand-new product or offer a service, or combine several of your interests to launch a quirky, new experience, or simply want to offer customers exactly what they need at affordable prices – music may

play a big part. Rhiannon Jepson, PR & Communications Executive from PPL PRS said: “Listening to music can help to focus the mind, improve concentration and increase productivity, particularly when thinking outside the box or searching for inspiration for new and creative ideas. “It can influence our mindset and evoke emotions, which could be why women in particular feel even more vitalised when listening to music as they work, whether this is to create feelings of happiness, joy or even fresh energy. “When starting up a business, it can be easy to lose yourself in working long hours or push yourself to the limit, so just before you do, tune in to the radio or blast out some of your favourite tunes to help to boost energy levels, keep you feeling relaxed and more importantly, allow you to switch-off and enjoy a much-needed break. “From stopping for a sing-along to your favourite song, to listening to the daily trivia on your favourite radio show. “When it comes to your customers, playing music could help to enhance the atmosphere and create a more welcoming space. It could help to make people feel at ease, give your business a more relatable feel and help to create a more unique and appealing atmosphere.” So, as you’re busy making a business that is just as unique as you are, music could help every step of the way. For more information about music and the benefits of using it in your start-up business, visit

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HOW TO GAIN PUBLICITY FOR YOUR CHARITY From casual conversations to structured press releases, publicity comes in many forms. Here are a few reminders of where to gain positive exposure Words by Levitha Biji haritable organisations help communities grow as well as helping to improve the brand image of a business that is supporting them. Nowadays though, customers and consumers are getting better at identifying if an organisation is trying to improve their brand name or if they genuinely care about supporting a cause. Here is how you can go about gaining genuine publicity for your charity. Social media can be your power tool Over half the world’s population now uses social media, according to Data Reportal. People use social media daily and so it one of the most powerful toolkits one can own in business. Every social media platform has its own purpose and audience, so making sure you’re not going in blindly is key. Online promotion is possibly the best way to promote your charity as it allows you to stretch your budget at the cost of nothing. It is simply perfect for generating excitement and raising awareness. Realistically, there will be many similar organisations like yours trying to promote themselves on social media. The best strategy to avoid becoming lost in all the noise will be to know your target audience. A great example is if your goal is to reach business owners, focus your online presence on platforms such as on LinkedIn instead of Facebook.

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Offline promotion In-person promotion rarely comes free of cost, however there are ways can promote your charity for free if you think outside of the box. Recruiting volunteers from your local community to distribute flyers who are also advocates for the cause is one way of doing this. Physical flyers work differently to online platforms and mean you can include more information than people like to see in social media posts, allowing you to provide additional details about the charity. Focusing on the charity itself is the golden key when promoting physically as potential donators should be aware of the good cause you are trying to raise money for. By ensuring that everyone you speak to about your charity knows the type of beneficiaries you’re helping and how you’re helping them, makes word of mouth publicity more meaningful and accurate. It can draw more generous donations from the public. Radio and newspaper promotion Local radio stations are likely to donate some airtime to promote your cause. Reaching out to local radio station managers is a great idea to passively promote your charity cause to keep it under budget as you want most of the money to go to your charitable cause. Contacting local newspapers should be one of your priorities as they might be interested in covering any charitable events or successful case studies. Sending out a press release is the best way to gain coverage as journalists more likely to feature your story this way.

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She Inspired Business Playbox Project If the answer is yes, please contact us at:

Zinthiya Trust

we are here to help you! Call us on 0116 482 6598, email at or visit our website for more information. The She Inspired Business Playbox provides FREE support for women who are unemployed or not actively seeking work to learn, explore, take action and progress their employment opportunities, business ideas and goals Let us be part of your journey of discovery and ambition. To help you along the way, you will: ● Have access to a personal job/business coach,

mentoring you to reach your goals and helping you to overcome barriers and challenges. ● Be part of a unique business entrepreneurship learning programme, with practical workshops and a range of accessible resources, helping you get your business idea off the ground.

● Receive personalised support and tools to enable

you to generate and prototype business ideas and raising your awareness of eco and sustainable business solutions. ● Get the opportunity to pitch for available seed funding to take your business idea further. ● Attend and be part of themed networking events to inspire, connect and empower you.

To be able to take part in this program you must be: A woman over the age of 18 ● A legal UK resident

In partnership with

Solvers Studio, Future We Want, Community Enterprise Engine and Leicester Community Benefit Society

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