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Back Row: Harpreet Panesar (ICAEW); Helen Walbey (FSB); Dr Maryhan Baker (Brainboost); Kizzy Morrell (Studio 7 Academy CIC); Front Row: Sonia Brown MBE (NBWN) Della Hudson (Hudson Business Accountants and Advisers); Alexis Gutzman (the Financial Hug Programme)


Women on top…… Iain Glover was the host of the Inaugural Connected Woman Panel Discussion, Bristol held on 16th November 2016. Iain is an accomplished and passionate leader, currently working with a team of Business Growth Enablers, Relationship Managers and local Directors to support small businesses; delivering business expertise and supporting customers to achieve their business and personal ambitions. “I am proud of our team of 14 business growth enablers and accredited Women in Business specialists because they have gained an understanding of the unique demands and challenges that women face whilst starting, running and growing their businesses. Business Growth Enablers provide signposting information; networking opportunities and support to help improve marketing, sales and social media competencies. But more importantly, they ensure that entrepreneurs are provided with

content around local issues and have access to valuable events.” Iain acknowledges that many of the women they come into contact with still don’t know where to go for help to grow their business and access money. “That’s why it’s important that the Business Growth Enablers are reaching out and connecting with their local business communities in order to build strong, diverse connections and helping them to scale up.” In Bristol there is a commitment to hosting and supporting more events aimed at women in businesses. “Women need to build on their networks to grow and enable their business. Those who are doing better are those with strong networks that fill in the gaps more quickly. This in turn means these relationships and collaborations have a positive impact on the growth potential of the business in the long term.”

“In Bristol, our Business Growth Enablers are here to help businesses from start up to 2.5 million Iain Glover, Regional Head of Business Development, South West & Wales, Business Banking, NatWest

“Let’s stop playing superwoman in business and collaborate more!” No more burn out! No matter where entrepreneurs are in their business journey, the evening provided inspirational insights to help them understand their management style in order to build the business of their dreams. The power of conviction Our panellists shared both the joys of the ‘ups’ and realities of the ‘downs’ whilst starting and running their business. There were business

failures and personal misfortunes that could have seen them lose faith in their vision. They shared their personal strategies for overcoming challenges in order to create the business lifestyle they enjoy today. Building your brand The most common mistake they felt small business owners made was the frequent ‘rants’ made on social media. They were clear, don’t do it because you are not living your core brand values outside of your business. Don’t take the risk of putting off that potential customer who could give your business the tipping point.

Sonia Brown MBE

On-going personal development When you’re juggling a busy career or business make sure you’re part of a mentoring programme or commit to a good coach; read motivating literature, listen to audio books, celebrate your successes, socialise with good friends – personal development allows you to put things into perspective when everyone wants a piece of you and your body is telling you that its not coping. Women have to learn when they need help and know when to stop.

Let’s Talk Networking Entertainment was provided by the talented Kizzy Morrell, Studio 7 Academy CIC

Building solid networks, developing two-way relationships and promoting positive collaborations were the key themes of the evening.

What’s on Protecting your assets Are you looking for that extra spark? Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s largest FREE business accelerator programme for those who want to scale up quickly. In Bristol it is led by Matt West (Entrepreneurial Development Manager), and the programme is currently made up of fifty per cent women ranging from high tech companies, nutritionists, education, sport, charities – all of whom are demonstrating high growth potential. As well as free work space, internet and business advice, participants known as ‘chiclets’ are supported by mentors from FTSE 250 companies who are committed to helping these business grow in order to reach their full potential. Without a doubt these businesses are on a great learning journey. If you are interested in being part of the programme for the next intake in February 2017, then visit: http://

More Connected Woman The EVOLVE: Connected Woman Panel Discussion promises to showcase the realities of what it takes to be stay connected and successful in business. Our respected speakers will share their experiences, successes, lessons and advice to help attendees effect positive change in their business.

Aleka Gutzmore is a financial advisor, and mentor who is passionate about helping women to create a positive mindset around money. After taking a leap of faith to leave the banking sector, she founded AG Finance Hub in 2006 which provides financial advice and services to individuals and micropreneurs. She then launched the Financial HUG Programme which educates women around financial literacy as well as providing them with the confidence; forward planning skills and tools needed to achieve their long term commercial goals. Aleka believes Divorce, Dementia and Death are the three major threats that we all face in the future. Therefore it is important that we look at the impact that these things will have on us when we are planning for the future, whether its in our personal or business life. “It’s amazing how many women have not got life insurance, income protection etc. as they are dependent on their husband/partner dealing with their financial matters and issues. Women have to retrain their minds about how they think about money!

Sadly, too many people cancel insurances when things get tight, but you have to remember It’s not about cost it’s what the protection will do for you. A recent client cancelled her policy and the following month she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which led to her passing away with no will. As a result her home was sold and her youngest child was placed into care.” Aleka admits that it doesn’t have to be that extreme but what happens if your business partner dies and their share goes to their family? Can you pay off the family or want to work with them? You must consider a will for your business. You have to consider what happens when you want to stop (retire)? Where will your pension come from? Its not simply thinking about ‘needs and wants’ but where will you be in the future when you have had enough and still need to make the capital. Women need to speak more about money and become more empowered about their financial future.

The Panel Discussion aims to educate, empower and connect women who are serious about starting, leading and growing their business. Sign up here to be the first to receive dates for 2017 or opportunities to exhibit at these events.

From Left: Harpreet Panesar (ICAEW); Della Hudson (Hudson Business Accountants and Advisers); Alexis Gutzman (the Financial Hug Programme)

Build super teams through your connections Della Hudson, a chartered accountant, set up Hudson Business Accountants and Advisers from her kitchen table in 2009. Having left the corporate world, her key motivator was having to balance work and look after her two young children in a more holistic way. That’s why after eight years, she still works 25 hours per week (most of the time) providing business, finance and scale up advice to SMEs through bespoke workshops and surgeries. Della is passionate about business scorecards (“how else will you know if you’re “winning”?) of which accounts are just one measure. “If you are running a business you must be financial literate. You have to understand how money works and be comfortable planning for your future. It’s unfortunate that most people do not value their business plan and they can be commonly found shoved in the bottom draw, when it should be a living document. Part of the business process should not be about simply the numbers but the actions that change your bottom line e.g. marketing campaigns, employing staff etc.” In terms of forward planning, do everything you can to work out of the business (put processes, documentation and systems in place in case anything happens to you). When it comes to networking Della believes, you are not just networking to sell but to gain support!

Stop looking for a fairy godmother Helen Walbey, is the owner of Rideout Motorcycles and Scooters, a global exporter of motor cycle and scooter parts based in Wales. Having run a number of businesses since quitting the corporate world, she has experienced her fair share of ‘downs’ in business.

“There is no fairy godmother in business so you have to “do it!” Even in the bad times you have to demonstrate confidence or you will lack credibility amongst your business peers, customers and competitors.

are questioning your own ability and tapping into wider expertise.

I did face discrimination when I started out because I was in a non traditional sector but if you don’t take yourself seriously no one else will. You need to have a mind-set for success in order to over come the challenges that lay ahead.

Maryhan insists women have to take responsibility for protecting their business in whatever form that matters. Whether its yourself, partner, family or against your competitors.

Connection is about finding like minded people as it is tougher when you are surrounded by people who are not your advocates but critics!”

When I started the salvage company, I had lost a lot of money from the previous business because I didn’t read the small print. Don’t be ignorant in business because there is good quality advice in the market place.

“You need to know what works for you and reframe how you view things and focus on working on where you see the business in the future. Understand your motivators and then find the right tools that are unique to you and allow you to realise this vision in the short term and then move you to the end goal?

When you have a wobble think about the fact that you are your own fairy godmother and you can do anything if you put your mind to it and connect with other people to realise your goals. Twelve years later I now have six members of staff and three units. I have up-skilled my staff so I am able to indulge my passion around promoting women in business. I am a Welsh Government Big Ideas Role Model, Mentor for Virgin Start Up and National Policy Chair for Health and Diversity at the Federation of Small Businesses.

Nowhere does emotional intelligence, financial protection, succession planning appear in the business plan. This is a failure in the skill set and what we should be teaching more women to incorporate in their businesses.”

Take action

Being connected helps you get through the bad times and good times. My networks are my go to people and guide me with their knowledge and expertise.”

Harpreet Panesar (ICAEW) believes when you wake up in the morning and you have a list of activities to perform, take action! Most people avoid the important stuff and get distracted by their email, social media etc.

Avoid the critics

“We have to learn to resist these temptations and get fully focussed on the things that will make the biggest difference in our business. Don’t do anything else but the important things on the list so that you eliminate procrastination and harness momentum.”

Maryhan Baker is a child psychologist who works with children between the ages of 2 – 12 years, suffering from low self esteem, lack of confidence and high levels of anxiety. “Running a business is a major rollercoaster so you need those people who understand when you

“If you can see and visualise success, then you can make it happen, but you have to take action.”

“Learn not to be afraid to say yes. Believe that you can do anything and you will find a way.”

Dr Maryhan Baker (Brainboost)

Businesses need emotional intelligence Dr Maryhan Baker is a child psychologist with over 10 year experience and the founder of Brainboost, a children's educational subscription box which promotes the core skills of Emotional Intelligence, Communication and Creativity. Why Emotional Intelligence (EI) in Business? In my view there isn’t a single factor more important in business than emotional intelligence. As we build our businesses we must be self aware of our own emotional responses to challenging situations, be able to adapt, particularly in situations which we might feel out of our depth, and be able to identify areas of development within

ourselves which our future team may be able to bridge the gap. Once we start building our team, emotional intelligence allows us to hold onto talent, identify their drivers, and nurture their talent. Why do you believe women miss the value of EI in business? I think there are two ways we miss the value of EI as women in business, the first relates to selfawareness. Women are incredibly self aware and can easily identify when a situation doesn’t quite feel right but the issue is that we all too often fail to ‘lean into this discomfort’ and find ways of managing our unease whilst working towards a solution. Being self-aware and more importantly knowing how to work through difficult situations for your betterment is key to emotional intelligence. The second way women miss EI in business is they fail to value it’s importance, as it can be sometimes seen as a ‘soft skill’,

which has no merits in the harsh coal face of business. What tools would you advise for part of the SWOT - ‘O’ for the opportunity category or would it be ’T’ for the threats category; if we didn’t embrace this part of our self? Absolutely, it would be a T if we didn’t embrace this part. All successful business leaders possess EI and use it daily to inspire and drive their teams. Identify your strengths in the four key areas of EI: Self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills and make it a daily ritual to integrate these opportunities into what you do. Live and breath EI for success. For further information visit: | #nbwnconected | @nbwntalks | | @NatWestBusiness


Cheryl Pheonix, Founder, Black Links UK

Craig Tracey MP, Chair All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Enterprise

BREXIT: Impact on Small Businesses

CONNECTED WOMAN: Empowering Women for Success Thursday 15th June 2017, 12:00pm - 8:30pm RBS, 250 Bishopsgate, London

Thursday 20th April 2017, 6:00pm 8:30pm British Bankers Association, Pinners House, London

Now that the government has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, leading business organisations are trying to get behind the negotiations to reap the potential opportunities and minimise the economic risk for its members. However, what impact will Brexit have on female and BME micro and small businesses in the UK?

With the rise of female entrepreneurship due to its numerous benefits, sometimes it’s important to be in the company of established entrepreneurs; executives and experts who understand not only your challenges but your needs, values and concerns.

We have therefore created a powerful day jam-packed with renowned, award winning industry If you are serious about reaping the thought leaders all under a single benefits of a post BREXIT, then book roof. There will be a keynote your £free place at https:// presentation from Craig Tracey MP, Chair All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Enterprise. Book your £free place here: https://

Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms MP, Chair All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Cohesion FAITH AND BUSINESS SUMMIT: Harnessing the Social Capital of our Nation’s Churches Thursday 6th July 2017 RBS, St Phillips Place, Birmingham The Summit brings together business owners, faith leaders and budding entrepreneurs to create new business ventures through the wealth of social capital in our faith organisations. There will also be a keynote presentation from the Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms MP, Chair All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Cohesion. The aim of the Faith and Business Summit is to understand contribution to society by faithbased organisations locally. Book your £free place here: https://

Connected Woman Bristol Newsletter  

Packed with lots of information, tips and ideas based on the feedback from panelists at the Connected Woman Panel Discussion held in Novembe...

Connected Woman Bristol Newsletter  

Packed with lots of information, tips and ideas based on the feedback from panelists at the Connected Woman Panel Discussion held in Novembe...