I feel personally that my career has been expedited by five years because of the input from the consultancy side of things.
As a young BAME woman, the idea of starting a business is very intimidating and makes you question whether you should bother embarking on it. Having this type of opportunity for BAME women is so crucial and also having BAME business consultants is important as they are relatable to me and the difficulties I face and are successful role models to drive me.
LIFE & SUCCESS COACH
Reneika is a life and success coach and CEO of RENPOWERMENT, a business created to support women in navigating difficult life situations and to come out on top by building confidence and empowering them.
She got involved with the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Programme as it stood out to her as reflecting what she needed as an entrepreneur who was new to many aspects of business and the fact that it targeted her as a woman from a minority ethnic background.
As well as receiving a grant, the support and mentoring side of the programme greatly appealed as she believed she had what it takes to create a successful, thriving business but didn’t know the steps she needed to follow.
The one-to-one consultancy was especially beneficial to her business as, despite having been on business courses before, it really helped her to develop a detailed business plan. As soon as she started the sessions, she realised her inaccuracies in calculating her financials and, with the help of the expert consultant, was able to recalculate and see how her business can grow within the first few years more realistically.
The ALS were another aspect of the programme that Reneika highly valued as she found that they make you come up with solutions to things you were struggling with in a supportive environment. Presenting an ALS on ‘how to maintain professionalism while being able to engage with her audience’ was a particular highlight that stood out to her.
Social media was the biggest area where Reneika found herself struggling, and by learning the different audiences for each platform, she was able to identify what marketing should be targeted where. This showed her the value of moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to her business. She now markets herself differently on each platform to be able to reach more people.
“These are things people pay for in marketing, you hire people to give you this information.”
While on the programme, she attended a masterclass on the importance of having a business plan and how to continually update it. A key takeaway she had from this was to spend more time planning and less time writing, as the thinking process takes much longer than she originally thought. This is something she has found to be very accurate while on her business journey and was reassuring to know that this is a normal issue to face.
She spent the grant on her website, board memberships, insurance, masterclasses, educational courses and qualifications to help her stand out in the market, none of which she would have been able to do without the funding provided on this programme.
Business Skills Guides
Download the ARE Business Skills Guide to Business Planning. Written by business consultant Tutu Adebiyi, this short guide tells you what to you need to think about when you’re planning your new business.