CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BLOOM GIN PASSION PROJECTS
It comes as no surprise that new research from Bloom Gin – a collection of floral-inspired gins created by one of the world’s first female gin distillers, Joanne Moore – shows that one in ten women have started a business or side hustle during Covid-19 – an increase of 50% compared to before the pandemic began – with nearly half of the women stating that the pandemic has given them more time to focus on themselves and their future ambitions. In response, the all-female team behind the beloved drinks brand is giving budding female entrepreneurs the chance to win a share of £25,000 to fund their passion project, helping to turn their business dreams into a reality and further increase the number of female-run businesses in the UK.
With many women across the UK currently facing job losses or reduced hours, now more than ever many are looking to upskill and pivot their careers. When it comes to the help and advice women would like to receive when setting up their own business, financial support came out on top in Bloom’s research (45%), followed closely by help with a business plan (39%), advice on marketing (32%), access to ongoing business coaching (27%) and advice on networking (25%). Which is where ‘Bloom in Business’ comes in. A new scheme from the gin brand, the initiative includes a free business skills workshop aimed at budding female entrepreneurs looking to hone these skills. What’s more, Bloom in Business is being run in partnership with Future Females, a global organisation with 50,000 members that exists to increase the number of female entrepreneurs across the world.
All workshops are completely free to attend and you can sign up for them now at BloomGin.com.
The free workshops include:
Finding your purpose
Business planning and how to get started
Budgeting for your business
Maximising your productivity
How to grow your business on Instagram
Visioning and goal setting
Best of all, to help give female entrepreneurs the funding they need to kickstart their business, drinks brand Bloom Gin is also giving away £25,000 in cash funding. With a grand prize of £20,000 up for grabs and £1,000 available for five runners up, the funding will help six women to get their business idea off the ground. Find out how you can enter here.
Inspired to enter? Here ten thriving businesswomen share their top tips for success
Lauren Dallas, co-founder and CEO of Future Females
I’m a big believer in being collaborative and being inclusive, and it’s is one of the main things that sets Future Females apart. While our goal is to support and encourage women, we include men in everything we do – male funders, male advisors, male speakers, we have men on our team – because if we’re going to move the needle, how can we do that with only half of the population on board? Excluding men would just make the gap even bigger and our aim is to make the gap smaller. There is a saying that your business will only grow as fast as you do, so I also think investing in your own growth and development is hugely important. I have learnt that as an entrepreneur, I often want to do things my way, but I can do it much better if I just follow the advice of the experts. Never stop learning from others, and make sure you have people around you can learn from.
Abi Oyepitan & Liha Okunniwa, co-founders of sustainable beauty brand Liha Beauty
Fake it ‘til you make it. We were promoting the brand at our very first festival and it turns out that our stand happened to be close to Anthropologie’s tent. During the festival, the head of Anthropologie Europe came over to our stand to try out the products and said that she wanted to sell our oil in their stores. We were blown away and couldn’t believe it! She asked if we had various certificates that were needed for her to sell our products and we had no idea what she was taking about, but of course said yes anyway. It turns out we didn’t have any of the certificates, and they would subsequently take four months to come through, but Anthropologie were really great and stuck with us until we had everything ready. It was a big win for us and a huge turning point for the business.
Hilary Rowland, founder of the fitness movement Boom Cycle
Just get going. A lack of confidence and worrying about what could go wrong can hold you back, but you’ve just got to get going with it! Start putting one foot in front of the other and start to move forward with your idea. In the beginning, this can be simply putting pen to paper and getting your ideas down – remember, it doesn’t have to be your final idea, but this will help you to start developing it. In the very early days, I used to dedicate around two afternoons per week to working on the Boom Cycle plan and slowly but surely it started to consume more and more of my time.
Eshita Kabra-Davies, founder of the UK's first peer-to-peer fashion rental app By Rotation
Don’t give up the day job. In the beginning, I was still working my fulltime job from 6.45am until 6pm. It was tough, but I was so passionate about getting the business going, I just made it work. I really enjoyed what I was doing so I didn’t mind giving up my evenings, weekends and social life to focus on it. That would be my number one advice for anyone looking to start their own business, try and do as much as you can in your spare time while you still have another job that you can fall back on. This will give you time to do your research and realise the full potential of the business, it also makes the process much less daunting.
Joyce & Raissa De Haas, founders of tonic brand Double Dutch
You don’t have to achieve perfection the first time around. Just keep pushing and moving forward. When we initially launched, we knew the product wasn’t 100% finished and knew our labels needed improvement, but we had to launch in order to start selling, as – let’s face it – London is super expensive to live in and ultimately, we had to make money. This enabled us to gain feedback from customers and adapt things accordingly, which was really helpful and helped us to make the product much better. When you’re a small business and just starting out, you’ll find that customers are very forgiving of your mistakes. As long as you can show you’re taking on feedback and working to improve things, you’ll generally find they are very supportive.
Mercedes Benson, DJ and founder of Social Fixt, an organisation connecting black talent to jobs in creative industries
Don’t take the word ‘no’ personally. You are going to get so many ‘no’s’ along the way and that doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, it just means the door that is right for you hasn’t opened yet. Just keep going and eventually you’ll get a yes! Perseverance is key and if you believe in yourself and your business, you’ll get there in the end – it might just take a little a longer than expected.
Ria Hebden, presenter and regular on ITV’s Lorraine, and founder of Wonder Women TV
Always be clear on your ‘why’. There should be numerous reasons why you must chase your passion and make it a reality. List them and refer back to them every time you doubt yourself or have a setback, as these reasons will motivate you to keep going until you get there. Also, write a strategy of how you’re going to achieve your goals and stick to it. Ask people you admire for advice and stay focused on your goals. Persistence, self-belief, and hard work are key to achieving success.
Steph Douglas, founder of gifting website Don’t Buy Her Flowers
Something’s got to give. It makes me nervous that so many women want to start their own business, but they don’t take anything out in terms of the other things on their plate. If we’re honest, a lot of women still do the majority at home; they still do most of the emotional labour, they’re still the one that keeps the household going and on top of that, makes sure that family and friends get a birthday card. It’s just too much! You can’t just chuck “Oh, and I’ll start a business!” in there and expect it all to be okay, something’s got to give. Starting a business is all-consuming and you need to be able to focus on it. This will mean leaning on your partner and having some really open and honest conversations about how they can share the load.
To be in with a chance of winning £20,000 in funding to help turn your passion project into a business, visit BloomGin.com and submit your business proposal by midnight on 11th December 2020. Entrants must be aged 25 or over. Terms & conditions apply.
To access the free Bloom in Business resources and hone your skills, visit BloomGin.com.