In 2010, The
Why I took part in 5by20
I heard about 5by20 after networking with other small business startups here in Dundee, Scotland. I have to admit that I had never heard of 5by20 before, but when I heard it was part of
I feel so proud that
Being an entrepreneur may seem like a very solo path to take, but you need a good team around you from day one, and you need to be ready to learn whenever the opportunity arises. That’s why I had to take part. It was engaging, relevant and inspiring. What more could an entrepreneur ask for?!
What you get from it
The 5by20 course was a great mix of practical and inspirational tips, and a fantastic opportunity to seek advice. With multiple speakers and a supportive course leader, the 6-week intensive course didn’t feel too intensive because of how valuable every piece of advice was!
I learned a lot on this course, and I met some wonderful people. I think the most useful thing I learned over the 6-weeks is to be aware that I don’t have to do everything myself and that I can always seek advice and gain support from peers and from business mentors if need be.
I bonded with the entrepreneurs quickly, and a lot of us are still in touch today. That shows just how invaluable a course like this can be – its impact lasts a whole lot longer than just the six weeks.
Being part of the
How I became an entrepreneur
After 20 years working in the public sector, I decided to start my own business. Inspired by the success of business leaders such as Karen Brady, I left my role and the security of local authority behind me, and took the plunge into entrepreneurship.
There are a lot of reasons why someone may start their own business, but for me one shone above the rest: creativity.
I love the fact that entrepreneurism is basically an exercise in creative thinking. Marketing, constantly reflecting, learning from decisions that have been successful and ones which perhaps need to be developed, it’s all creative thinking. I love the excitement of that. Whereas many new entrepreneurs feel an understandable sense of trepidation about what the future holds, I’m optimistic, determined and excited about the future.
My biggest challenges
Despite being positive, there are still a number of challenges I face, both professionally and personally.
In business, I think women face very personal struggles, from the guilt about spending less time with their kids, to balancing home and work life. Finding time for everybody, alongside devoting your time to being committed to your business, can be a difficult balancing act.
But there’s more to running a business than just managing time – it requires a whole lot of hard work and a supportive network. This need for a supportive network was a big part of why I took part in the 5by20 project.
My advice to any budding entrepreneurs
Becoming an entrepreneur is a little like starting your life again. It’s a brand new chapter and it’s all about risk taking, problem solving and solution focused thinking. It’s about overcoming problems that every entrepreneur faces and those problems that only you will face. It’s about staying creative and taking opportunities when they come.
So my advice is to take any opportunity you can to learn, network and meet your peers. It’s a whole lot better than going at entrepreneurship alone.