This recent pandemic has caught a lot of us by surprise. While some had to park their dreams and aspirations during 2020, others were more than determined to make it happen. The Gifted launched its Enterprise Wing programme on 1 October 2020 and the young women were all set to spread their wings and fly. Weekly sessions were scheduled online and while it wasn’t face to face it certainly was two hours of fun and engagement. What’s more, we made it child-friendly, we didn’t mind that the little ones were screaming in the background or popping their heads up to say hello. Cameras could be on or off, whatever the situation, we remained flexible and adapted to our environment.
The entrepreneurial flair is needed in this current economy. Some found themselves on furlough with a high degree of uncertainty, so it helped to have a side hustle. What we discovered was that what could have been a hobby project or a means to make a little bit of cash was flourishing into a fully fledged business opportunity. Every week we allowed room for engagement – everyone had a bit of wisdom borne out of their experience to share and help each other.
We discovered a real sense of women supporting women. There was a keen interest to find out how everyone’s projects were progressing and it didn’t matter that some women had common interests and similar businesses. Every business was somewhat different and there was a real value in understanding and flaunting the unique selling proposition.
Knowledge was the key to empowerment. A project management session would cover everything from setting goals, building your team, planning resources, assessing the risks, setting your budget and monitoring your progress. It empowered participants to really take ownership and establish the confidence to drive their business, while staying motivated.
Social media was a buzz and its theme ran all the way through the six sessions, sharing apps, tools, tips and techniques to identify key influencers, make connections, engage in online networking and save money by designing your own marketing material and creating your own content. Buzz phrases like ‘Content is King and Engagement is Queen’ was one of our favourite tag lines along with ‘Be prepared to plan or plan to fail’ when talking about project planning.
We recognised that time management was a key challenge especially for the mothers in the group who were juggling so many hats. Students with part time jobs trying to make it in the entrepreneurial world or mothers with young ones and one on the way, managing the home, pregnancy, school-runs, all while hustling. The Enterprise Wing programme is evolving and while it might look like a small beginning it resembles a caterpillar emerging out of its cocoon but we know you won’t just see one butterfly but a whole flurry of diverse colourful and beautiful butterflies spreading their enterprise wings and making their mark as enterprising women of our future.