Women Into Enterprise Masterclass

A group of hairdressing and barbering students got the opportunity to find out all about how to set up your own business from a real expert.

Meryl Dodd, Director of Actif an enterprise and business start-up consultancy based in Houghton-le-Spring, ran two workshops for the female students enrolled at East Durham College on behalf of Business Link.

The workshops aim to help the female students understand the skills you need to set up on your own, what help is available locally and how to develop a business plan.

Meryl said: “There are so many opportunities for people in the hair and beauty industry to set up their own business. In fact about 80% of workers in the industry will work as self employed at some point in their career.

“The workshops are really informal and a great way to get people to start thinking about if they could be entrepreneurs. You don’t have to have the ambition to open a chain of salons to be an entrepreneur you might just set up a part time business to fit around other commitments.

“I like to help the students to realise this and concentrate on getting them motivated to be enterprising and to overcome any fears that might be putting them off.

“Some people think you need to have a lot of money to set up your own business and so don’t consider it but in this sector that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

The workshops were arranged by the College’s Enterprise Team, Actif and Business Link as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week which is running this year from 15th to 21st November.

College student Gail Valks, aged 45 from Horden, commented: “I found it very interesting, very informative and very helpful as I’m looking to open my own business in the near future. I’m sure the advice I received will be very useful and it’s reassuring to know that Business Link are there to provide continual support.”

Ray Sharp, Enterprise Coordinator at the College, added: “Enterprise is a really important aspect in modern life. As a College we feel it is vital to help our students to understand this and help them to generate their own ideas on how they could be enterprising or entrepreneurial”.

These workshops can be followed up by a 10 week course for any female students considering going self employed or setting up a business and are fully funded by Business Link.

If you are interest in setting up your own business, Business Link will be holding a FREE ‘Start Your Business Event’ at the College’s Peterlee Campus on Saturday 20th November, between 10am – 4pm.

A number of free seminars and interactive workshops will also be running throughout the day, covering everything from sales and marketing to how to set up from your own home. Everyone, male or female, is welcome!