To celebrate International Women’s Day, we caught up with Business Coach Clare Braithwaite to discuss how EnterprisingYou are championing women to be brilliant in business.
Hi Clare! Tell me more about yourself and why you became a business coach?
I worked in marketing for over 20 years and also have experience running my own business. I became a Business Coach with EnterprisingYou because I wanted to help people, by sharing my own knowledge that I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve found that a lot of clients can often lack confidence when it comes to marketing and other areas of business, so I really want to help them develop those skills.
What do you love most about being a Business Coach with EnterprisingYou?
The beauty of coaching is that you’re bringing out the potential in people and getting them to realise what they’re capable of, which is really great to see! I love how being a Business Coach with EnteprisingYou allows me to bring together my passions for coaching, marketing and business. It’s fantastic to be able to champion clients and help them to be the best they can be. I’m always blown away by how much their confidence can improve, even within the first couple of sessions and particularly by the time they come towards the end of the programme. Even during the pandemic, I’ve seen so many people thrive, and seeing those positive stories motivates me.
Can you give me some examples of female clients who have inspired you?
We have so many talented women on the programme, from dog walkers and digital marketers to personal trainers and proof-readers. A few recent client examples include Lisa Clennell, owner of marketing business Your Happy Customer, and Rosemary Mallace, who runs Over Fifty Fitness. Lisa fed back that EnterprisingYou has really helped to get her established. She liked the personal contact and rapport from the coaching, which kept her going during 2020. She’s been juggling home schooling with her business. Rosemary, who’s passionate about getting everyone of all ages to improve their fitness, felt that coaching gave her focus and the belief that she could make some income from her online classes. I’m a runner myself so was able understand the business and what she was trying to do with it, but I also reminded her that not every 70-year-old can do what she does!
It’s recently been highlighted that the pandemic may have made existing inequalities worse for pregnant women, new mothers, the self-employed, women claiming benefits and those working in the professional childcare sector. What are some common struggles you see female clients face?
A common theme tends to be around lack of confidence and imposter syndrome; this comes up very often. We help clients work through that and realise how massively talented they are. It’s encouraging them that they can do it and giving them more self-belief. This can be through personal plans, coaching sessions and mentoring, as well as EnterprisingYou’s brilliant training opportunities. For example, we can help with skills such as confidence in selling, social media and finance.
You mentioned the great coaching and training opportunities available on the programme. How else have EnterprisingYou been encouraging women in business?
EnterprisingYou are passionate about championing women and making sure we build up their skills and confidence in all areas of business and life. The self-employed women that we work with have common issues. A fellow Business Coach, Rebecca Levene and I came up with the idea of bringing local women in business together for a monthly coffee morning, which we have been hosting virtually during the pandemic. It’s called ‘Have a Brew With EnterprisingYou’.
This is an informal, safe space where you can just be yourself and offload any stresses, from home schooling during lockdown to trying to plan during the pandemic. People are encouraged to be really honest about what’s happening, but it’s also a place to come and have a good laugh. We also encourage people to connect and network outside of the coffee mornings. We normally have a theme, such as resilience, and often a guest speaker. For instance, our most recent meeting was about ‘Looking Forward’ with Lou Cordwell OBE. All local self-employed women are welcome.
Can you tell us in one sentence why people should sign up for EnterprisingYou?
This is a fantastic opportunity to get invaluable training and advice for free, so no matter what your situation, even if you’re the smallest one-woman band, we can offer help!
Finally, we’d love to know which other women inspire you?
On this year’s International Women’s Day, I’ve got to say it’s all my female friends and family who have inspired me over this last year and kept me going through the pandemic. They are teachers, work in the NHS, healthcare, business, the army but are brilliant family members and friends. They are always there for a laugh but there for a shoulder to cry on too which has been important this year. I lost my Mum Helen in January. She was an inspirational woman too who had Huntington’s Disease and was a fantastic Mum, friend and active fundraiser in the HD Community! She loved her friends and a party!
To join EnterprisingYou’s next coffee morning, keep an eye out on our Eventbrite page for further details.
We provide fully-funded support to the self-employed and gig economy workers across Greater Manchester. If you would like to find out more about EnterprisingYou, register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, call us on 0161 667 6900 for an informal chat.