NEWS: Female enterprise agency celebrate 100th WEP success


Seamstress and clothes designer Maureen Marlow is celebrating the launch of her new business as she becomes the 100th woman to benefit from an initiative aimed at helping the unemployed into work.

 

Maureen had been unemployed for 12 months when she became one of the first women in the city to benefit from the ‘Women’s Enterprise Programme.’ She has now successfully launched her business ‘Made by Mo’, making clothes to order, creating outfits for special occasions and doing alterations.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Liverpool-based female enterprise agency The Women’s Organisation, who have teamed up with Liverpool City Council to help women to either set up their own business or find a job.

Maureen, a mother of two from Toxteth, worked for a fashion business that had a concession in fashion store New Look, before being made redundant 12 months ago.

She has been sewing since her teens and was regularly asked to make or alter clothes for family members and friends.

“As the months went on being unemployed I just felt desperate to do something,” said Maureen. “It can be degrading being unemployed and you feel like people are looking down on you. The day I signed off I was thrilled to bits.

“The help I received from The Women’s Organisation included a two day business course, book keeping and tax courses. It was really helpful. The course gives you a better insight as to how to do your business properly. I was going in with my eyes closed and hadn’t realised what was involved. This support made me realise I needed more insight into this and everything I needed to think about.”

Maureen, who has caring responsibilities with elderly parents, says that working for herself has also taken the stress out of taking time off to accompany her mum to regular hospital appointments.

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The help available through The ‘Women’s Enterprise Programme’ includes courses on applying for jobs, standing out at interview, advice from a qualified business adviser about starting up a business, information about grants that are available and networking opportunities.

Jackie Williams, Enterprise Director of The Women’s Organisation, said: “We are delighted to have helped 100 women into work or setting up their own business and it is really rewarding to see someone like Maureen realise her ambitions.

“We have the expertise to work with women on a one to one basis and provide support that is very much tailored to individual needs. We are really pleased to be working with Liverpool City Council to to provide this much-needed service and look forward to working with lots more women.”

Women eligible to apply for the programme include those who are unemployed, economically inactive, working less than 16 hours a day or are under threat of redundancy.

Situated in the Baltic Triangle area of the city, The Women’s Organisation is based at 54 St James Street, a £5.3m state of the art centre that provides a range of services focused on women’s start-up businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises.

To find out more about the programme or the other free services available from The Women’s Organisation call 0151 706 811. Email info@thewo.org.uk or visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

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