Last week Female Founders Rise hosted our first event in Liverpool, in the beautiful Baltic Ventures space.
We were thrilled to be joined by a brilliant panel of founders with different stories to share around how they formed their companies and their challenges and successes in the journey. Here’s our recap of the panel talks and the rest of the event.
From LinkedIn newbie to LinkedIn maestro
Lea Turner started using LinkedIn to build her network to attract transcription work so she could have a better work life. From early failure on the platform, using corporate language and a company avatar as her profile pic, Lea one day noticed huge engagement from posting a funny meme that showed off her sense of humour.
Learning quickly, she leaned more into the personal, her experiences as a solo mum running a business and of course, humour. Her following rocketed to over 10k followers in a short space of time
Today she trains businesses and people in how to use LinkedIn for their own success as well as selling resources and courses about the platform. One of her clients has grown from a £400k business to £12m since her training (Lea notes there were other contributing factors too). She also built The HoLT, a membership community of solopreneurs and freelancers.
Lea spoke proudly about how helpful and supportive the community are to each other and their generosity in sharing their skills with each other. Lea’s also used her platform to raise over a £1m for Hope4, an NGO supporting people with emergency aid in Moldova.
A marriage of skills and experience
With a background in recruitment, Raina Heverin and her husband and former teacher, Michael, united their experiences and skills to found SupplyWell. Raina’s husband left teaching due to burnout in a year where 42,000 other teachers also left the profession. Prior to this, he’d seen a great discrepancy between what his school were paying agencies for supply teachers, and what he knew supply teachers were actually being paid.
With Raina’s recruitment expertise, they envisioned a supply teaching tech platform that offers better pay for supply teachers and a more efficient and cost effective solution for schools. They bought in a third tech co-founder and built out an MVP during lockdown. SupplyWell is now used in 70 schools across Liverpool and has recently secured £1m of investment for its tried and tested model that is ready to scale.
The practicalities of working together as a wife and husband team day-to-day led to Raina found another company. Again, she drew from her experience in recruitment to create ReCulture, a recruitment service for growth focused companies.
ReCulture places emphasis on retention – not just getting people with the right skills but making sure that new hires are a cultural fit for a company so that they can stay and grow there.
Building a better talent pipeline through education
Lisa Eaton already had a successful marketing agency working with blue chip brands but was in a position where she had to turn new work away. When trying to hire to meet the increasing demands on the business, Lisa spotted that many of the marketing applicants didn’t have the right knowledge for the job. She knew she could create a course which would give future candidates all they needed to succeed in marketing and Fabric Academy was born.
Lisa initially didn’t plan to get funding for the business, but after joining an accelerator program, decided it would help in achieving their vision.
Fortunately, because of her agency background she loves pitching and has recently secured her second successful round of investment to further develop the business and the product offer.
Self care for founders
One of the audience asked our panel how they look after their own mental and physical health.
Lea spoke about having really honest friends who will tell you when you’re not giving yourself enough credit, keeping a smile file of kind messages and thank you notes and spending time with her son, who is the reason behind starting her business.
Lisa echoed the importance of the support of friends and family while acknowledging that sometimes, some of them just won’t get it. For Lisa, becoming active in her local business community, with people going through a similar thing, had been a great source of support.
Speed chats and making connections
When the panel finished, there was time for everyone to grab more coffee and snacks and get to know each other. Emmie gave everyone the modest goal of talking to six new people and it was great to see people moving around and making new connections.
Check out more pictures and feedback from the event in our wrap up
This event was supported by Lloyds Bank Business & Commercial. A huge thank you to the team for the support as well as the fab Female Founders Rise x Lloyds branded swag