Sam Hardy – Your Virtual Assistant
Sam Hardy offers flexible PA services and office management through her company ‘Your Virtual Assistant’.
The decision for Sam to go self employed came when she was made redundant after 27 years’ as a Personal Assistant/Office Manager. Rather than feel down on her luck, Sam saw redundancy as a golden opportunity to make her dream of setting up her own company become reality.
Armed with the necessary skills and experience, Sam took her business plan to the Genesis programme for further guidance.
“I had the business idea for ‘Your Virtual Assistant’ for a while and felt I was at the point where I could go it alone,” says Sam. “A friend told me about the Genesis programme and suggested I speak to BBIC. I didn’t expect much to come of it but I was offered a place on the programme.”
Since joining Genesis in February 2011 Sam has taken full advantage of its benefits including free office accommodation at the BBIC, one-to-one business coaching and a range of workshops and networking events.
“Although the last year has been full of challenges, and has not always been an easy ride, I am extremely proud of what I’ve achieved over the last 12 months by starting up my own business. I have gained confidence in my abilities and valuable business experience which is reflected by the projects I’m working on and the clients I now have”.
“Genesis has certainly played a big part in getting my business off the ground and the BBIC has been a great environment to work in.
“The mentoring, workshops and networking events provide fantastic support and I’ve made friends for life along the way. The BBIC not only provides a professional work space but here you are surrounded by like minded people so you can share ideas and advice.
“As I move onto the next stage and further develop my business, it’s good to know that Genesis will be giving another business the fantastic opportunity they have given me.”
Theresa Billings – TBU Associates Ltd
The desire and passion to grow the potential and power of people gave Theresa Billings the drive to set up a business of her own.
Theresa used her significant experience leading the Leadership and Talent functions to start up her own business, TBU Associates – a training, coaching and leadership development consultancy.
Through her company Theresa improves the effectiveness of individuals, teams and organisations within local government, business and schools to improve their results.
“I’d been in the corporate world for over 20 years, and decided it was time to develop and grow a business – a professional training and development service” says Theresa. “It was important to me to operate in a business environment – the office space and support available through Genesis provided the perfect solution.”
Having joined the Genesis programme in April 2011 Theresa has seen her business grow and develop. She is developing the management and leadership skills of schools senior and middle leaders, and the business skills and career aspirations for pupils, which has taken TBU to become a preferred supplier within the Education sector. TBU continues to work with business leaders to ensure they develop their greatest asset – their people.
“I thought the transition of operating within a large organisation to running my own business may feel strange, but it didn’t feel like that at all. You are supported by the coaches, the business services and are part of a fantastic network made up by the other business at the BBIC.
“It’s been a fabulous year for me, I’ve really enjoyed it, and I am even more positive for 2012”
“If anybody has a business idea that they are passionate about, I would always say ‘go for it.”