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Company:Your Life in Your Hands


About the business

Shirley Powell established Your Life in Your Hands to deliver mobile health and well-being assessments, and provide ongoing mentoring through consultations with private individuals or in partnership with employers and community organisations in Suffolk. This aims to provide individuals with the tools they need to take control of their lives, for both their physical and mental well-being. An initial diagnostic assessment is offered to test for the risk of heart disease, stroke, artery health, blood pressure, liver and kidney function as well as cholesterol and diabetes. Her business model is structured so that the work she does commercially can also help fund free health screening checks for individuals who are homeless or socially disadvantaged.

The issue that Shirley faced

Shirley of Your Life in Your Hands

Shirley needed a business plan which she found to be a daunting task. Funding was the next issue. She needed to purchase the equipment she would need to carry out the assessments and set up a website to be able to promote her business. And then there was marketing. How would she reach her target audience to articulate her offer?

What made the business turn to the Growth Hub?

The Growth Hub was recommended to Shirley by Business Link.

How the Growth Hub helped

Growth Hub Business Adviser, William Millar, completed an initial assessment and helped Shirley to refine her plan to capitalise on her huge experience and skill in health screening. He also provided Shirley with a number of accounts’ templates and referrals to organisations which might benefit from her services. Another of the Growth Hub’s Business Advisers assisted her to apply for funding from the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurship programme. Shirley was then invited to a Dragon’s Den style pitch event. The Growth Hub worked closely with her to produce a hard-hitting presentation and coached her to deal with the tough questions the judges would ask. The result was that she secured £4,000 in grant funding. Her Business Adviser raised her profile further by nominating her for the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards at the Suffolk Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Awards 2017. She was a finalist which attracted valuable local media coverage.

What impact did this have on helping the business expand?

Shirley explained, “The support I received from the Growth Hub was immense. From the outset, they helped me establish sound business principles, identified areas of expertise I needed most help with and gave me the right tools to build really solid foundations. Always approachable, supportive and empathetic, they made great efforts to make sure I was able to implement their suggestions. I would definitely recommend any business with a good idea to ask the Growth Hub for help.”

The Business Adviser’s view

William Millar said, “Initially, Shirley wasn’t sure where to focus and we helped her to build a strong business plan. Potential barriers were addressed and solutions found. With good plans in place, Shirley grew in confidence about her business and is now starting to reap the rewards.”

Robert Turnbull added, “Business start-ups aren’t always certain of what financial help and non-financial support is available which is where we come in. We have developed great networks that enable us to find funding from a variety of sources.”

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