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Flintshire Enterprise Club

Published: 26/07/2017

Flintshire Enterprise Club had its last meeting before the summer break recently. The club has helped over 100 local people set up in business since its inception five years ago. The group, which is managed by Communities First, advises people on courses and grants that could benefit their business, also providing them with a relevant mentor to help them develop their business or business idea.

The club has a diverse and ever-changing membership and at the recent meeting there were ten budding entrepreneurs – all at different stages of their journey and with a real mix of interesting and original business ideas. Philipa Birch is “the Tutu Tailor” making beautiful and elaborate bespoke tutus and other dance costumes for dance studios and individual clients. She has been in business since December 2016. Corinne Farinha is director of Elite Equestion Events, a dynamic company which offers personalised events management for displays, parades, shows, clinics, corporate functions and weddings. She has been in business since October 2015 and she is currently training as an equipilates teacher which helps riders improve their strength and balance. Ralph Carr has owned Blue Box Enterprises for the past four years, a scientific consultancy offering cost effective solutions to technical and production issues. He has recently produced a synthetic honey “SyntHoney” which has all the characteristics of real honey and which is suitable for vegans. Sylvain Jacquin has been working with Ralph for two years and is currently working on developing and promoting a hippocras wine, aimed at the medieval re-enactment and Christmas markets. Joanne Powell is at the start of her journey developing her business “Costumes for Children” which makes scenic costumes and props. Joanne will be working with children and the wider community to bring stories to life. Nicola Owen owns “Totem Wings”. She is a wellness advocate, massage professional, reiki healer and reflexologist and is ready to relaunch her business in September after a short break. Caroline Lamont launched her business “Tips on Nails” this week. Caroline is a mobile nail technician and has also trained in toe nail reconstruction which she is also able to offer. Carol Britnell moved to North Wales from Dover last September and since then has turned her love of bees into a business which officially launched on 3 July this year. She offers bee-related products including honey, wax cloths, polish and, soon, lotion as well as offering visits to the hives for people to see how they work. Carol said: “This club has given me so much support and encouragement, it really has been great. The other members share ideas and offer constructive feedback in a safe environment. For me, moving to the area recently, it’s also been an opportunity to make some great friends.” Finally there is a great success story – Barry Evans, owner of Evo Lift Safety Products. Barry invented five lifts for use in the construction industry and holds the patent on all of them. After a few difficult years at the beginning of the recession, in 2013 things started to take off and his business is now going from strength to strength. Sandra Donaghue from Mingle for Business was also at the meeting. Over the past few months, the Club has been delivering Pathway 2 Business workshops with Sandra. Mingle for Business is an network of professionals and entrepreneurs which provides effective business support and networking for business professionals at all levels who meet regularly across North Wales and Chester. Many of those attending were also presented with their certificates for workshops they had attended at Delyn Safety in Mold, including first aid, fire safety, risk assessment awareness, manual handling, and personal protective equipment. Councillor Derek Butler, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I would encourage anyone starting out in business – or thinking about doing so – to join the Flintshire Enterprise Club. There are some excellent free workshops available as well as fantastic opportunities to market your business. It’s a great place to get help with the development of new business ideas – it never ceases to amaze me what wonderful and diverse business ideas people have – truly inspiring!” The club is free to attend and meets every two weeks. The meetings take place every other Friday from 10.30 am until 12.30pm. The next meeting will be on 1 September at the Regus Business Lounge at Broughton Park. For more information, please contact Communities First 01244 846090 or email L to R standing: Barry Evans, Beverly Moseley, Sandra Donaghue, Sylvain Jacquin, Ralph Carr, Joanne Powell, Philipa Birch L to R seated: Corinne Farinha, Carol Britnell, Caroline Lamont, Nicola Owen