Winning a NatWest everywoman Award changed my life
Jessica Rose, a young entrepreneur and success story of the Business & IP Centre, recalls the impact the NatWest Everywoman Awards have had in her life – both personally and on her business the London Jewellery School. This is an adapted article from everywoman.com.
To provide context, it's been an uphill struggle and I can't ever forget what I've overcome. After having a tough time at school, dropping out of University, finding out I'm in the bottom 2% of the world in reading due to my severe dyslexia, it was hard to believe I could achieve success. And after years of estrangement from my parents, it meant that I'm not used to support or recognition from others. So, receiving a NatWest everywoman Award was an emotional turning point.
Looking back at what my business was doing before unexpectedly winning the Award, I would say that I was generally happy with how things were going. I run the London Jewellery School which is a centre in London where people from all walks of life can come and learn to make their own jewellery, and I was pleased to be achieving healthy profit margins with a happy team and satisfied students.
However many things have changed since, which I couldn't say are all down to winning an award but it was certainly a huge catalyst for changing my perspective on my ambition and aspirations. To give you an idea, my business has been accepted onto two exclusive programmes for high-growth enterprises; we’ve launched an online site where we offer jewellery making classes for people at home and globally; we have been offered investment from angel investors, and I have a book published about jewellery making. The NatWest everywoman Awards has also resulted in significant PR for me and my business, including an interview in Marie Claire magazine (always nice!), plus we have won a bunch of awards after winning this one, so it has really helped in gathering more recognition.
But the real change has been in how I see my business. The Award not only gave my business more credibility and great publicity opportunities, but it made me rethink my vision for the future of the company and what I really wanted to achieve. It was only then that I could make plans for expanding, offering more to our students and reaching out to new customers. I have definitely caught the entrepreneur bug, no longer satisfied with running a successful business, I want to change my industry and create amazing experiences for people.
I think the key thing here, for me, has been confidence. Not just for myself but for my whole team and everyone who comes to the jewellery school. It made me realise the thing that I have created is special, and it’s inspired me to push the boundaries and do all I can to achieve our vision. As I am sure you can tell, winning the NatWest everywoman Award has been a life-changing experience. My advice to other business owners, who are considering applying, is to go for it because you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Are you running your own business, or do you know someone who is? Nominations for the 2015 NatWest everywoman Awards close Monday 6 July 2015, midnight (GMT).