Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland: Enhance and Business

By March 16, 2015Business, Disability
Claire Holland Head of Training

Enhance the UK has decided to put its business hat on! I don’t mean that we will no longer be a charity or stop aiming for our charitable objectives but simply to achieve these we recognise that we need to learn from commercial leaders.

In today’s economic climate fundraising is hard work – it’s a case of taking one step forward and three back. Several charities this week have announced they are under threat of closure due to being unable to raise enough money for core costs. Just to explain, core costs are the day to day running costs of a charity which are not linked to a specific project, examples are salaries, admin, financial compliance, etc. All of these need to be paid for in order to continue with our projects, however, these are very hard to find funding for. And fundraising for the campaigning that we do, well that’s a nightmare!

Luckily, the team at Enhance the UK are not the type to admit defeat and crawl into a hole somewhere (although I am sure the urge has been there at times). We have decided to take the bull by the horns. We recognise that one way to finance our core costs and various projects is to sell more training to organisations and have been lucky enough to have met an inspirational woman from a media advertising company who has agreed to mentor us. We met this week and were provided with guidance regarding a business plan focussing on sales. During the meeting we concentrated on our mission and exactly how we plan to get there. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty, but it’s safe to say that we had some fantastic advice which we intend to use.

Equally as important, in my view, is that we left the meeting drained but enthused by a vision. There has been a lot of publicity this week around International Women’s Day and rightly so. The conversation turned to all the initiatives to encourage women in business as there is immense pressure for businesses to diversify their staff. A large number of businesses now publicly recognise the positive impact that women at all levels of the business can have on them. The changes that are being made are irreversible, although it is acknowledged that there is still some way to go. Wouldn’t it be amazing if in five years time we could be in the same place regarding disabled people in business. In fact, not just in business but in society.

You may think that this is a pipe dream. Maybe it is, but I sincerely hope not.

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