Yvonne Ellis

 


Category: Event

NATWEST REUNION EVENT

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I attended the NatWest reunion event at the Tripod in Brixton. It was an opportunity for those of us that completed the program to catch up and network. Also to meet people that support BAME entrepreneurs and businesses. I was part of a group of entrepreneurs from black, minority and ethnic backgrounds that learnt the basics of starting a business. Over the course of 8 weeks through a mixture of workshops and online learning.

Sharniya Ferdinand, Natwest inclusion coordinator worked hard to put the program and event together, she did a fantastic job. It was encouraging to hear  Izzy Obeng and Darren Tenkorbeng share their stories about their entrepreneurial journey. What they have achieved through perseverance and hard work is inspirational and just goes to show what passion for a vision can achieve.  I noticed throughout the evening in the conversations I had with fellow entrepreneurs this was a common thread; hard work, passion and commitment to succeed is the fuel that is propelling our dreams.

Two entrepreneurs from the program did a pitch about their business in 60 seconds and they were so good! Admittedly I am still trying to perfect my pitch but I am getting there. I think it fantastic for Natwest bank to recognise the value of BAME business by putting together resources to empower us. I have been to quite a few of the events that include events for women in business and have found them to be really informative.

Finally, it is important to ‘Fall in love with the problem, not the solution’. That was the motto of the NatWest program. In doing this entrepreneur program it has empowered me to think of new ways of engaging with potential customers. For example, how I build products and services to accommodate their needs. Also how I engage with them, what do they prefer? These are important factors in what will help my company to be effective in its reach and growth. I have already actively put in place aspects of what I have learned and I will be implementing the rest as I go along. This has been an important part of my business journey and it will be interesting to see in a year time the progress of my business. No doubt I am in a much better position for being a part of this program.

 

CONNECTED EMPOWERMENT

In May this year, I coordinated and hosted an empowerment event in Rancho Cucamonga California. I really enjoyed connecting with other like-minded people. It took sixteen weeks of hard work to accomplish this event and resulted in a great learning experience to take forward to my next event abroad. It has opened my mind to countless ideas that I want to explore.

I felt very honoured to deliver this event through my company YEME Empowerment as I originally had this written down on my business canvas as a goal that would be possible in three years time. The reason I envisioned achieving it at this time was due to my company being a new business. I feel a real sense of awe and accomplishment that I have done it. It is amazing how a passion for a cause can connect people together to create empowerment. In this blog, I want to share with you three benefits of connected empowerment.

INFORMATION SHARING

As there were different organisations and speakers that came together at the Empower event, we all got to share knowledge on our particular areas of expertise. We all learned from each other and it gave us unique insight into the challenges faced by survivors of childhood sexual abuse and what hinders their empowerment. I learned a lot in those few hours and I took notes on information shared to help me reflect on the peer empowerment work I do with Daughter Arise.

SHARING SUCCESS AND LESSONS

I shared my story and testimony of how my faith helped overcome childhood sexual abuse. It was great listening to other survivors share how they found their voice. All of us who spoke at the event have overcome many challenges to achieve personal success in life. To be in a position where I can pass on what I have learned from my own journey as a way of encouraging others is a privilege. Trauma does not affect everyone the same way. Our individual experience has in part given us a certain outlook on life yet it has not defined us. It was encouraging and empowering to all that was in attendance.

TEAMWORK

As the saying goes dream work makes the teamwork. An important part of building a business is connecting with other people. We all worked together fantastically as a team which resulted in the event success. The volunteers of the organisations set a great example by the enthusiasm they displayed. It helped set an example for the attendees to feel comfortable to get involved. It was an invaluable experience to able to do this event. I am looking forward to continuing building these professional relationships because connected empowerment enriches the lives of not only everyone involved in this event but also the lives of people we meet in the future.