NAME: Liz Moody
BACKGROUND: University Degree
ACTION/SECTOR: Service, Education, voluntary sector, Culture & Sport
ORGANIZATION: Neontics Ltd
My Background and Career
I have established Neontics Ltd specifically to encourage more women into starting new businesses and social enterprises through building an online community that I hope will encourage, support and promote their businesses and that of services and individuals who understand that work in particular, and life in general can be a lot more fulfilling when we follow our passions, do work we enjoy and get help and encouragement from others who share in our desire to succeed.
www.neontics.com is a first stage website which is seeking to build this online community. As it progresses I hope to encourage more organisations to sign up to the directory, post their events and promote their services to people who want to start a new business.
Economic: I have found, delivered and managed my own work for the last 12 years to earn my living and support my family.
Family: I overcame the death of my Mother at a young age and my Father at 22 years – so have had to be quite independent and mature since a young age.
Personal: I have frequently doubted my own ability and ambition and assumed others must be better equipped than I am to be successful. It takes courage and determination and I know this is easier to achieve with the encouragement of others. We all suffer from self-doubt and set-backs at times but can get through them.
Social: I’ve been fortunate to have been healthy and by and large not discriminated against as I’ve gotten older. I have a sense though that women are still in the minority of leadership roles in business, there is still a network they’re not part of and fewer women start businesses with ambitions to grow them.
Opportunities and threats which had a strong influence on your career.
• I have had a good business education – at university, through further study and personal development and from employers
• I have a supportive spouse who has encouraged me to pursue my career
• I have an extensive network of colleagues and contacts
Threats: • Many of the organisations I have worked in and interact with are predominantly run by men and their culture and thinking style, behaviours and attitudes can prevent many women from developing their full potential.
• There are many organisations and initiatives around to support new enterprises in the UK but navigating your way around them and keeping track of what help is available is difficult to do. Each promotes their own piece of the bigger jigsaw and encourages new businesses to behave and respond to their own funding criteria and rules. This often creates a dependency cycle where working to access the next round of funds to meet investor needs predominates, rather than concentrating on founders and their customers.
• The attitudes and mindsets of investors and financial services puts a particular strain on small and start-up businesses – the emphasis on rapid, high growth creates bubbles of interest and favours only a small number of sectors - like hi tech, or business types - those with global potential.
Hints & Tips
Did some thing give you inspiration for your project / action / enterprise?
When I tried to set up Neontics, I discovered that it was really difficult to make it happen. While there are many agencies around to give advice, I ended up going round in circles. What I needed was help not advice at times. I wasted a lot of time trying to find the people who could help me. I was looking for shortcuts, tips and contacts but found that the agencies promoted themselves well, without collaborating across their boundaries. That was the gap I saw and am trying to fill.
Suggestions and advice to give to women:
• Pick something that is really meaningful to you – something you feel passionately about. Don’t waste money, enthusiasm or energy trying to plan it all out and get set up, before you have decided what it is you want to do. Start in a small way and gather momentum – success breeds success. Find someone to work with you who is equally passionate and prepared to help you, perhaps in exchange for your help with their own project.
• Don’t put off what you want to do for another day – just start and see where it takes you. You will be amazed at how things start to happen when you get going – and just as amazed how much your original idea changes as you go along – which is good if this is based on your own feedback and that of the people you consider your customers.
Lucky saying or phrase:
If you bring forth that which is within you, what you bring forth will save you.