There are some women who come along to us for support and end up becoming part of the family! Ngunan Adamu is one of those women, she’s such a regular here at The Women’s Organisation, that we’re considering asking her to move in! Ngunan received support from us to help her start her businesses; ‘iWoman Media’ and ‘iWoman Academy’.
iWoman Media, which has been funded by The Wellcome Trust, is an organisation aimed at the female global community using media to promote sisterhood and iWoman Academy is a radio training academy aimed at women using radio to empower and build confidence.
Ngunan told us; ‘iWoman Academy is a women’s only radio training academy where we use radio as a training and wellbeing tool for women. Maybe some of these women have lost their confidence, or been through a rough time in their lives, suffered mental illness or just need to get out the house. That’s the reason I set it up, so they could learn new skills and build a sisterhood at the same time.’
Ngunan started her first radio training course in September 2016, the course runs for 12 weeks, twice a week on a Monday and Tuesday from 10am-12pm and involves learning everything you need to know about the media industry, including; research skills, communication skills, editing skills etc. Ngunan says; ‘I’ve had such an amazing mixture of women from all over the world so that’s been great. We learn in an informal way, through activities, and we talk and talk a lot!’ The only eligibility for the programme is that you are a woman, living in Merseyside and that you’re unemployed and over 19.
Radio and the Media is Ngunan’s background and passion, so starting her own business doing this seemed the perfect next step. She has worked at the BBC for 11 years and is a trained journalist by profession, and started at the BBC when she was 25 after undertaking work experience as a runner at Manchester Entertainment. ‘I’d always wanted to do TV instead of Radio but my experience of it was so negative. It was aggressively competitive and I didn’t want to be like that or treat other people that way. So, I went into Radio instead.’
Starting off as a Runner, Ngunan quickly progressed and landed role after role within the industry becoming a Trainee Broadcast Assistant, undertaking outreach work and eventually having her own show on BBC Radio Merseyside; Upfront. ‘I’ve moved around a lot, I never wanted to stay in one place and when the opportunities have come I’ve said yes! But I always knew that I wanted to start my own business.’
After deciding that she wanted to start her own business that would help women, Ngunan returned to University for the second time and studied for a PGCE and got in touch with The Women’s Organisation to begin receiving support to help her start her business. Ngunan paired up with our Senior Business Adviser; Claire Pedersen and they’ve been working closely together on Ngunan’s business plan. ‘Working with Claire has been fantastic; I couldn’t have asked for a better adviser! When I met Claire, she made me strip my ideas right back to the very basics and got me to think about my market research and that has helped me and determined how things are going to run. It’s been incredible to have that support there and I don’t know what I would have done without it!’
As well as working with The Women’s Organisation, Ngunan has also been receiving support from The School for Social Entrepreneurs North West in partnership with Blackburne House. The support she has been receiving is under the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme which offers a fully funded year of learning, a mentor and a grant to help social entrepreneurs grow their project. ‘Working with both organisations has been really great. It’s helped me think a lot deeper about my business and they’ve complimented each other.’
Ngunan is now running her second cohort and has received an amazing response from the women who are taking part in it. The long-term aim is to get the iWoman radio station up and running so that there is an easy and clear route for the graduates to take. ‘I also want them to be able to get different employment opportunities, or even support them if they would like to return back into education or go to University. iWoman radio station should be launched next year in line with International Women’s Day.’
The future looks incredibly bright for Ngunan and her two businesses iWoman Academy and iWoman Media and we know that great things are in the pipeline supporting women to reach their full potentials. Ngunan’s advice to a woman in a similar situation who is thinking about starting a business? ‘If you’ve got an idea, no matter how small it is – go for it! We’re so privileged to have The Women’s Organisation to give you support and advice, so make sure you contact them!’
‘Starting up my own business has made me grow as a person and iWoman is about encouraging women to be confident in what they know and how they too can grow. I know that I’m not the best at every part of my business but I had the vision and passion to get it going. That’s what I would say to everyone, even if you’re not the best – go for it, if you’ve got the drive, you will succeed.’
If you’d like to find out more about iWoman you can check them out on Facebook and Twitter or email email@example.com
And if you’ve been inspired by Ngunan’s story and would like support starting your own business, then get in touch with us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 0151 706 8111