Since an early age, Catherine has always had a passion for social justice. With years of experience working in charities across Liverpool and Manchester such as The Anthony Walker Foundation and The ADHD Foundation, she has always strived to support and protect those in marginalised communities.
When the pandemic hit, Catherine used her spare time in lockdown to create her own innovative discrimination training with the hopes to create her own business. In February 2022, she founded Be What You See Consultancy, a service providing bespoke training to young people and adults with the aim of teaching the knowledge, skills, and confidence to recognise and challenge problematic and discriminatory behaviour.
Be What You See’s main source of training is the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Champions programme. It includes a collaboration of leading charities in the anti-racism, LGBTQIA+, neurodiversity, and active bystander education. Participants attend interactive discrimination training sessions to become ‘champions of inclusion’.
Since launching, the business has gone from strength to strength. Starting in Manchester, her clientele has now grown to those across the North West. Clients include The NHS, a premiere league football team, universities, schools, and charities.
Earlier in life, Catherine was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. This made it difficult for her to cope with the trials and tribulations of the business start-up process. Once it started taking a toll on her mental health and personal life, she contacted The Women’s Organisation for support and guidance to help breakdown and manage her workload.
How did we help?
Catherine was put into contact with our business advisor Rhian and enrolled onto our Manchester-based business support programme Excelerate Labs.
How has Excelerate Labs & your Business Advisor helped you to start your discrimination training business?
“Meeting Rhian and working with her helped both me and my business grow so much. She took me through the programme step by step and at a pace that was manageable for me. The programme was adapted to the way I learn best, and I really valued this. I feel the programme enabled me to build a good foundation for the business, learning new things like writing business plans, financial forecasting, marketing, and branding. When everything came together, we started to grow rapidly, we went from selling a few days training a month to now having a fully booked training schedule until August. I am no longer chasing contracts and I am working with clients who hold the same values and mission as our company. With the support from Rhian, I was able to tackle all the challenges and failures head on.”
5) What advice would you give to someone starting a business?
“Find something you are passionate about and that gives you purpose and turn it into a business. There’s no better feeling than waking up knowing the day ahead will involve something you enjoy doing, if you can make a living out of that then go for it. Always ask for help and support, you will be surprised at how many aspects of the business you can outsource others to do. Remember the best lessons are from failure. It happens a lot in business so be prepared and come into this with a bounce back attitude.”
To find out more about Be What You See and the discrimination training available, find contact details below:
To contact Catherine Millan directly:
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