Our team is growing! Meet our new Business Adviser, John Carroll, to find out more about him and how he’s finding life at The Women’s Organisation.
What’s your full name and where are you from?
My name is John Carroll and I am originally from Manchester.
Tell me how you first found out about The Women’s Organisation and become part of our team?
Having previously worked in a business advisory role, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to use my skills, along with my previous experience in business banking, to help more people looking to set up a new business or in need of support to grow their existing one. My search led me to stumble across an article about the Women’s Organisation and the fantastic work it has done in this area, and in supporting equality and diversity in general. I then saw a vacancy advertised for a Business Advisor at the WO, so I jumped at the chance to become a part of this amazing enterprise.
What kind of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?
I joined RBS (now NatWest) more or less straight from school and in 1992 went to Jersey, in the Channel Islands, for a six month placement, but ended up staying there for 23 years! I developed my skills and experience through a number of roles, but really enjoyed working with small businesses, which I did as a Relationship Manager for the last 6 years of my time there. I looked after around 250 local businesses in Jersey, assisting them with banking and lending facilities, plus other support to help them grow. Sadly, after 27 years I left the Bank through redundancy at the beginning of 2020 but, whilst on lockdown due to COVID-19, was approached to join an advisory team at Jersey Business, a government backed social enterprise, helping businesses to navigate through the crisis, which was difficult at times, but hugely rewarding.
What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?
I have been really surprised by the sheer number of different projects which the organisation is part of delivering, either directly or in partnership with other enterprises, and just how highly regarded it is, along with all the hardworking team, across the Liverpool and wider regions, and rightly so. They have played a vital role in helping to ensure more women across the region have the best support possible, both personally and in enterprise, and I’m so happy to be joining at a time when more help is needed.
What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?
The best thing for me has been the people! Unfortunately, due to the current situation we are all working remotely but everyone has been so welcoming! My new colleagues have all been so supportive and friendly and really made me feel part of the team from day one. The team is busy and work really hard, but there is a real desire and belief around the help and support delivered and it really comes across.
Could you describe one of your typical workdays?
I am still soaking up all the information and details of the various workshops and support on offer, but a typical day will involve preparing and researching for a zoom call with a new or existing client, so we can work with them to understand their business and its current position, whether established or a new start up idea, and work together on action plans to provide the support and guidance needed. I have been so amazed at the number of different business ideas I have seen so far and some of the inspiring back stories from the women involved. Rarely are there many cases alike, which is great!
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I am a keen Manchester City supporter (yes I know!) and was chairman of the Supporters Club in Jersey for a number of years. Around 18 months ago I managed to convince the club to send the actual Premier League trophy over for a charity event, which they did with two security guards, and I picked them all up from the airport in my car. Traffic was bad so I took the trophy and the guards for breakfast near the beach and they insisted on bringing the trophy into the café with us, which caused a bit of stir and we even ended up in the papers!
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I am married with two children, and we have been back in the UK for around 5 months now, so when not working I love spending time with my family exploring new places. And watching Man City of course!