Meet One World Women’s Founder: Sustainable Impact For Women In Business

Wed, 27 Feb 2019 by Liz Rosling

Back in early 2018, successful businesswoman, Cath Harris, was on a week’s holiday with a friend in Gambia, West Africa when she had the fortune of meeting one of the most incredible women who would inspire Cath to make profound and sustainable impact for women in business.

Cath made the tough decision to sell her first business in 2016, as her work/life balance was almost non-existent. Taking a break from ‘doing’ allowed her to reflect on what changes to make in her life and by mid-2017 she’d decided five things:

1. That she wanted to work primarily with women,

2. That she needed to prioritise self-care,

3. That she had to run a business on her own (to prove she could!),

4. That her next opportunity needed purpose at its core and she wanted enough flexibility to see the world.

Now to sit tight and wait for an opportunity with the above criteria to make itself known. Simple!!

one-world-women-cic-600

When in the Gambia, West Africa for a beach holiday with a friend, Cath took a day excursion to a home cookery school where the activity was to learn how to make traditional Gambian cuisine. Whilst the Benachin (one-pot) was cooking, Cath had the opportunity to discuss with the host Ida Cham, about local culture, what life is like for the women and what support is available for them to thrive.

working-in-gambia-600

Ida explained that with the profit from her successful cookery school she micro-loaned amounts to local women to help them set up their own enterprise. This truly inspired Cath. Fast-forward one month and Ida was visiting family in Manchester, Cath flew up to visit her and pitched her an idea where she suggested bringing small groups of experienced, professional businesswomen to the Gambia where each person could partner with a local Gambian businesswomen and help them improve their businesses through mentoring and coaching support. The idea has since become and non-profit social enterprise called One World Women CIC.

The first cohort went to Gambia for a week in November 2018 and this pilot group were truly impressed and fulfilled with the amount of impact they were personally able to contribute. The relationships have continued long after that intense week of cultural-exchange with monthly coaching sessions and progress on business plans continuing to be achieved.

One of the experienced participants said ‘This programme shows that our acumen and skills are a lot more valuable than we think and can be of huge value. You don’t necessarily need to be a doctor or a nurse to help others and make real impact’.

The future for this fledgling non-profit is looking bright with Cath leading the way for more cohorts to make real-life impact in the Gambia.

Cath’s one piece of advice to other businesswomen is always trust your intuition.

So far, Cath has been nominated for a Venus Award and the Natwest WISE 100: Recognising Leading Women In Social Enterprise. She has recently pitched to L’Oreal, who are very interested in sending some of their own employees out to Gambia.

Watch This Space!

Sign up for more information. For an interview, please contact cath@oneworldwomen.co.uk or 07792867553.

Connect With One World Women

• LinkedIn: One World Women

• Facebook: One World Women

• Twitter: @OneWorldWomen1

• Instagram: @OneWorldWomen1

gambia-one-world-women-3-600

If you enjoyed this article, take a read of another featured social enterprise:

Second Shot: The Coffee Shop Helping To Tackle Homelessness

About Liz Rosling

Liz is a business finance specialist, responsible for publishing relevant industry insight for SME Loans. Also an author at StartUp Mindset, Liz uses her years of experience in the financial services sector, to equip small business owners with the guidance and expertise they need to realise their full potential. Stay up to date with Liz through LinkedIn and Twitter. You can drop her an email at liz.rosling@dojono.com.

Latest News

Online Business Banking – What are the best online business accounts?

Sources Of Business Finance During COVID-19

Are you struggling to find sources of business finance due to the coronavirus? Read our list of alternative sources of finance for SMEs affected by Covid-19.

Meet The Founders Of Cucumber Clothing #WomenInSMEs

We find out more about luxe nightwear and leisurewear brand Cucumber Clothing from co-founder Nancy Zeffman. 100% British made, produced from wicken fabrics.

How to start a business | SME Loans

Our step-by-step guide is designed to help entrepreneurs set up their own startup business. It includes a downloadable PDF to guide you through the process.