A year on from completing her incubation session at the BG Futures Business and Enterprise Centre, Lizzie Jordan, Founder and CEO of Think2Speak, has been looking back on her journey as an entrepreneur, and how being a BG Futures tenant helped Think2Speak grow in its formative years.
Lizzie’s life completely changed in 2006 when she was widowed and then diagnosed with HIV. From these personal experiences Think2Speak, an award winning social enterprise, was born:
“Think2Speak believe that communication skills are integral to young people’s lives, and confident communication empowers, protects & enables decision-making. Our programmes embed these integral skills, which are pivotal to the quality of relationships, and successes whether in education, employment, or life.”
Lizzie knows from her own experiences as an entrepreneur that being self-employed isn’t for everyone; it is all consuming and hard work and not everyone is cut out for it. However, Lizzie acknowledges the tireless effort can produce incredible rewards which, for her, included receiving recognition from NatWest on their WISE100 list.
When asked about Think2Speak’s time in BG Futures Business and Enterprise Centre, Lizzie said:
“BG Futures has a special place in my heart; it is where the idea of Think2Speak germinated. I was able to benefit from the team within the building, and also the wider network and resources that being based at BGU tapped us into. The foundations that I built whilst based in BG Futures, paved the way for us to grow substantially and 2019 saw us move into commercial premises in Marshall’s Yard in Gainsborough.”
Becky Goodman, Enterprise Development Manager at BGU, commented:
“Think2speak’s work as an award winning social enterprise is fundamental to driving change, and to giving people the confidence to have a voice. It is great that BG Futures could provide a platform from which Think2Speak has been able to grow, and to make positive connections across Lincolnshire and beyond. At BG Futures we are particularly proud of the partnership work that Think2speak has been able to develop with the wider university offer, and I am pleased to see the annual conference #T2SLive19 back at BGU in November. We look forward to seeing Think2Speak continue to grow and effect positive change.”
In addition to enjoying fantastic successes with Think2Speak Lizzie has gone on to become ‘one of the UK’s highest profile HIV advocates’ working as a consultant and speaker for various pharmaceutical companies and as a Visiting Lecturer at a number of universities. Through these roles she discusses her experiences, her story, HIV and sexual health with audiences varying from Year 7 secondary school classes to conferences and pharmaceutical board strategy meetings.
If you have got a vision for your own business but aren’t sure where to begin then the BG Futures team are the perfect place to start. With facilities and expert support available in their incubation centre, they’ll be able to get you on the road to success. Visit our website or contact them today to see how you can start your own adventure.