Welcome to the Business Playbox Spotlight, where we take a closer look at some members of our Playbox community.
This week, we're sharing a little more about two of the Business Playbox coaches, the fantastic Asha Mistry (L) and Rabiha Hannan (R). Find out more below as they share a little about themselves and their reflections on the community.
Asha is a dedicated employee of the University of Leicester, and for four years she has devoted her time to support students explore the job market and help them turn their ideas into businesses. She also helps students implement sustainability principles in their organisations.
Why get involved?
Asha believes the programme is the perfect opportunity to give back to her community, and wants to contribute to empowering and encouragement women in the city. She wants to take the opportunity the Business Playbox presents to help local women build the relationships they need to thrive as entrepreneurs; relationships with each other and with the wider community.
Journey so far
The experience so far has been fantastic! It's been a real pleasure to find women on programme who have such bright ideas, and is encouraged by their ambition, creativity and enthusiasm. She's also excited about how much progress the women have made in such a short period of time and is looking forward to the possibilities long term.
Asha hopes to see all the ladies being supported on the programme start their businesses successfully; she sees that the Business Playbox is increasing everyone's confidence and show them what is possible when they apply their skills and brilliance.
She encourages anyone willing to join the Business Playbox to get involved, including as a coach, believing everyone has something to offer. If they're passionate about helping others to grow and give back to their local community, this is the place for them. She said "it's a rewarding experience and you never know whose life you might impact by joining!"
She wants every woman to know that they're welcome to join even with the vaguest of ideas. “Making time to join the workshops would add some value - even if you decide not to start a business at the end of it - so that in the future, if you decide to start something, you're not starting from scratch”.
Rabiha feels very blessed to have had access to a number of wonderful opportunities in life, from training as a pharmacist to co-ordinating national events, sitting on advisory panels and working on research projects, all these experiences have led her to co-direct her own consultancy business, as well as run a charity.
Why get involved?
Rabiha feels that the 'She Inspired Business Playbox' is a wonderful opportunity for women from BAME communities in Leicester to explore their business acumen and develop their entrepreneurial skills.
She got involved because she hopes to support women in thinking through their ideas: their effectiveness, the development of a business model, trying to understand their ultimate goals, explore what might be holding them back/preventing them from success, organise priorities, and - most importantly - help them to overcome beliefs that might be holding them back.
Journey so far
Rabiha's experience has been very positive one! She's enjoyed listening to the women on programme, sharing in their problem solving, helping them to develop a more critical mindset and become more resilient, being a soundboard to their ideas, and encouraging them to develop their ideas further so they stand the best chance of success.
The ultimate goal is to help women become comfortable in themselves; strong, confident and independent, and to recognise that that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. Ideally that will be through seizing a business opportunity and sustaining their venture. But even if they're not quite ready for this, to encourage them to develop self-belief and discover new and exciting things about themselves, that will help them go forward in life with a more positive and confident outlook is a great outcome for women who come onto the Business Playbox programme.
Rabiha also encourages others from around the city to get involved: "if you feel you have time, skills, or experience to offer women by way of knowledge, support and encouragement in setting up a business or reach their potential, this is a hugely rewarding opportunity". Rabiha firmly believes that 'we rise by lifting others' and this is an excellent opportunity to help others be successful and gain real self-fulfilment.
She wants everyone to know "there are so many wonderfully innovative women to learn from, be encouraged and inspired by - don't listen to that voice that tells you, you can't or you're not good enough but step forward into being who are truly meant to be and let these women carry you with them."