My Week: Jessica Grosvenor of Freelance Training and Consultancy

The Midlands-based entrepreneur on the magic of social networking, beating nerves and winning awards.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
It really has been a busy week or so. Last week we spent two days in London for the Shell LiveWIRE event. On the first day we did our panel interview, where people like Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation and Andrew Dixon of Shell interviewed me about my company Freelance Training and Consultancy, which I started six months ago. Then after that we had to do a PowerPoint presentation to Duncan Bannatyne and Simon Dolan explaining how we started the company and showing off our entrepreneurial skills. I’m lucky that I don’t really get nervous speaking in public because I do it so often. It also helped that Duncan and Simon were such brilliant, down-to-earth guys.

A bunch of us then went out for a meal and a few drinks in the evening – not too many drinks mind you, as we had a busy day on Wednesday. First thing we had some media training to try to help us understand the world of journalism. They taught us things like how best to get in contact with journalists, how to write a press release and, most importantly, not to be offended when they slam down the phone on you. Then after that we had some talks about digital marketing and how best to leverage social networks for your business. I’d never used Twitter and Facebook in a business context before, but after that presentation I’ve started using them. Social networks really can be powerful tools, but it’s just so time-consuming – you’ve got to be on top of it all the time. It’s created another job vacancy for us – and we are already recruiting another 20 people at the moment.

Then that evening they revealed who won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award – and it was me! We may have had a bit more to drink that night… My husband had come down for the evening for the awards, so we and the other finalists went to a bar on the way back to the Park Plaza County Hall where we were staying. I really like London and I hope to spend more time here – especially now I’ve made some good contacts. But my heart will always belong to Wolverhampton.

After heading back to the Midlands on Thursday evening, I spent Friday letting it sink in. One of the other finalists sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers to my office to congratulate me, which was really sweet. I didn’t let it go to my head though, I had to get my head down and do some work. I worked all weekend too. I would actually work every single hour if I could. I love having an active role in the company and developing projects from the beginning through to the end. We’re actually just talking to Wolverhampton Council about the possibility of opening an activity centre to train our candidates in. It will have a hairdressing salon, a nail parlour, a reception to train our customer service students in as well as an activity centre for disabled people. So that’ll keep me busy...

Jessica Grosvenor is the founder of Freelance Training and Consultancy, which offers skills and vocational training throughout the UK.

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