In the CEO's quarterly update, I promised that we would start a business incubator to help cushion the blow of Brexit and the current weakness of the global economy. After some deliberation on strategy that provided opportunities for both scalability and redundancy, we've decided to start work groups on facebook.
We have created two work groups initially - one for business, and one for research. Both groups are moderated by two people, one of whom is an emotional wellness coach who can give advice and support to people whose struggles are more on that spectrum than on the strictly business spectrum. They are set up as safe spaces, where dignity and confidentiality are respected.
Both groups are topic-specific fora for finding helpful advice, collaborators, support, and other forms of help. One of the rules is that everyone acknowledges their sources. In part this is to bring accountability - only statistically valid data are usable to support one's point(s) - but it is also to make sure that everybody who contributes to a project is credited for their intellectual property, and remunerated for their contributions.
The initial promise was to provide fora for British people in response to Brexit, but this seems narrow and short-sighted. As an organisation that supports women on several continents, we thought it best to be most inclusive, hence the use of facebook as a medium, and the lack of a joining fee for the groups. While a local, physical business incubator facility would be most effective, those will come as finances are available, rather than accumulating debt to support start-ups and small businesses.
You can find the business group here. This group is for anyone who runs a small or medium-sized business in or providing services to the motorsport industry. The end goal of the group is to allow independent specialists to bid for projects that would normally only be open to large companies. In the meantime, the short-term goal is to build the brands of people in the group by collaborating and advising on each other's projects, facilitating introductions, trading services, building relevant work portfolios, etc. in a way that provides credible references.
You can join the research group here. We have known for some time that, largely as a result of the 2008 recession and its aftermath, there is a generation of university graduates who have been unable to find work in their fields, and/or unable to find scholarships to do more degrees to make themselves more employable. There are no real avenues to publishing for this group of people. We would like to facilitate research on topics related to women, motorsport, diversity, empowerment, human rights, marketing and PR strategies, etc. We will do our best to facilitate input from relevant experts to guide the researching and writing process. When papers or books result from these groups, we will make funds available for submission and publishing fees (usually covered by the university hiring the researcher, and an obstacle to independent publishing).
We reserve the right to write about projects spawned in these two groups - with the written permission of the people involved - once they have reached key milestones, and post them to our blog. This will provide you with much-needed free publicity, as well as keeping the content pipeline for our group filled up.