What’s your business, and who are your customers?

Keystone Women is an interactive online programme and community for enterprising women who want to reimagine their working lives. Our holistic approach combines world-class teaching with wellness rituals powered by a nurturing community to help you and your business thrive.

Keystone is designed by women, for women. To do work, work for us all. We believe that leading by example and role modeling are hugely powerful when working to overcome gender bias. We are also keen supporters of the Wellbeing Economy and see this approach to work as revolutionary- as we know that wellbeing is more than just GDP. We have big ambitions to create a movement and work with thousands of women, building a nurturing community and thriving ecosystem. We work with any self-identifying woman that wants to reimagine their working life.

Tell us about yourself

As a social entrepreneur myself, my facilitators and I understand the uncertainties of starting and running a business. I founded a community coworking space in 2015 called Tribe Porty. We are a social enterprise with over 150 members, other circular economy social enterprises, charities, entrepreneurs, and SMEs. In 2017, I realised over 70% of my members were women, all with very similar challenges in their careers. The opportunities were not the same for them as their male partners, friends, and colleagues. It was then that I decided to develop women focus business support programme. Through my own journey of starting and growing businesses and acknowledging the importance and challenges of keeping well, nurturing relationships, and attending to my creativity, I discovered there was a better way to view work. Through running Tribe Porty, I witnessed challenges for others and also the powerful benefits of community. In 2018, through a pilot, I launched Tribe Women.

After two hugely successful years and working with over 150 women, we wanted to be more accessible through some additional online options. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to cancel all events and workshops, and rebuild the programme to be 100% online, then relaunched at that point as Keystone Women.

To date, we have worked with over 300 women and have co-created the content with our participants and female experts in their different fields. I really enjoy providing a respectful space to explore ideas, build businesses, discover purpose and support good business practices which care about individuals, community, values, and the planet.

What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I recently was listed as one of the top 100 women to watch in the UK by NatWest, the Rose Review, and the Telegraph. This was for my 7 years running Tribe Porty and 4 years running Keystone Women. I am also proud to be a global mentor for the Social Enterprise Academy and a board member of Edinburgh’s Women’s Aid.

Most of all, I am most proud and humbled by the people I have met through the community at Tribe Porty and Keystone Women. Self-aware, kind, intelligent, and giving individuals who care about others and the natural world.

What’s one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Ultimately being responsible for everything. When you start up, you do everything. You are constantly learning new skills, feeling out of your depth, and thinking about not only cleaning the toilets but pitching for investment. Bringing the right people on is also challenging. No one will love your business as much as you- sometimes that feels personal.

What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Keep working on yourself. Owning your growth, shortcomings, and strengths is hugely important.
  2. Ask. You won’t get ahead if you don’t learn how to ask for help and advice and for people to come with you.
  3. Take time to develop habits and rituals that attend to your wellbeing. Your physical, spiritual and social wellbeing.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.realkeystone.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realkeystone
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keystonewomen/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/keystonewomen
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/keystonewomen/

Find out more about GoSolo here.