Women face various challenges when leading a business, including gender bias, limited access to funding and resources, societal expectations around gender roles and family responsibilities and a lack of representation and support networks.
However, Rugby-based family firm The Smarter Outsource Service (TSOS) is proving to be resilient and resourceful enough to overcome those obstacles. TSOS, led by Tracey Coetzee, has dealt with those challenges as well as the additional complications caused by Covid-19 and is now thriving in the business world – and helping others to thrive as a result.
This independent women and BAME-owned business connects SMEs with carefully selected and trusted independent services suppliers that share the same core goal of supporting businesses. TSOS advisors work closely with clients to ensure that they get the right help from the right provider at the right time.
TSOS has established a successful business while at the same time also creating a lasting social impact as a Fair Chance employer, having signed up with Warwickshire County Council’s Fair Chance Employment Scheme. They work closely with Warwickshire Skills Hub, the Department for Work and Pensions and local colleges, schools and care homes to ensure equal opportunities for everyone. Under the DWP Kickstart Scheme they provided support to nine young people who were struggling with a lack of employment due to inexperience, lack of confidence or circumstances.
It has not all been plain sailing. The business, as well as its directors, was severely impacted by the effects of the Covid lockdowns which created additional barriers, specifically with regard to accessing finance. However, Tracy Coetzee didn’t let new challenges stop her. She reached out to Simon Hooks (Business Finance Director from Riqueza Business Solutions Ltd) who introduced TSOS to Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT).
CWRT were able to support TSOS with a loan to help grow their business under the Local Communities and Enterprise Fund (LCE), funded by Warwickshire County Council. Tracy praised CWRT and the dedicated team members who assisted her with the application process.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to Keely and Sahib from the CWRT who put so much effort into helping us with our funding application,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
CWRT is continuously working towards supporting more women-led businesses within the region through their specialist finance packages.
Keely Beamish, Business Development Manager said: “As an all-women management company, we appreciate the struggles that women encounter in the business world and would love to help even more local businesses break down barriers especially when it comes to accessing finance.
“To achieve this, we are relaunching The Financial Fit (TFF) programme later on this year. TFF aims to support women-led businesses with their financial and strategy journeys. We are currently looking for investors to join us in funding this powerful programme.”
- To find out more about CWRT support and funding please visit www.cwrt.uk.com