iSE | GBSLEP Spotlight Lodestar Wellness CIC
Our GBSLEP Growth Programme provides up to 3 hours mentoring and expert growth advice to existing social businesses. Here’s how we’ve been supporting Lodestar Wellness on the next step of their journey.
Lodestar Wellness are making waves in and around Solihull with a mission for caring for people who care for others, often the last people to ask for support. The fact that a young and growing social enterprise flourished through the Covid-19 pandemic has as much to do with entrepreneur and founder Linda Baker as it does with the fact that needs around emotional support and wellbeing are current and burning issues.
We caught up with Linda for a post-lockdown coffee to find out how Lodestar Wellness came into being and where they plan to go in the future.
Linda’s background is very much at the heart of the corporate world having worked in the Communications sector for over 30 years. It was within this industry that Linda developed an interest in counselling and coaching as tools to improve communication with people.
Her first venture focusing on caring for people came in 2010 when she began running a small holistic clinic called The Retreat. This was ultimately unsustainable and Linda changed tack to providing coaching for organisations and charities…then the pandemic arrived.
Linda had been working with social enterprise business consultants iSE to register her new social enterprise, working with the iSE team to look at the differences between Limited Companies, Community Interest Companies and charities and it’s from that support that Lodestar Wellness emerged, a social enterprise/Community Interest Company focused on providing a range of self-care services including: coaching, mentoring, reiki, self-awareness & development workshops, holistic therapies and relaxation classes.
Linda acknowledges that the transition from “project” to business was somewhat frightening but is grateful for the support she received from the experts at iSE and latterly the GBSLEP Growth Hub. Lodestar is at the point where it’s ready to move on to the next stage.
There is still work to do, there’s always work to do and Linda recognises that the structure needs firming up to enable the growth she wants. She is working with some local creatives to develop her marketing and branding and is exploring more sustainable models of finance and pricing.
The fact that the iSE advisers who helped with the start up are also providing growth support through the GBSLEP Growth Hub helps to keep the momentum up and Linda recognises that the ongoing support around strategy, reality checking and support to understand the world she is walking into from the team has been invaluable.
Intellectual Property and new product development are high on the agenda for the next three months.
Introductions to networks, advice around bids and funding are all working together to build resilience and underpin growth in an ever changing and competitive sector. Linda said “I have found the support from ISE and the Growth Hub really motivating, I now understand what I need to do to move forward and make a real difference”.
To access support through the GBSLEP Get Up & Grow programme contact Simon Veasey firstname.lastname@example.org