With only three weeks to go until the final of the If We Can You Can challenge, we're profiling more of this year's entrants. Shantelle Million-Lawson tells BQ all about her business, MiCarePlan.
What did you do before setting up your business?
I worked on the front line of care as a care assistant and shift manager for eight years before and during my degree in English Language at Newcastle University. This gave me extensive experience of the sector and a good understanding of the needs of those on the front line.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I was working with the challenges faced by the sector every day. With staff overwhelmed and over stretched, trying to deliver the best care possible but restricted by the documentation of care. I had the understanding of what was needed and noticed a huge gap in the market for this, so starting my own business was the most effective way to make my idea into a reality.
What makes this business different?
While our competitors are technology companies focused on the digitalisation of documentation in care, I consider MiCarePlan a care planning company primarily – focusing on the documentation of care and the needs of staff. We have a strong ethos on empowering care workers and working with them, offering them confidence and a new found enthusiasm – while our competitors focus on compliance and monitoring staff usage.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
I attended last year as a guest and saw the awards first hand. It was an excellent and inspiring night!
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
Allowing organisations such as universities and the Institute of Ageing to use the data collected by MiCarePlan to be used for the benefit of research into Ageing and dementia.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Many care assistants feel they will be unable to use technology in their role. Watching them realise not only that they can use MiCarePlan with ease, but the positive impact the system can have on their day to day.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Learning about the technology required to create MiCarePlan. I recognise and feel strongly that in order to successfully lead a technical team, I needed to equip myself with an understanding of development, hosting, UX/UI design and all other areas of our technology needs.
Who/what gave you support or advice?
We received support from Newcastle University, the Institute of Ageing, EIT Health, care providers, care assistants, local businesses and entrepreneurs.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
Understand your sector! It is critical that you understand all aspects of your business and have the ability to eloquently define this to a range of audiences.
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