Inspired by her involvement with Young Enterprise and with a family history of entrepreneurship, Alexandra Poole, director of Yorkshire-based the iNNiTi effect talks to BQ about her startup journey.
Tell us about your business, what does it do? (in less than 100 words)
the iNNiTi effect supports companies to overcome key organisational challenges, growing value and knowledge, in order for them to realise long-term growth opportunities and deliver change for the future. From multinationals to startups, we use our experience in coaching people to transform organisations.
Our focus is on practical solutions that best meet with the organisation’s needs and size at both a strategic and tactical level. We recognise the differences and similarities of organisations and the individuals within them, so we work in partnership to create a unique tailor-made approach that aligns their people with process and technology.
What did you do before you started this business?
After holding a variety of operational roles, I discovered my true passion is change (the holistic, well-thought-out kind!). I spent a number of years working in business transformation roles, latterly as a consultant across many sectors in both the UK and Europe.
I led and coached enterprise-wide transformation programmes for clients, ranging across manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), energy, banking and construction. I also worked as a trainer in Lean competency – the industry-recognised framework for developing knowledge and practical skills in the workplace.
What inspired you to start up?
I credit the Young Enterprise Scheme with igniting my passion for business. The responsibility of running a small company, ‘Vivre’ (meaning life), truly inspired mine. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and had always dreamed of running my own business.
With a passion for change and the social responsibility of businesses, I created the iNNiTi effect to help organisations address key challenges and barriers to organisational growth. I’ve also been able to fulfil my desire to bring world-class coaching and training to organisations that otherwise would not receive it.
How would you describe your business to your grandma?
We provide coaching and training for personal, organisational and economic growth.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
I have received invaluable support from a number of inspirational people and helpful organisations, such as former colleagues, my Local Enterprise Agency (LEA) and other business owners.
Additionally, as a Chartered Manager, I also have a strong network of support and guidance from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
Through my Local Enterprise Agency, I learnt about the grants that were available to me as a startup business. There’s such a wide range that can be accessed, and I chose to use an initial grant to invest in branding and marketing up front - which has been invaluable!
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I’m extremely proud to be working with Sharing in Growth UK (SiG) on a business transformation programme supported by the Regional Growth Fund and industry to target job creation in the aerospace supply chain. Our values align perfectly.
On a personal level, it has been amazing to connect with some truly inspiring industry leaders and be recognised with a ‘Women in Leadership’ scholarship for the University of Hull MBA programme. Also, the opportunity to do pro-bono work with non-profit organisations, especially Young Enterprise, is really important to me.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
The reason why we do what we do is what I believe truly differentiates us. We want to make great things happen and play an active role in building a Britain that’s fit for the future. By inspiring individuals and transforming organisations we can contribute to the growth of our economy, creating new job opportunities and deliver social impact for the benefit of us all.
All our services are designed around our core values: shared ambition, inspired leadership, effective teamwork, human connection and sustainable results, to create change for the future.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
Having the freedom to work purely within the parameters of your own values is priceless. In addition, the opportunity to be truly creative with the vision for your company and the ability to invest time in the causes you believe in makes it very rewarding.
Where do you see your business in five years' time?
Given the nature of my business, I have clear goals and objectives for this! We will be providing industry-recognised, first-class business support to our clients through long-term partnerships. We will also be mentoring and developing the next generation of world-class business professionals.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Dream big and always be yourself. In times of doubt, always ask yourself ‘what would I do if I weren’t afraid?’
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