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Inspirational Women Q&A: Jane Binnion, The Growing Club CIC

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Jane Binnion is the founder and managing director of the Growing Club CIC, a social-enterprise that designs and delivers employment and enterprise training and support for women in Lancashire. 

As a Flying Start business adviser, Jane works with female entrepreneurs in Lancashire to start and grow new businesses and subsequently helping to promote economic growth and community wellbeing across the county. She shares her own inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.

What does your business do?

The Growing Club designs and delivers employment and enterprise training and support for women, using a peer-learning model. We run training programmes for women who are wondering “what next?” as well as for women who are ready to start a business or who want to grow their small business or charity. I am also delivering a Boost Flying Start programme dedicated to helping women in business across Lancashire.

Why did you start your own business?

I started my own business journey aged 47, after a career in youth and community work. Like many women, as a single mum, I started my business out of necessity. I discovered there was a huge gap in business education for women and I set up The Growing Club as an experiment to address it.

What has been your biggest business breakthrough?

That penny-drop moment when I understood business education was designed by men for men, often with the assumption that there was a wife playing a support role. That mostly, life for a woman in business was very different and that I had the knowledge and skills to provide female-friendly business education.

What has been your proudest achievement in your business?

I have heart-expanding moments weekly when women come to tell me what a difference The Growing Club has made to their lives. But my proudest achievement is probably realising that, as a neurodivergent female leader, we have created a safe space for so many other neurodivergent women to grow.

What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?

There are so many wonderful people supporting our work, and I learn good things from all of them. For me the best support is always when people give me space to process my thoughts and feelings, so that I can untangle the confusions and find the right answer for myself.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

Things have been tough a LOT over the last couple of years right! Our brilliant team keep me going, and remembering the difference we make to so many individuals. Then there is my wonderful daughter and my rescue dog, who keep me grounded. Plus, reminding myself “this too shall pass”.

What are your best three tips for maintaining your wellbeing?

During lockdown, like many, I lost any semblance of work-life balance, so now I’m mindful of keeping a well-balanced life for my wellbeing. Dr Hazel Hardie introduced me to the wellness M’s (there are four to be precise!): Movement, Making, Meditation and Meaningful conversation – and I ensure I have those in my life every day.

What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?

  • Switch off, sleep well, eat well, and go for a deliberate walk every day (not to get your steps in!)
  • Develop a supportive network of people who ‘get you’ and want to cheer you on as you grow.
  • Self-care is an essential not a luxury.
  • Ask for help.

Jane and her team will be delivering a six-month Flying Start programme which is fully funded for any woman in the eligible districts who are ready to start a business, and would benefit from good business education and peer-support. 

Click here to find out more: A Business Start-Up Course for Lancashire Women

Jane is also co-author of the Growing Women, Growing Lancashire report – the inspiration behind the development of Boost's Women in Enterprise Hub.

If you’re looking to grow, scale or start your business, use Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. We offer a range of funded business support services. Call our Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 to find out more or complete our enquiry form.


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