©2013 Ampod Consulting
Ampod Business Consulting & Training provided services to develop and sustain organisations in the Private, Public and Third sector. Through a range of services we enabled thorough evaluation and problem solving, using a range of analytical tools. We empowered and inspired Leadership through our training programmes which were tailored to individual and organizational needs.
Established in 2003, Ampod started out with training seminars that Empower and Inspire Leadership. Our focus was on Entrepreneurial Skills Development and Business Planning. We developed our one-to-one consultancy services offering in-depth business analysis and solutions to business problems and issues.
Our Associates worked with people from a range of sectors, enabling and empowering people, to be the best that they could be, and supporting organizations to meet their own stated goals. Our diversity policy reflected our inclusive spirit.
Our one-to-one coaching consultancy services offered an in-depth personal analysis and solutions to business problems and issues, using a team of high calibre experienced and qualified associates.
Ampod Business Consulting & Training provided services to develop and sustain organisations in the Private, Public and Third sector. Through a range of services we enabled thorough evaluation and problem solving, using a range of analytical tools. We empowered and inspired Leadership through our training programmes which were tailored to individual and organizational need.
I attended your empowerment workshop for women who want to start their own business on 26th June 2010. I am thankful that I was able to attend your workshop. I learnt a great deal and have applied all of the advice to my life over the past three weeks. I walked out of your workshop feeling so elevated and ready to put all my thoughts into actions. Following your advice from your workshop I have now written down all my goals for the next year and also what I want to achieve with my business.Thank you for putting on this workshop and offering the advice that you did. Also, thank you to all the guest speakers that were invited to share their journeys and advice. It was very inspiring and now I know that nothing is impossible. Jerene Anderson-Davis July 2010
I attended your workshop via Croydon Enterprise, one of many I took part in.. but yours was definitely the most enjoyable, relaxed yet very comprehensive and clear; it was a great networking experience also, the buoyancy you created in your seminar was carried on in other business events that followed, where I’d regularly see the other guys & girls I’d met on your course. Thanks Yvonne, please keep up the good work – your style is brilliant!Julian Johnson, Creative Director, Graffiti Kings Ltd. Dec 2009
I met Yvonne through Croydon Enterprise in Aug 2007. She was assigned to me as my business advisor. Right from choosing the name of the company to developing a business plan, Yvonne was always there for me. I was new to the country and had no support network. Yvonne’s professional advice helped me to start my business. Over the years we remained in touch. She continues to give me business opportunities. She also introduced my work to others e.g. Lambeth Council. My company Affable Therapy and Training is at a growing stage and I know I can count on her professional advice to take me to next level. To Yvonne, giving enterprise advice to women is not just work, it is her passion. She finds fulfilled by empowering others to do what they do best. Sumita Singh, Owner and Principal Tutor, Affable Therapy Oct 2009 (www.affabletherapy.com)
When asked “did the weekend Leadership Retreat 26th – 28th March 2010 meet your expectations”?
45% of the attendees said that event exceeded expectations and 55 % said the event met their expectations
Would you recommend this event to others?
100% of attendees said that they would recommend this event to others!
How did you experience the venue?
80% of attendees were very satisfied with the venue and 20% were satisfied
Event Planning & Management
70% of attendees thought it was excellent and 20% said it was good
“Gives opportunity to work on business as opposed to in business” Sandra
“If they are serious about their business success then this retreat is essential to ensure that they are on the right track. That those who have been doing the same thing for years and still not where they want to be, the retreat would provide clarity, and a chance for re evaluation” Kay
“Take the time to reflect on you and your business and be open to challenge and change – it will pay back” Fitzroy
“Structures for your business, collaboration of ideas, Networking opportunities and inspirational and relaxing weekend” Dee
The Retreat was designed because…………
When people decide to seek business advice, support, or training its important that they choose an event which suitable. One size does not fit all. At Ampod, we are not in the business of creating a stampede to our events. We want the participant to experience the luxury of being listened to, and their business needs addressed comprehensively.
Whilst operating as an enterprise educator in the Further Education sector, I noticed that women seemed less confident and assured about their desire to operate a business. Often at the heart of their dream was a desire to create a greater balance in their life as a mother and or carer. Some women, once tasted the freedom of self employment, became quite drawn to success and an even greater yearning to create multiple income streams or to expand an existing business.
So it is that I meet people at various stages in the life of their business. Once a woman starts off with me as their business advisor, they tend to find me again when they decide to diversify or start a new venture or are thinking about business expansion.
Women and entrepreneurship is exciting because women are yet to make significant progress with the self employment sector. Given that around 50% of the population are women the 5% of women in business in the UK for example, indicates that there is much more to be done. When we view global entrepreneurship we see a rather different picture; a ‘vision of women entrepreneurs contributing to employment creation, poverty reduction and sustainable development’. Notice how women in other parts of the world are also actually ‘reducing poverty’. So, business creation is not only about taxation and wealth creation, self employment, in some contexts in many parts of the world is about alleviating hunger and starvation. That is why I am keen to develop and sustain an international portfolio which introduces me to opportunities to share skills, knowledge and experience in a wider global context. It was with that goal in mind that in 2009 I created www.enterprise4women.com a place online ‘for women with enterprising ideas and aspirations;’ a free space for women to connect with each other across continents, and artificial and physical borders, to promote goods and services and showcase their achievements.
I often feel ahead of my time because we are now entering a period in which global trade will be so much more accessible to many, no longer the preserve of only those with great means for travel and international communications and sophisticated knowledge of import / export regulations. We have google translator and social media to take care of communications. People are bypassing the highly regulated borders and finding new ways in which to deliver or access goods and services. A company I know and sometimes work with. They, a UK and Nigeria based business consultancy have run training in Dubai for business leaders in Nigeria as the UK immigration proved too challenging for many course participants to get VISA for a couple of weeks, so the hotel where we stayed in Dubai and the traders that we purchased from and the Emirates Airline, benefited financially. I certainly enjoyed being flown out to Dubai to deliver Leadership training to senior executives!!
So, you see, exciting times lay ahead for all those female entrepreneurs, who see no barriers to trade, and focus on emerging markets, and equip themselves with the skills, knowledge and experience to access more customers and greater awareness of what is possible.
Starting the ‘Parents in Business’ programme was about recognising that there are people out there who want to start a business but are not able to access the free and even paid for events to enable and empower them to gain the required knowledge regarding how to start a business.
Meetings in pubs in the evenings, Breakfast Meetings before office hours, lunchtime gatherings, Meetings in central London, Meetings that end at 10pm and networking continues thereafter, and so on. ‘What of the parent?’ I thought. How difficult it must be to access this support.
‘Parents in Business’ was developed and Croydon Enterprise supported its delivery. I had packed networking events on a Saturday late afternoon with a mobile crèche facility and light refreshments and it worked. Developing courses for those already working in the childcare sector was another interesting development. These were always over-subscribed, a place where an existing childminder can find out how to develop her business into a Nursery.
It really was all about creating opportunities for knowledge to be passed on. A situation where people could meet with the like minded with similar constraints. There are many people who within their own immediate circle of family and friends experience no encouragement when they express an idea of running their own business and this is especially so where that particular social group does not already have any entrepreneurs or where someone might have tried to run a business and needed to, maybe do things a little differently, to have achieved different results.
I am hopeful that people in general are less mystified about starting a business, and that the business cultural environment removes the millionaire tag as identification of a ‘successful outcome’. That tag causes people to believe that they cannot achieve. To be in profit, or breaking even, whereby the business owner is able to achieve a desired lifestyle is, in my opinion a clear sign of success. Of course growing and expanding a business is exciting it creates much needed employment and stimulates economic growth. I am not against big business; however, I champion the micro business enthusiast and support them to be successful too.
As the world turns and the global economic environment shifts the need for an entrepreneurial spirit rings true. Development of entrepreneurs at an early age while still in school, through interesting mini business projects, and the like, is what we need to see more of. I think that I may have just talked myself into a new project called ‘Families in Business’ where parents and children are addressed. I have run workshops for parents and children together on behalf of NABSS [National Association of Black Saturday Schools] open day.
2010 Visit to the USA to research different approaches to the provision of Business Support and Advice. Also highlighting any differences in the provision of services to Women & Minorities in the Micro to SME Business. Click Here to Read & Download
Presentation from our Personalisation Conference | “Innovation In Times of Change” Click Here To Read & Download.
Presentation on what is needed to Manage a Professional Services Business. Click Here to Read & Download
After nearly a decade of providing services to MSMEs, Ampod has already come of age and its founder / director is breaking new ground as has harnessed skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to a wider global framework as entrepreneurial development takes on a new perspective in a rapidly changing economic, cultural and social environment.
Special thank you to Andy Scott, past employee at the London borough of Southwark Regeneration, and Angelina Purcell who was a brilliant business strategist when she was employed at London Borough of Croydon the winner of the first LEGI [Local Enterprise Growth Initiative] bid for London, an opportunity to realize my vision for reaching the ordinary person who wanted to turn a hobby into a business or who had a skill that they could use to create an income stream. My dream to enable and empower women to access business ‘know –how’ by providing access to childcare provision and scheduling events at times and in locations suitable to parents.
I am grateful to literally hundreds of people who trusted me with their business aspirations to support them through. To government departments who supported my vision with contract opportunities.
Ampod was started in 2003 when I recognised that there was a lack of appropriate advice services for Micro and Small to Medium sized Enterprise and especially start up businesses, those people who needed to know what to do and where to go for business advice. I understood it was important to offer businesses the training they required, and not what we assumed they needed. Up until the late 90s and early 00s, the business support culture in the UK paid little attention to those people right at the beginning of the business start-up process. The only advice on offer was for people who had been successfully operating a business for three or more years! It was ludicrous! The argument being, that there was evidence of success, so this business was therefore worth the time and effort. I also recognised that the needs of minority business owners were not being addressed and I knew I could provide relevant services to them too
I established good relationships with associates and that enabled me to recruit from a wide pool of expertise to deliver a broad range of services to clients. Other business advisors in my industry at the time, didn’t see why start-ups would need help writing business plans, for example. Their attitude was that if you’re starting a business, you should know how to write one. My response was, “Why would they?” Why would a hairdresser who wants to open her own hair salon know how to write a business plan? Surely her knowledge and expertise lies in the treatment and styling of hair!
Ampod Business Consulting and Training, set about providing services to develop and sustain organisations in the Private, Public and Third sectors. Using a range of services, analytical tools, training programmes and one-to-one consulting and coaching to enable thorough evaluation and problem solving, our goal was, to empower and inspire leadership. Once established, Ampod went on to win contract opportunities with a variety of organisations in the private, public and third sectors.
All this goes to prove that you must really believe you can start and run your own business. I understand it’s a frightening prospect. I comprehend that people will try to discourage you. I also know the responsibilities that go along with running a business can be daunting. On the other hand, I recognize the sheer, unadulterated joys that come with starting and running your own business and I’m hoping that if you landed on this page because that is also your dream then you will not be daunted by the obstacles and know that every hurdle is a learning experience.
I have enjoyed the experience of building Ampod to a level where it was recognized not only in the UK but elsewhere too. The experience has enabled me to build knowledge and expertise and launch www.yvonnepwitter.com as a unique brand.
Yvonne Witter as founder/director of Ampod Limited was named Southwark Business Woman of the Year 2009, for her consultation and business development work; Yvonne has impacted many new start-ups across the UK, Africa and the Caribbean over 14 years. Awards, accreditations, knowledge of crucial trends and policies across a number of industries in the Public, Private and Third Sectors mean that Yvonne is regarded as a business expert of substance and integrity by both clients and peers. Sonia Brown MBE selected Yvonne to address members of the National Black Women’s Network due to her reputation for delivering; as well as her respected track record for championing and empowering women in business; “The audience found her thought-provoking and without exception the delegate feedback was superb…”.
Yvonne’s sphere of influence was extended to the USA for 6 weeks in 2010, as the proud winner of a Winston Churchill Fellowship to travel to Sacramento in California, to examine and make a comparative study with the UK of the resources available to support Micro Businesses and SMEs.
She is now a Lifetime Fellow of the WCMT.
Yvonne is perhaps best known for her work as founder and Director of Ampod, the award-winning business consultancy and training provider which was launched in 2003 to ‘empower and inspire leadership’. Clients included Greenwich Business Works, Haringey Action for Voluntary and Community Organisations, Bromley Business Focus, Islington Business Partnership, Women on the Crossroads (spearheaded by former national magazine editor Sherry Dixon), Greater London Enterprise, Hair and Beauty festival Adornment UK, for whom Grammy award-winning artist Erykah Badu became an ambassador, University College of the Caribbean and Southwark Social Care. Under Yvonne’s leadership, Ampod was awarded the Customer First Quality Standard in October 2007. Elected to the Southwark Enterprise Task Group, in 2005, Yvonne’s Public sector work also led to her appointment as Chairperson of the Procurement Development Group Southwark from 2006 to 2009.
Visit www.yvonnepwitter.com to stay in touch with us and services.