Credit to the organisation creating positivity through creativity for the sake of mental health
We caught up with the founder of Inside Out UK, Vanessa Boachie, to discuss the journey of her business so far. We find out if she would have reaped the benefits of having some extra support at the start-up stage.
Tell us what Inside Out UK is and what your business offers?
Inside Out UK is a social enterprise that promotes mental health and positive well-being through creativity. We provide creative psycho-educational events and workshops for young adults to develop their knowledge on mental health. Our prevention and early intervention programmes are aimed to help young people reduce their risk of developing severe mental health issues.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
It was definitely a combination of my personal, academic and professional experiences of mental health. During my late-teens a friend of mine self-harmed on a few occasions and attempted to commit suicide in front of me. Through the search of finding ways to support my friend, this led me to do more research into mental health. I went on to study Psychology at university and started working in mental health. Through further research, it occurred to me that there was not much in place to help people prevent themselves and others from developing severe mental health issues, and particularly with mental health issues becoming more prominent, I believe the focus should be on prevention and early interventions.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have helped aid your company’s growth in the early stages?
Considering that my organisation has been majority self-financed, it definitely would have been helpful. With the extra support and funding, this definitely eases off the pressure, especially for us entrepreneurs who start of with very little. It would provide the opportunity for us to focus more on providing the best quality of the services we are providing.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is definitely with finances. I have designed creative mental health projects for young people which have been piloted and received great feedback, however I’ve had to tailor my ideas to my finances - a low budget can definitely put a strain on the creativity and quality of services, even so we try to find the best alternatives. I also work full-time alongside running my organisation to help fund these projects. This has its challenges but I am aiming to take it to the next level, so I am currently working towards making my organisation a full-time venture.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Make sure you have done as much research as possible and keep up to date with what’s going on your field.
Resilience is key. There’s going to be times when people love your business and times when you’re ideas get rejected. When those rejections come, it’s important to reflect, identify what improvements can be made, learn from it and then keep it moving.
Make sure you have a recovery plan. There will be days when you are ready to take over the world and days when it becomes more challenging, this is when a recovery plan can be very handy. Your recovery plan is simply a collection of inspirational things which ignite the fire again, get you motivated, excited and remind you of why you started in the first place. Having a recovery plan that’s easily accessible when feeling low can be very beneficial.
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
We recently received a Community Contribution Award from the Master Wealth Network at the beginning of June 2018. This award was received 14 months after the project launched which is an achievement, as I never expected to be recognised for my work very early on into the business so I am definitely proud of that.
Vanessa Boachie is the founder of Inside Out UK.