With the help of our business support services, single mum sets up The BIG Social to bring people together to fight Isolation
Born from a feeling of isolation during lockdown and suffering herself from social anxiety, Jodie Beer is now the face behind a new, inspiring movement called ‘The Big Social’. The concept is to bring people together for adventures, new experiences and introduce an easier way to make friends in Torbay.
After twelve years working as a dental nurse the mum of two felt it was time to follow her dreams of setting up her own business. The idea came about from personal reasons. Having always suffered from social anxiety, Jodie struggled to make friends and the catalyst for changing her life, was the separation she went through during lockdown.
Jodie felt that what was missing for people in her situation was a local club where people could meet up, make new friends, join in with different fun activities and learn new skills.
After carrying out some research, Jodie discovered that although there are plenty of social activities available, there wasn’t anything quite on the scale that she had in mind locally.
Realising her dream was Jodie’s next challenge.
Jodie realised that she needed some help and guidance to get the concept of her new business idea off the ground. After some quick research, Jodie discovered our Business Support service and quickly booked an appointment with our Business Advisor Kim Thornton.
“Kim has been involved in the launch of my business from the very start and her guidance and encouragement has helped me immensely” says Jodie.
As part of our Business Support package, our advisors can offer impartial advice and guidance you can trust. Kim was able to talk Jodie through the start-up loan process and explained how to apply for funding as well as how to go about registering a new business. This support was funded by ERDF enterprise Coaching. Kim supported Jodie when she was writing her business plan and offered advice on marketing and promoting the business.
“Kim is so easy to talk to and I genuinely would not have pursued my dream to set up my own business without her. Kim was always there for a quick chat to keep me motivated and on track. I have a lot to thank Kim for”, explains Jodie.
The Big Social is now up and running and is proving very popular. Jodie arranges a wide range of weekly meetups, making it as accessible and affordable for everyone as possible. Members can sign up for events or activities online and decide to pay a regular subscription or opt for the pay-as-you-go option. Activities range from guided coastal walks, beach days, evenings out, to glamping, theatre and even bouldering! Jodie also plans to organize a big annual holiday for The Big Social group that will provide a great, affordable and fun-packed adventure for all who have suffered alone and need a much-deserved break.
Kim Thornton, ESW Business Advisor said, “Jodie’s naturally vibrant and warm personality makes her perfect for this business idea. I have said to her more than once that if anyone can make this a success –it’s her! It’s been a privilege to watch her ideas and passion blossom over the last few months and to be a part of her journey.
The Big Social
If you are new to the area, have just come back from Uni, are simply feeling isolated, or perhaps, like Jodie, you are fighting depression and just struggling to get back up, then this group is for you.
Jodie wants to make everyone feel welcome and would love to hear from you. You can contact Jodie direct on:
Jodie’s support was enabled by the ERDF Enterprise Coaching funding.
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