By Echo member & Creative++ Alumnus Rianna Raymond-Williams
Shine ALOUD UK (SAUK) is a sexual health awareness social enterprise based in London, using creative media and peer-led training to change the perceptions and behaviour of young people under 25.
A chance to step back + reflect
Starting a business can be a lonely experience, so it’s important to find people who can share and support you on your journey to greatness and for me, Echo’s Creative++ course gave me just that. I was convinced I knew all there was to know, having previously received support for my business, but I was ready for something new and exciting!
Creative++ is a 4-week jam-packed course designed to inspire, excite and motivate you on your business journey, and for me, it came at the right time. I’d been running my business for 6+ years at this point, but competing with other commitments. The course was a chance for me to reflect on the steps I’d made to date and think about the things I needed to do to move my business forward.
In those 6+ years, we produced 7 sexual health publications and 1 animation, accessed by over 40,000 young people; and worked with over 50 companies and organisations including Living Well, East London Foundation Trust, Woman Care Global, MBARC, ITV Fixers, and Brook. However, I wanted to do more workshops and work internationally and needed to devise a better strategy that allowed me to become more sustainable and create a greater impact.
When I started the business in 2011, my main aim was just to create my own sexual health publication, because it didn’t exist. Since then, my motivations have changed – I want to develop a range of ways to engage young people in sexual health information, but also empower adults to have healthier conversations with young people about managing and maintaining their health.
The course inspired me to take a step back to re-evaluate the impact I was creating. As a creative, my recipe for action is act now, think later, which works sometimes, but I’ve learnt the importance of having a carefully thought out plan with better direction.
My Creative++ journey taught me that there are so many different elements to a business, but it doesn’t mean you should do them all yourself. Instead, identify the areas you need help with, and the skills you can offer to others so you can begin to grow faster, stronger and more confident.
Tapping into the Echo network
I have already benefited from a branding session with Jan Lewis, a fellow Creative++ peer, it was great to speak to her about developing a brand identity which helps to be more distinguishable and memorable when giving a presentation or engaging with larger companies. Echo is an amazing community of exciting creatives, who all have something to offer, and with that being said, anyone joining the family or network also has something to offer to.
My next steps
I aim to rebrand Shine ALOUD UK and develop more interactive content that reflects safer sex messages and social issues. As well as continue building partnerships with individuals and companies alike that can help me achieve my goals and ambitions long term.
Find out more at www.shinealoud.co.uk
Creative++ 2019 – Apply now
What could four weeks of dedicated support do for you and your business?
Building on our established programme for creative entrepreneurs, we are delighted to bring you an enhanced Creative++ programme in February 2019, co-designed with creative businesses to give you a unique opportunity to attain the resources, strategies and networks you need to grow and lead your enterprise successfully.
Applications are now open – Deadline midnight 16th December.
Find out more + how to apply – here.