Emma Rundle – The Athena Network
Athena is a women’s networking group that meets monthly and helps women grow their businesses through training, collaboration and support.
Emma Rundle bought a franchise of The Athena Network, and is now the Regional Director of the West Chilterns region. Since working with Outset Finance, Emma now runs three separate groups and will be opening a fourth in the region within the next six months.
Check out our interview with Emma to find out more about her business journey and working with Outset Finance.
Business name: The Athena Network: West Chilterns Region
Founders’ name: Emma Rundle
Based in: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
1. Why did you decide to become your own boss?
I was offered the opportunity to take over from the previous Regional Director and I am already running my own freelance copywriting business, which has been hugely helped by being an Athena member. Choosing to become a franchisee was a no-brainer for me.
2. What were the main challenges you faced in starting or growing your business?
Initially, I struggled to get financial help from the Bank. They wanted me to put down a sizeable deposit which I was unable to do. When you run your own business, and are trying to grow, you don’t tend to have cash hanging around.
3. If you had not been able to access a Start Up Loan, what would have happened to your business idea?
I would never have been able to afford to buy the franchise.
4. What would you have done if the Start Up Loans scheme was not available?
I’d have had to carry on with my copywriting business and put plans for growing my business portfolio on hold.
5. What support did you receive while applying for a Start Up Loan?
1:1 support over the phone and via email
6.Tell us about your experience working with Outset Finance – would you recommend us to other business owners?
I found support from Outset extremely helpful. Outset Online adopts a personal approach; explaining honestly and openly what’s on offer, what they need from you and what things you need to consider. I also found my advisor, Dave Leaman, to be genuinely interested in me as a person and what I wanted to do with my business.
I’d recommend Outset Finance to anyone considering investing in business. The process was straightforward and fast. I’ve been told it was one of the quickest franchise transfers ever.
7. What is your vision for your business in the future?
Athena is known for being the leading international networking, training and development business club for female executives and entrepreneurs. I want my region to be the best of the best: great inspiration, value for money, excellent support and amazing business growth results for my members.
8. And finally, what advice would you give to others who are thinking about starting a business?
I had no idea that there were alternatives to Bank loans available, so I would definitely recommend looking into all of your options before making a firm decision.
To find out more about The Athena Network visit their website.