Posted: Fri 22nd Jul 2022
Enterprise Nation is on a mission to take the loneliness out of entrepreneurship. Through our online local meet-ups, we're offering a ready-made support network to small business owners across the UK and Ireland.
These monthly meet-ups wouldn’t exist without our army of Local Leaders; amazing individuals who are passionate about supporting small businesses, and committed to their local communities.
Here, we meet Jessica Williams, your North East Local Leader.
My name's Jessica Williams and I'm the founder and managing director of Just Williams. Established in 2015, we champion sustainable growth for small and medium-sized businesses through sales and marketing solutions. In 2021 we also launched the Just Williams Sales Academy, which is an online sales training platform.
My working background is quite varied. I started my professional career in retail banking and then progressed to corporate and private banking for 11 years. I then began working for the Entrepreneurs' Forum.
It was during this time that I decided to undertake an executive MBA specialising in sales psychology at Teesside International Business School.
Sales is a sector that's so steeped in tradition and legacy that it was becoming unsustainable. So, seeing how sectors such as marketing were evolving at such a rapid pace, I wanted to challenge the status quo and take the lead in professionalising the sales industry. Which is why I founded Just Williams.
I'm the wearer of many hats, from being a board member, non-executive, trustee and mentor – all while running two businesses.
Things that most people don't know about me? I used to sing opera. I've also been known to take on a few crazy challenges – some of which have seen me jump out of planes. I dream of becoming a yoga teacher in my spare time. And I'm a proud owner of a 16-year-old cocker spaniel and stepmother to two amazing children.
I've always been passionate about collaboration among small business owners. Due to the current economic climate, it's more essential than ever that we come together to support one another, share ideas, mentor and inspire each other.
Being an owner or manager of a business can be lonely, so I jumped at the chance to help bring people together, to share the lows and the highs. Helping business owners to become more collaborative, distinctive and sustainable are three of our core values at Just Williams, so it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
Around 98% of the overall business community here is made up of small businesses. It's a thriving community in which to live, work and learn, and has local supply chains, a collaborative mentality and an entrepreneurial spirit at its heart. I'm proud to champion small businesses in the region.
The current climate has forced many businesses to review their market position, diversification strategy and overall cost space, making recruitment and retention a constant challenge.
Another aspect where businesses often feel challenged is the pressure to scale in an unsustainable fashion, without the support and infrastructure required. At Just Williams, we're dedicated to making sure that our stakeholders are on an equal footing and are sustainable in their practices.
I'm passionate about creating connections and believe that coming together as individuals and as businesses to support, educate and inspire one another will lead to mutually beneficial opportunities.
Enterprise Nation's online meet-ups allow people from across the UK to join, engage and network with like-minded individuals in a safe and productive environment.
Local meet-ups take place online, every month. Find your nearest and reserve your place.