Thursday, 5 March 2015

International Women's Day Party 2015

IWD stands for (International Women's Day). Here are some Festival Themed Party for you and your loved ones. Hope you are inspired by the extraordinary things ordinary women of our generation advocate. Much love to you all.

You all love a good celebration, don't you? I'm sure you do. Well, The Women's Organisation brings you international women's day celebration on Thursday 5th March, 2pm-4.30pm. The event will take place at 54 St James, adjacent to Chinatown and Liverpool One.

Tickets are FREE for this event. Get yours HERE

First up, an International Women's Day Festival Launch Party at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Eton Avenue London, NW3 3HY. London.

This event will take place Thursday 5th March at 6pm-11pm. For more information and tickets, please contact the University directly.

Another event is from Glasgow taking place Friday 6th March 3pm-6pm. The event is a vintage tea party to celebrate the strength of women through the ages. It is FREE, with a range of activities- dance, nails, yoga, self-defence and so on. This event will take place at G31 Centre, 67 Yate Street, G31 4AW.

This event is organised by Prevention and Education North East, The Glasgow Council on Alcohol. Please Click here for more information.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

International Women's Day Events 2015

Event: International Women's Day: Women in Peace & Conflict Conference.

Date & time: 4th March 2015, 9:30am-4:30pm

About: This event brings together established academics, practitioners and postgraduate students to identify the historical and contemporary involvement of women in peace and conflict.

Venue: Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool L16 9JA.

Organisation: The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies.

For more information, please Click here

Event: Quotas: the only way, or no way? Gender imbalance and equality vs quality.
Date & time: 4th March 2015, 12noon-2pm.
About: A debate with a panel of first class speakers who will consider the use of quotas with regard to gender equality. This event is hosted by The University of Liverpool.
Venue: Victoria Gallery & Museum, L69 3DR.
This event is FREE. To obtain your ticket, please Click here
Images: Eighteen Forever

International Women's Day 2015

International Women's Day celebration is a fantastic day to celebrate and honour women advocating and creating positive change. It is also a day to raise issues women face globally. Like many events for positive discrimination, International Women's Day is very much needed. You only need to look at statistics by UNICEF and WHO to understand some of the issues. Some will argue that, women now have all the equality they fought and campaigned for. Well....I disagree. The fact that globally, women are underpaid, undervalued and marginalised is an issue, that makes it an issue, therefore we don't have all the equality we deserve.  

Over the past few years, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been an international focus. It is a practice that is condemned by international treaties and conventions and, by many national laws even in Africa. But the battle is not over!

FGM is where young girls or women have all or part of their clitoris and inner and outer labia sliced off without anaesthesia. Sometimes, part of their vaginas are sewn up too (UNICEF, 2014). FGM is concentrated in 29 countries across Africa and The Middle East. However, this practice is widespread in lower adolescent girls than in middle-aged women. Over 130m girls and women have undergone FGM, 40 to 50 are treated on a monthly basis after undergoing such procedure in Birmingham, UK (The Independent, 2014).

Working rights is also a concern for women. In the UK, the gender pay gap for full timer workers stands at 15% and 35% for part time workers. On average, women earn £5k less than their male colleagues. Also, men are economically active in the workplace with 84% compared to 71% of women. Only 24% of women are in managerial jobs globally. Human Rights revealed that, it will take 70 years to see equal genders in director roles in FTSE 100 companies. Outrageous is an understatement to the latter assertion.

Education is the single most important civil right issue in America according to Michelle Obama in a statement last month. Personally, education is an issue worldwide. Some have the means but perform badly whilst others don't have the means and therefore no performance measures. Education is beyond credentials or affirmation of ones presence at an educational institution. Rather, it is an opportunity that should allow people to broaden their horizon, think and challenge views.
Girls facts from Plan International 2014.  
  • The leading cause of death in girls aged 15-19yrs in developing countries is pregnancy.
  • An extra year of mother schooling cuts infants mortality by 5% and 10%.
  • 62m girls across the world are out of school.
  • Globally, 1 in 5 girls in lower secondary school age is out of school.
  • 1 in 3 girls in developing countries is married by the age of 18.
  • 1 in 9 marries before the age of 15.
  • Every year, 15m girls are forced into marriage.
  • 150m girls under the age of 18 have experienced rape or other forms of sexual violence.
The above issues and facts are not the only issues women face globally, but they are some of those issues that need to be addressed before change can be restored in our society. "If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation" (African Proverb).

What's your International Women's Day theme this year?


Plan International (2014). [Online] [Accessed 3rd March 2015].

The Independent (2014) International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that still show why it is important. [Online] [Accessed 3rd March 2015].

UNICEF (2014) Female genital mutilation and cutting. [Online] [Accessed 3rd March 2015].

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Natural Hair Week 2015

Really excited with my VIP ticket to Natural Hair Week starting in May. I hope that many of you will support this amazing initiative.

Natural Hair is a growing trend globally, largely in UK and US. The Black Hair industry is estimated around $500bn according to Mintel research report. However, a shift from weave, wigs to natural hair is likely to change the game, players and most importantly the perception of 'good hair'.

If you're part of the natural hair movement, what are your experiences going natural?

This is what Natural Hair Week said about their agenda:
Positive People Seminars: A series of informative seminars aiming to bring out the best in you. Regardless of where you are in your natural hair and beauty journey, our seminars will inspire and reignite your passion for a healthy mind, health body and healthy hair.
Happy Hairstyle Workshops: Join us for hands-on experience of creative natural hairstyling regardless of your hair length. Throughout the day get involved in workshops to help you find hairstyles that works best for you.
Confident, Courageous, Creative Children Workshops: Inspirational crafts and activities workshops throughout the day for children of all ages – teaching your child to have confidence with their inner and outer beauty whilst having fun. All children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
Marvellous Mixtress Workshops: Learn how to be your own natural mixtress by making your own hair and beauty products. Choose from a selection of butters, clays, herbs and essential oils. Find out what ingredients are best for you!
Product Swap Please: Bring your unwanted hair and beauty products. Don’t you hate it when you try a new product and you don’t like it. Each product must be new/nearly new, at least half full and in good condition.
Interactive Industry Debate: A unique opportunity to discuss current issues relevant to natural hair and beauty. The debate will bring together experts to provide insight in a relaxed atmosphere.
Pop-up Shops: An opportunity to speak to brands and buy discounted hair and beauty products. Discover the latest fashionable wearable art, custom jewellery and holistic health products and services.
Content & Image Credit: Natural Hair Week

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

NEW! Reward for Social Entrepreneurs

1. Are you aged 18-30 or work with people in this age group or support people into training, employment or education?

2. Would you like a programme that gives you access to successful entrepreneurs?

3. Would you like a business coach who will give you one-to-one support on your business performance?

4. Would you like access to large networking events relevant to your area of interest?

5. Would you like to attend a series of workshop tailored to key business issues i.e. financial forecasting, cash flow or even pricing?

6. Are you based in London or Yorkshire?

If you answer YES to the above questions then EY Foundation Accelerate programme is for YOU. Accelerate offers unrivalled opportunity to access some of the best business expertise to help you grow your social enterprise. The programme is tailored for up to 18 months of support that include access to: Business Coach, Investment Panels, Workshops and Networking events. 

Click HERE for more information about the programme and how to apply 

Should you have any questions, please contact Accelerate Team: 
T> +44 (0) 20 7951 3133


UnLtd (2014) Accelerate- our programme for social entrepreneurs [online] [Accessed: 13th January 2015].

Image: Eighteen Forever

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Student Enterprise Conference

The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs presents The Student Enterprise Conference. In its second year and already the biggest student enterprise conference in Europe. The conference brings together students and graduates from Colleges and Universities across the UK for a weekend of inspiration, networking and practical workshops. This is useful if you are establishing a business or just want to meet like-minded people who will inject flame of entrepreneurism to your already enterprising mind-set.

This event will take place at Liverpool John Moores University on January 31st- February 1st 2015. For more information or to get a ticket, please follow this link>

Image: NACUE 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Are You A Pessimist or An Optimist?

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees an opportunity in every difficulty”- Winston Churchill

It’s no secret that the twenty-first century has brought with it difficult social issues. You only need to walk down the streets of your city to see the proof. But, as the great Winston Churchill said- “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees an opportunity in every difficulty”. When the economy gets tough, some people are more conscious about how they spend money i.e. to book a holiday or not to book a holiday on that credit card you still haven’t paid off. Others choose to do something about it, like start a business to tackle those social and economic issues. The rise of social enterprises since the UK recession of 2008 has significantly increased and so is the contribution to the economy. Between 2008 and 2010, there was an estimated 55,000 social enterprises in the UK with a contribution of £8.7bn every year to the economy- that’s 1% of annual GDP (Startups, 2013). However, latest government estimate shows that there are 70,000 social enterprises, employing a million people in the UK (Social Enterprise UK, 2013). Equally important, they contribute £24bn to the economy and have recently gained support of the Treasury through tax incentive for investments (Social Enterprise UK, 2013). An example of a social enterprise is Jamie Oliver (high profile UK Chef) training restaurants for young people in the UK. Findings from Social Enterprise UK recent research revealed that 32% of social enterprises increased their turnover in 2012. Majority of them work locally and around 38% are established in most deprived areas (Social Enterprise UK, 2013).
Founder and Creative Director of Eighteen Forever
Optimists are people who see opportunities in any difficult situation. This does not mean they are born equipped to address those difficulties. Let’s take starting a business for instance, you need the right tools to start a business but most importantly, you need to ‘believe’ in what you want to do. Starting a social enterprise is no comic experience even though it’s a not-for profit business. Not-for profit (NPO) organisations are those who reinvest surpluses in the business instead of distributing to shareholders. Reinvesting surpluses back into business could help with expansion i.e. capacity building, product/ service innovation, branding to list but a few. There are five key tools you need to start a business- market research, market testing (pilot study), finance, branding and business strategy.

Market research is a common terminology used by marketeers and business people. It’s a serious term that is mostly casually used. Market research is finding out what’s currently available in your market of interest. For example, if you want to start a fashion business, you need to understand the current trends, issues, opportunities, manufacturers, sourcing and logistics relevant to the fashion industry. It’s not about what you ‘think’ the industry needs, it’s about ‘what’ the industry ‘needs’. Following your successful market research, you should conduct a pilot study. This is an opportunity to bring your potential clients together in a focus group format to get a construct view of their needs and interest. Be careful of exposing your project to potential dreamers. Someone might just copy your idea! Ask them about their shopping habits, what attracts them to a fashion brand, what they would wear and so on. This will give you a good idea of what you should offer and how. Following this, you need to search for funding available to help with your business. There are lots of independent organisations and banks offering financial support. For fashion, visit UKFT, UK Business Grants, Small Business Sector and British Fashion Council website for more information about grants and support.  Make sure you have a project plan outlining your business expenditures, products idea, draft of your pilot study and other useful information that will show your business is worth the investment. Now you have your finance sorted, its time for you to create an identity for your emerging business. Basically what you want your brand to look like, how you want people to perceive your brand. This includes business name, logo design, colour, labels and so on (these should also be in your project plan but a structured branding approach will be required). It is important to get this right because without it, you have no brand. Business strategy is intertwined with your branding strategy. You need to consider your target market i.e luxury or ready-to-wear. Don’t forget to add this question in your pilot study.   

To conclude, we can all identify with pessimist and optimist but we all like to say we are optimist. Been optimistic alone is not enough to be successful. Doing something about an opportunity will make a difference. So start with your market research and work towards executing your data.

Author: Eighteen Forever
Got a question? Email- or leave a comment below.

Social Enterprise UK (2013) “The people’s business: state of social enterprise survey 2013”. [Online] [Accessed: 5th January 2015].

Startups (2013) “Social enterprise statistics”. [Online] [Accessed: 5th January 2015].

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Thank you for making 2014 a great experience. It was an amazing year. Love the ups and few down moments. What would life be like without tests and lessons to be learned. What was important is Your support. Thank you so much once again.

Wish you and yours a fashionable and prosperous 2015 and beyond.

Peace & Love, EF xoxox

Designs by Eighteen Forever

Image: Eighteen Forever