Being made redundant was the catalyst Alison needed to pursue her self-employment dream
Being made redundant last summer may have been the catalyst for Alison Keenan, but it was something she had toyed with for years but never had the courage to do. Having spent 20 years working in the public sector and with the community sector, she was sure that she had skills and enthusiasm to offer which would appeal to both potential markets, it was just a question of taking a deep breath and trusting herself.
And in October 2020 the dream was a reality. Eos Community Consulting CIC is a consultancy business with a social purpose. They provide support to the public sector and the third sector in ways which increase participation and enhance service delivery. They support their clients to develop evidence-based strategies, programmes and action plans by providing meaningful engagement with stakeholders, impact focused evaluations and programme design which puts the user at its centre. In addition, Eos Community Consulting CIC is a social enterprise which is committed to the reinvestment of its surplus profits into local community projects.
Like any start-up business there has been challenges and Covid19 has made it a little harder. Getting the company name out there and getting onto the radar of organisations and groups who commission evaluations and project support. Eos isn’t a big operation, neither does it want to be, so the big tenders aren’t really our market.
But taking part in the Council's Business Start Up Coaching programme really helped Alison focus and look at ways to work through things systematically. "It asked questions of me that I hadn’t asked myself yet and it gave me a space where I could talk through what I was thinking with someone else who helped make sense of those thoughts" she explained.
What is your business strength ?
A clear understanding, based on 20 years’ experience, of the needs and challenges facing both the public sector and the third sector. And alongside that, the ability to speak the language of both.
One sentence to describe your Coach from Mallusk Enterprise ?
Sandra is someone who sees connections and synergies between her clients and helps them build a network they didn’t know they needed.
Any key achievements to-date ?
Eos recently secured a significant contract with one of the Councils to co-design a strategy and action plan for their work with older people. It’s our biggest contract to date in our own right (i.e. not working as an associate on someone else’s contract) and it’s really exciting to have the chance to really show what Eos can do.