After the success of its inaugural year, Wray & Nephew is launching year two of its Wray Forward programme on 12th June 2023.

Wray Forward, in partnership with social enterprise Foundervine, is a free, inclusive and accessible programme for change that focuses on supporting the sustainability and forward movement of Black businesses. The programme will offer a plethora of free workshops and masterclasses for Black entrepreneurs in the UK, as well as a three-month music accelerator programme aimed at promoting Black ownership in music. 

To kick off this year’s programme, award-winning entrepreneur, executive coach, and founder of personal development tech start-up Dream Nation, Claud Williams, has shared his top tips on ‘How to become your own boss.’ 

How to become your own boss, by Claud Williams:

  1. Develop your skills: Whilst you’re still working for another company, develop skills that will be important when you own your own business. These include becoming a better leader, better communicator, being more self aware, managing your time better, and learning to manage people. When you do become your own boss, these skills will guarantee that you’re way more successful, and quicker. 
  2. Grow your network: This may seem obvious, but it’s so important that you show up. Attend events online or in-person, find a mentor, deliberately connect with people on the same journey as you. Take the time to connect with people; it’s immensely worthwhile and can help you learn and grow in so many ways. 
  3. Find a problem worth solving: Focus on finding a painkiller and not a vitamin. In the world of business, this means that you need to find a business idea that is solving a pain point, rather than building something that’s a nice to have. By finding a ‘painkiller’ idea, you will always guarantee that there’s a need for your product or business. 
  4. Run experiments: Great ideas don’t matter, great execution does. Think of entrepreneurship as an experiment. Everything you do needs to be backed by consumer research, otherwise, you’re putting your own hard-earned money into an idea that may not be worthwhile. Start by creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which allows you to save time and resources on your product and focus on validating the learning that you need in order to move your business forward. 
  5. Handle your finances: There are five non-negotiable steps regarding your finances that should be taken. These include: open a separate bank account from your personal income, understand your spending, develop strong money habits, handle your tax and other legal responsibilities, and finally, develop another stream of income. 
  6. Move part-time: Once you’ve effectively handled your finances and achieved all five non-negotiable steps, it’s now time to start thinking about moving part-time so that you can eventually focus on your business full-time – when the moment is right. It’s so important that your next role is suited for the next chapter of your life. The goal here is to maintain stability and predictability, but also ensure it’s not energy draining. 

About Wray Forward

Wray Forward is a free, inclusive and accessible programme for change that focuses on supporting the sustainability and forward movement of black businesses. In partnership with Foundervine, a social enterprise that is helping to shape the future of Black businesses and entrepreneurs in the community, the programme is split into two free programmes, both by and for our community. 

Community business programme: 

A monthly programme of workshops aimed at community businesses to scale up, expand their network and discover new opportunities. 

At a glance, Black entrepreneurs will get:

  • Training: from resilience to long-term sustainabi8lity business growth 
  • Masterclasses: learn how to build their online brand, develop a business ide and more 
  • Exclusive coaching sessions: group sessions with a professional business coach

Music business accelerator: 

A 3-month programme helping Black business owners in music to scale up, increase visibility and pitch their business idea to investors. 

The offering includes:

  • Networking opportunities: with industry professionals and talent 
  • Mentoring: from the best in the business 
  • Pitch day: an opportunity to pitch a business idea to a room of investors

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