In conversation with…Gail Laser
After applying for a pot of money in 2012 from the Mayors Fund to spend on improvements to the local high street with a few other local residents, Gail Laser started the ‘Love Barnet’ Facebook group to encourage local businesses and the community to engage with each other.
As our second Make It Your Business event heads to Chipping Barnet on 1st March, we caught up with Gail to find out a bit more about her work and why she’s looking forward to our event with local female entrepreneurs next month…
MIYB. Your idea to improve the local high street must have offered local businesses so many more opportunities. What would you consider your biggest achievement to be so far since being granted the money from the Mayors Fund to improve the high street?
GL. I think that opening three rent and business rate free pop up shops for our local cottage industries and college to try and regenerate our high street and locality – one of which is now a successful and much loved business – is pretty high up on my achievement list.
MIYB. That’s amazing! What does a good day on the job look like to you then?
GL. A good day is when I see positive engagement from my posts on the ‘Love Barnet’ group!
MIYB. What are the biggest challenges you face running the ‘Love Barnet’ Facebook group and how do you overcome them?
GL. My biggest challenges are trying to engage with local businesses and retailers who mostly don’t make use of the ‘Love Barnet’ free, online marketing and promotional tool that has a pretty wide reach within the community. Plus accepting that we have such a varied community that it’s impossible to please them all! So I suppose not taking overt and public criticism personally has also been pretty challenging to manage…
MIYB. I think a lot of women in business will be able to relate to that. What is the one piece of advice you’d give to any aspiring female entrepreneur?
GL.I would say to any female entrepreneur wishing to start a business, just go for it, ask for help and support and know your market. Don’t let others discourage your enthusiasm and make sure you have access to enough of the right resources.
MIYB. Great advice! And lastly, what are you most looking forward to about the MIYB event on March 1st in Chipping Barnet?
GL. I am very much looking forward to meeting inspiring women who will help to make life more interesting for all of us in one way or another.
MIYB. Thanks Gail! We look forward to meeting you there!
GL. If you want to join Mandy and local female entrepreneurs for an evening of honest discussion about what it takes to set up a business in the area and down-to-earth networking with like-minded women, join us at Make It Your Business at The Bull Theatre, Chipping Barnet on March 1st. Tickets £10.