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Helena Giles

Your Assistant UK

When redundancy forced Helena Giles to think about what she wanted to do next, she realised she didn’t want to find herself in the same position again and decided to take the leap into self employment by setting up a new business providing HR support services to small businesses.

On the recommendation of a friend, Helena approached Outset Cornwall for support with getting started, successfully completing the programme and launching Your Assistant UK in March 2012.

Outset Cornwall’s support has been invaluable to me, right from day one,” says Helena. “Inspiring me, building my confidence, connecting me with useful people and giving me great ideas are just some of the things I’ve got from Outset, and knowing they’re always there offers a great reassurance.

Taking on lots of commercial work and working with social enterprises and charities initially, Helena considered outsourcing some of her work but soon had to adapt her plans as her clients’ circumstances changed.

Helena says: “As some of my clients’ funding ran out so did my work sources, and I’ve had to learn some hard lessons over the past three years. But I feel it’s brought me to a much better place, allowing me to adapt my plans and develop my business model, plus it made me realise I’m stronger than I think!

With her new offerings in place and her business now going from strength to strength, it seemed the perfect time for Helena to become an Outset Ambassador and share her experiences to help other entrepreneurs on their business journey.

Giving something back to Outset Cornwall after the support they’ve given me is important, and I feel it’s a great privilege to become an ambassador,” says Helena. “Mentoring people to be the best version of themselves is something I’m passionate about and I can’t wait to get started!

Helena’s top tips for aspiring business owners are practical advice based on her own experiences: “Outsource wherever possible, play to your strengths and make sure the numbers stack up. Use your heart for your ideas but don’t forget your brain and above all, never give up.”