Ballyclare entrepreneur chosen to feature in UK-wide Small Biz 100


    A Ballyclare-based virtual assistance business has been named as one of the UK’s most inspiring small businesses.

    Gayle Alexander set up AVA Alexander Virtual Assistance in 2017 to manage social media and video services for clients including female entrepreneurs, conference organisers, clubs and charities.

    AVA has been chosen to feature in this year’s Small Biz 100, a UK-wide campaign which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities. 

    Marking 100 days building up to Small Business Saturday on December 4, the campaign aims to support and celebrate a vibrant range of small, community driven businesses across the UK by featuring a different one each day on social media.

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    Gayle, whose business will be the focus for Small Biz 100 on Friday October 15, said: “On my social pages, I’ll be streaming online video tutorials and interviews with other video experts, on how female entrepreneurs, clubs, charities, and small businesses can use video to help raise their visibility.”

    Gayle said that being made redundant from her job as a cartographer researcher and geographic information system analyst shortly after returning from her second maternity leave in 2016 was a big shock, after having worked in the industry for 15 years

    Ms.Gayle also added: “I felt totally lost and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I was so worried about being able to get another job with the same salary and flexibility. . Retraining has given me a new lease of life, new purpose and fulfilment. I feel that it’s something I was always meant to do, and it has been much easier than I thought.”

    Gayle found that becoming involved in local groups including Lean In Belfast and taking part in Women in Business NI’s Connect Programme helped her feel more confident and supported to start learning new skills in videography and social media.

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    Now in its ninth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday is recognising the vital role of small businesses throughout the pandemic.

    Michelle Ovens CBE, Director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “Throughout the crisis we have been reminded of the special role that small firms play in local areas, looking after their customers, communities and the planet.. As firms recover from the challenges of the pandemic we are calling upon everyone to get behind the campaign to make it our most impactful Small Business Saturday yet.”

    Small Business Saturday attracts huge attention on the day itself, with an impact that lasts all year. Last year the campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter, with the Prime Minister, leader of the opposition and the Mayor of London among those publicly supporting it. 

    Source: Written from press release.


    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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