New coaching opportunity through the Women in Innovation Programme

Posted on: 02/11/2020

In June 2020, the Women in Innovation Programme awarded 18 women with monthly pro bono coaching sessions.

Due to the success of the pilot programme, the coaching team have agreed to an ongoing special coaching package of 33% off their normal rates for a limited number of women within the Women in Innovation community

“I have felt a great deal of benefit from coaching. Progress with my innovation had been very slow. I had felt that I was floundering, but I am now progressing well and feel on track again. I also have a far better insight into myself as an innovator, and this knowledge will stay with me.”  

Dr Wendy Minks, Creator of Rhinamite 

What exactly is coaching?  

Coaching is different to mentoring:

  • A mentor shares their knowledge and experience, offering advice and guidance on what a person might do in a specific scenario.
  • A coach doesn’t give advice but may offer different perspectives to encourage different thinking. Partnering with their clients to unlock their potential in whatever way will work best for them.

Coaching provides a chance to step out of the busy-ness into a safe, confidential, non-judgemental environment and spend time focusing explicitly on your own agenda. A place where you can be sure you have the undivided attention of someone not connected to your situation, who has your personal growth, best interests and wellbeing at heart.

Coaches will help you explore different ideas and perspectives and provide the support and sometimes the challenge needed to help you embed new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. They will help you to build and maintain your resilience and adaptability, equipping you with the self-belief and mindset you need to navigate future challenges.

Feedback from the pilot programme

During the pilot programme our four accredited coaches, Lorna, Nic, Vic and Mary have been working with women facing many different challenges:

  • Stepping up into new leadership roles and growing teams.
  • Juggling the demands and expectations of home life with all the different hats they need to wear during the course of their work.
  • Wanting to learn how to communicate with greater impact and influence with many different personalities, investors and stakeholders.
  • Needing to find new strategies and strengths to overcome barriers, unhelpful thinking or negative voices (both internal and external).

“It’s been a privilege to work with some of the amazing Women in Innovation.”

Mary Ely, Business & Personal Change Specialist

“Coaching has helped me to explore my behaviours and feelings around my professional life in a way that is unique. Guiding me to finding the confidence to rely on my experience with conviction. After almost 20 years in my industry, for the first time, I feel that I can contribute valuable insights to the community.  I also have much clearer insights into how my experience can shape the culture of the company that I am co-founding.”

Emma Hatton, Co-Founder/CTO, Orbital Wave

“Being in a coaching partnership gives space to reflect and get clarity – to cut through the gordian knot of life and work. It gives real focus and magnifies what is most important to me.”

Shivani Lamba, Founder, Brightlobe

New Women in Innovation coaching package

Given the success of the pilot programme, the team is offering a special coaching package to a limited number of women within the Women in Innovation community: 6.5 hours of one-to-one coaching for £1,000 (before VAT) – this is 33% off their normal rates.


Meet the coaches

Lorna, Nic, Vic and Mary are trained and qualified professional coaches, accredited by the International Coaching Federation, bound by their ethics and high standards of coaching competencies. They have all held leadership positions in business, come from varied backgrounds and cover a multitude of sectors and business functions.

Lorna Clarke

Leadership Coach & Facilitator

Clients have described me as warm, encouraging, and insightful, able to create a space that feels completely safe to look at difficult issues.  What you can expect of me is:

  • 100% commitment to partnering with you to help you get to where you want to be
  • A bespoke approach, recognising you and your circumstances are unique
  • A relationship based on equality, honesty and trust, without judgement
  • The space for you to think afresh, explore and gain new perspectives
  • Unconditional support, balanced with compassionate challenge

Mary Ely

Business & Personal Change Specialist

Who I am is how I coach: warm, open, collaborative, light-hearted and practical.

I have a firm belief that with enough flexibility in thought and behaviour, anything is possible!

I use my intuition and everything I’ve learnt and experienced to date to provide my clients with the space and support they need to do their best thinking, clarify what they want and help them discover new ways to achieve that as quickly, easily and enjoyably as possible.

Nic Willcocks

Personal & Professional Development Coach & Facilitator

Warm, empathetic, intuitive, pragmatic and with a good sense of humour, I aim to create the space for people to think better, feel better and do better – whatever ‘better’ uniquely looks like for them. One size definitely does not fit all, so I bring a range of coaching tools, techniques and life experience to my work underpinned by the conviction that people are the experts in their lives.

Victoria Coxen

Leadership and Systemic Team Coach

Coaching is a partnership and each partnership is different and designed according to needs. My clients are the star of the show and as a coach my role is to:

  • Really really really listen
  • Challenge as well as support and ask powerful questions that generate quality fresh thinking
  • Co-create desired actions or behaviours
  • Hold each person and support progress towards greater purpose and goals
  • Encourage full potential by being a cheerleader, a mirror and a nag…

Are you interested?  Register your interest in the Women in Innovation special coaching package herePlease make sure you read the Coaching FAQs and make your 1st and 2nd preference of coach based on their bios.

Share this article


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.