After being diagniosed with a condition that severly affected Georgie's eyesight, her determination to raise awareness for it and love of sport drove her to creating an accomplished business.
When diagnosis with Macular Degeneration resulted in severe sight loss, Georgie Bullen, 23, from Royston in Hertfordshire, wasn’t expected to do well academically.
Although she defied the odds to achieve good results at school, Georgie was advised that the reading demands of university could deteriorate her eyesight further. Looking at alternative ways of making a living that combined her love of sport (she represented Great Britain at goalball at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics and recently headed off to Finland for the 2017 European championships), with her determination to raise visual impairment awareness, Georgie decided to use her experience of running goalball taster sessions to create a business. Realising that initial nervousness about wearing a blindfold was alleviated when instructed correctly, she adapted her training in goalball to create team-building exercises to encourage leadership in business, as well as developing employers’ visual impairment awareness.
Georgie says, “I knew I had a good idea but needed help to turn it into a viable business. I signed up to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme and nine months later set up Team Insight. The programme helped me with everything and I was soon selling the idea to businesses.”
In her first year Georgie landed clients such as O2 and ATOS and has since gone on to build up a client base that includes FTSE 250 companies such as Balfour Beatty; charities including the RNIB and Action for Blind People and transport heavyweights Great Northern Rail and Thameslink. She has also worked with universities and in October will be taking her business international, working with a charity to take goalball into Ghanaian communities to help empower visually impaired people.
Georgie credits the Trust with more than just equipping her with the skills to make her business a success, saying that mentioning her involvement with The Trust when dealing with potential clients and the media has definitely strengthened her credibility and opened a few doors. She even caught the eye of Red Magazine who, in 2015, awarded her their ‘Smart Woman of the Year Award.
Georgie says, “Getting involved with The Prince’s Trust has changed my life dramatically. To know that they had faith in my ideas gave me the focus and confidence to turn it into something worthwhile and my mentor has kept pushing and encouraging me to make sure things are on track. I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve had. The plan now is to grow Team Insight and hopefully take the concept into schools and colleges.”