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FSB Cornwall Women: Springboard to business

Ali Scobbie started up her business, Thrive with Ali, in Cornwall in October 2017, having relocated from the East Midlands. It was quickly apparent that the way to build business in Cornwall is through networking.


It’s who you know and building a web of contacts, working at the relationships and creating respect and trust. One of the networking events Ali attended was an FSB Women’s Networking event in St. Austell. The theme of this event was to ask what members of the FSB Women Cornwall group wanted to get out of the forthcoming FSB Women’s Conference, which has just been held recently (and was a fantastic success).

During these networking meetings a guest speaker presents a topic of interest. On this particular occasion, a BBC Journalist was the speaker and talked through what makes a good news article and how this can promote your business simply by telling your own interesting story. Everybody had an opportunity to introduce themselves and what they did. Ali introduced herself and Jonathan Morris (the BBC Journalist) commented that Ali may be a contact in future that he could refer to for mental health topics.

Ann Vandermeulen, Development Manager for FSB Cornwall said: “There is a real call for a business women to get together in a friendly, nurturing environment where they can share ideas, help each other and get some great help and advice from us at FSB. We also have been able to link them with people that they may not have otherwise come across and put some valuable opportunities their way. Ali is a great example of the combination of her own ingenuity and our contacts which have got her a winning result. We have been delighted with how FSB Women Cornwall has been developing and even more delighted with the success stories that are emerging.”

Following the meeting, Ali emailed Johnny, with the aim to keep in touch and suggest an idea for an article. Her first suggestion was not appropriate, as a similar topic had been covered recently. So Ali suggested something else which Johnny liked the idea of (persistence pays off!). The article involved a past client of Ali’s, a young girl, who had suffered from extreme anxiety which led to her pulling out all her hair. Megan was 11 years old when her parents approached Ali as a last resort.

The article was a video interview of both Megan and Ali. There were photos to show the extent of Megan’s lack of hair and the contrast to 3 years later. Her hair  is now long and she is enjoying secondary school, without the anxiety she had previously experienced. 

When the article was released on the BBC Website, towards the end of January, Ali got lots of people contacting her, asking for help. This immediately created a client base for Thrive with Ali as well as a reputation and national marketing.

Ali Scobbie said: “Putting in the effort of networking is vital to a successful business in Cornwall. More importantly, it’s the following up with contacts. This opportunity was too good to miss and has been the starting point and spring board to my business.”

The link to the news story is here.