Name: Francene Mullings
Job title: Founder of Digitalise
Time in current role: 6 years
Francene is the Founder of Digitalise, a digital skills training provider for local organisations and businesses.
Why did you decide to start your business?
The opportunity to make an impact that provides both economic and social change is why I embarked on entrepreneurship. I also wanted to be creative and found the world of employment too restrictive. There’s nothing wrong with rules but I wanted to focus on a vision that created an impact for generations to come.
My first career was as an NHS Radiographer. I started working at Barts NHS Trust back in 2007 and later specialised as a breast cancer care radiographer. It’s during this time that I also honed my craft as a digital marketer by working during the evenings on various projects for different clients.
Over the last six years that side hustle has become an avenue that’s allowed me to make the difference I always wanted to in the lives of others and on my own terms.
Find yourself a mentor to help overcome the hurdles and to lessen learning curves
What are the key functions of your role?
I run Digitalise which is a digital training company that up-skills the most deserving charities, social enterprises and smaller companies at the heart of local communities.
My role is to connect with local authority business support managers, library service managers and adult education programme managers who support local organisations. These are the people who facilitate training locally so it’s in our interest to reach out to them and let them know we exist.
Once they’ve completed training, either with me or someone else, we work closely with facilitators to assess delegates’ feedback so we can make any necessary adjustments needed for them to move forward. I also follow up with the organisations we support either via email, telephone or video call.
Talk us through your typical working day
Each day varies because as a parent it’s not always predictable. But my day starts with 30 minutes of quiet time that includes reading the bible and prayer. Then I get my kids ready before doing the school run.
On days when I’m doing training I go back home, prepare for the session and then jet off to meet with my trainee. When not training I have to get on with admin.
By 3pm it’s time to pick up my seven-year-old from school and then I’ll work until 5pm.
Working one-to-one with clients is my favourite part because I get to see the impact the training has on people
Your favourite part of the job?
Working one-to-one with clients is my favourite part because I get to see the impact the training has on people. One particular case that comes to mind is when I met a couture dress designer at a training session. She worked an 80-hour week and had just been the victim of a burglary which was causing her distress. She had specific questions about raising her profile online and after the session she said she felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. I’m privileged to hear similar stories every time I train.
…and the part you could do without?
I could do without travelling on public transport when I go out to train but unfortunately that’s not an option.
I wanted to focus on a vision that created an impact for generations to come
How would your clients describe you in three words?
They’d say I’m helpful, approachable and kind.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
The world is your oyster! Take control of your learning journey by leveraging online platforms such as Codeacademy, Udemy and others. Find yourself a mentor to help overcome the hurdles and to lessen learning curves. Don’t forget to mentor others, too by being generous with your skills and ideas. Finally, be innovative and think outside the box. LLY