by STACEY HEANEY
A GO GETTING Lisburn businesswoman has told how she has managed to battle through the recession to succeed in a male dominated industry.
Entrepreneur and business owner Pauline Warde said a strong work ethic and support from Invest Northern Ireland's Go for it programme had helped her beat the odds.
"Undoubtedly, the effects of recession are being felt in all parts of the economy, but I'm managing to get through that with a varied client base and by keeping my overhead costs low," said structural engineer Pauline, who set up her own business, PW Design, four years ago.
A female entrepreneur in a male-dominated construction industry, Pauline's focus is on the structural design of small to medium-sized commercial and domestic buildings. She also carries out structural surveys.
"Being a female in a profession that is still largely male oriented can be a great advantage when dealing with female clients," she added.
Pauline started her business after signing up for the Go for it programme, which she says helped her get her head around the one of the most important aspects - managing your finances.
"I have to admit, managing cash flow and maintaining accounts were something I knew little about, but Go for it helped me through it. Crucially, the programme also helped me put my business plan together, making it much, much easier for me to make the move."
So has setting up her own business changed her life? "Without a doubt," said Pauline. "I have a greater drive for what I do now, knowing that it's all down to me. Although the work is hard and the hours are sometimes long, I can organise my own time so that I am more productive in all other areas of my life.
"I get great satisfaction from knowing that everything I put in to the business, I will get back, and from having the authority to make decisions about how the business is run without having to consult others. Of course, seeing completed buildings I have worked on always gives me a buzz."
The Go for it Programme is provided by Invest Northern Ireland and is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund. For details, log on to www.goforitni.com.