RiannaRianna Raymond Williams


Rianna runs Shine Aloud UK, a sexual health awareness social enterprise. Based in our 639 Enterprise Centre, she says taking on a LYST workspace has made all the difference being able to pursue and scale her business.

What does your business do?
Shine ALOUD UK is a sexual health awareness social enterprise that uses creative media & peer led training to change the perceptions and behaviour of young people under 25. Through our training arm 1st Step Forward we offer 1-2-1 support and group training – for young people, parents, carers and professionals – where we offer creative solutions to encourage healthier conversations to address sexual health and healthy relationships.


What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I feel I have ultimate control of my destiny and have an active role in pursuing my dreams. It’s exciting and each day is different, yes you may have ups and downs but you learn to take each experience in your stride, because it’s all part and parcel of the journey.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy, you must be resilient, passionate, creative, be able to use your initiative and most importantly manage your own diary, but I love the freedom to do what I want how I want and that works for me.


What has been the most challenging?
Recruiting a team of people who believe in the work that I do and can communicate the work to others with the same passion. As well as having enough time and energy to really pursue the things I am passionate about. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely but it is about finding the right people to accompany you on the journey who understand, support and embrace you and vision.


How has LYST helped with your business?
LYST has provided me with a space to pursue and scale my business. I have been working out of my bedroom for the best past of 5 years, which is meant to be used for sleeping and resting so this can be conflicting. I’ve also been working remotely with my colleagues. Now having my LYST office allows us to be in on one central location where we can support each other.
Also, being surrounded by a variation of businesses is useful and exciting, I feel supported and nurtured and I feel confident that I could ask anyone in the building for support as I know they may have been through or are currently going through the same challenges. Also helping to structure my business plans in a timely manner and complete my cash-flow forecast has been very useful, it helps me to think strategically about business plans and how I can use my time and energy more effectively.


What is your ambition for the business?
I am so excited about having the space to plan and publish our magazine, videos and of course run workshops. In the next year we home to employ a minimum of 12 young people as peer educators as well as produce 4 publications and 8 videos addressing sexual health and healthy relationships, all planned, coordinated and published by young people.