A couple of months ago we ran a special Women in Business cohort of our after-hours business course, the 5-9 Club.
We recently caught up with 5-9 attendee Vicki-Jane Appleton, founder of Buddug y Byd Ltd, to talk about her business, her 5-9 experience and what’s next.
Hey Vicki-Jane! Tell us about your business!
At Buddug y Byd, we started a new exciting project called Divergent Emergent. Funded by the incredible Clwstwr, project Divergent Emergent is a neurodivergent collective with big ambitions to innovate the traditional recruitment process. Our intentions are to tackle the barriers that prevent unemployed people from getting a job and to revolutionise the traditional CV and recruitment process.
The Recruitment Revolution R&D project will explore an inclusive application-based solution for people to share their experience, skills, talents and access requirements in an accessible and multimedia way. We aim to level the playing field for those with non-traditional work experience or gaps in employment to enter the workplace, as well as fill the skill gaps in the modern business ecosystem.
Where did the idea come from?
I never grasped the recruitment system in the UK. I am neurodiverse and I know my strengths and talents, but I find it very difficult to show it in the traditional CV form – and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
I feel like there is always so much more to say on a CV and interviews lack some sense of communication. This has made finding a suited job for me incredibly hard. All the vacancies I managed to get in the past never lasted more than four years.
Consequently, I did some research. I found that earlier this year the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published new data that shows only 22% of autistic adults are in any kind of employment. It was also shown that 25% of the biggest skill gaps in companies are actually skills that autistic people are known for having. This all stems from the traditional recruitment process not being suited for people with neuro diversities and lack of communication.
So, I started project Divergent Emergent at Buddug y Byd.
Can you tell us about your 5-9 Club experience?
My time on the 5-9 Club was wonderful! I truly enjoyed myself. I was surrounded by a great group of women who were very supportive of each other. Even today, these connections are strong and have created many opportunities between us.
The speakers that affected me the most were the ones talking about women’s equality. These two women raised so many interesting and inspiring points. They really moved me.
Also, Lesley, the organiser, was great at her job. She constantly made sure that the club was accessible and inclusive. She managed to connect so many of us together and truly understand each other’s needs.
What’s next for you and your business?
We want to build a hub where employers and unemployed neurodiverse people can come in contact. This platform will be a source where companies can learn about employing people with neuro diversities and have access to consultancy services.
It will also help those with non-traditional work experience or gaps in employment to easily make a CV and enter the workplace. The hub will be accessed through an app that people can download on any device.
Thanks, Vicki-Jane! You can give Buddug y Byd a follow on her socials below:
The 5-9 Club is a fully-funded after-hours business course designed to help you through the early stages of enterprise. Check out our upcoming cohorts here.