Sarah Birch and Victoria Cook are certainly having a laugh with their business, Square Peg. The pair, both in their 20s, set up the business 18 months ago after meeting on a performing arts course at Salford University. Square Peg provides comedy workshops and laughter yoga sessions.
Victoria, who was a stand-up on the Manchester comedy scene, and Sarah are now regulars at north west schools where they stage comedy workshops based around topical issues such as the environment and bullying.
Sarah says: “We started by approaching children’s services at Bury council and our first workshop was at the ACE Centre, an alternative education centre in Wigan.
“We offer a range of after-school programmes to around 25 schools in the region. All of our workshops are interactive, and the kids perform their own sketches.”
Square Peg also stages laughter yoga sessions as part of team building days at companies, and this is an area the pair want to grow.
Sarah says Square Peg’s comedy workshops are always fairly booked up, and the company is also starting to work with teenage patients at Christie Hospital. Square Peg is currently based at the university’s Innovation Forum, which is the home of its business incubator, Origin.
Victoria says: “The business has started to really take off, and we needed premises. The incubator, which provides rent-free accommodation for the first three months, is an excellent facility.
“While it may sound a little cheesy, Square Peg spreads laughter and, for us, that was the inspiration for setting up the business.
“I would encourage other young women to go for it and ignore any negative stereotypes. When I told my dad we were setting up in business he was really worried about it because he’d read somewhere that only one in 10 UK businesses are run by women, so it was something that should be avoided.
“We haven’t had any business training, but it is important to believe in yourself and there is a lot of help out there if you go and look for it.”
Source: Manchester Evening News