I am absolutely delighted (and very shocked) to have been selected as a finalist in the ‘Best Business Women Awards’ in the ‘Working with Children & Families’ category! On October 12th the winner will be announced out of the 7 finalists from across the country at a black tie awards evening.
The headline sponsor and head judge, Davis Clarke from Clydesdale Bank said “We’ve been so impressed with the calibre of the entrants and the breadth of the awards categories, which celebrate a wide range of industries. Finalists have been selected for their business acumen, determination, creativity and tenacity. With over 80% of start-ups failing in the first 3 years all our finalists are shining examples of successful female entrepreneurs”.
I was a bit of a failure in my early career life, from not doing too well at school, to working in factories & not being able sticking at it, jumping from one job to another. I never did very well, having low self-esteem not being very academic, always giving my parents a cause for concern! However I learnt in my early twenties, what I lacked in intelligence, I made up for in passion, and it turns out; quite a good business head!
In 2003 I qualified as a Probation Officer, which I absolutely loved, but trying to fit full time working with a small family was so difficult. In 2006 I moved back to my hometown and saw a gap in the market for a children’s day nursery. So this is where the idea grew from, I started my research and In 2008 I opened my first children’s day nursery, aged 28. I went in blind as my background had nothing to do with children or education!
Although I had a fantastic childhood, I grew up being oppressed for being a girl (old school family members). Even though at the time I struggled to deal with the situation, through this I am now very passionate about making sure that any child, whatever sex, can be whatever they want to be. The advertising campaign #thisgirlcan is close to my heart, but equally boys should be empowered to be whoever they want to be. I am passionate in inspiring people to dream big, don’t let anything stop you achieving your dreams, and if you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability!
Now 10 years later I am an ambitious, commercially minded and committed business professional with over 10 years of experience in the Early Years Sector. Since 2008 I have two nurseries, going on to open my third nursery, have qualified as an Early Years Teacher, work as a Freelance Ofsted Inspector and offer private consultancy, training and support nationally. I am passionate about quality in the Early Years sector, making sure that children receive the best possible care to help them reach their full potential, working hard to improve services nationally for our next generation.
Running my own businesses has definitely given me the flexibility I wanted whilst raising my young family. However I can also say juggling a career and family life is extremely difficult. Living with the guilt that I am always failing someone because I am focusing on the other is one of the biggest struggles I face. However, I wouldn’t change any of it, my failures in life are what make me more determined to succeed. I am a positive example of, if I can succeed, anyone can. They just need someone to see it and help them find their own wings in whatever they want to do. “Dream big, you’ll be amazing”.
So you see, just to be a finalist in the ‘Best Business Women Awards’ already feels likes being a winner. x #bbwomenawards2017