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Business Parent of the Year sponsored by RSM Tenon
Open to any parent who has their own business. A parent that has created their own flexible employment by starting their own business and has achieved this and more! The winner received a luxury spa weekend for two at Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa worth £660.
Winner :Claire O'Connor babyballet
babyballet’s Managing Director Claire O'Connor spotted a gap in the market within the dance industry and has created an award-winning concept and franchise business whilst being a dedicated mum to her 4 children, Harry(14), Charlie (6), Claudia (4) and Kitty (2).Finalists:
The initial inspiration came from Claire’s own personal experiences and a desire to provide dance classes which would enhance a child’s physical and social development in a fun way. The innovative and cute babyballet brand is based around lively and exciting classes, which introduce babies and children to dance and musicality in a magical way whilst increasing coordination, self-control, balance and confidence.
Classes follow a modern, fresh and funky approach to dance lead by fun and lively teachers. Due to the success of the initial classes in 2005, Claire has developed an entire brand which consists of classes, parties, branded uniform and merchandise, music, the babyballet characters and ultimately the business model is sold as a franchise which allows other mums the opportunity to have their own business.
All Claire started with was an idea and a whole lot of determination so it’s incredible that babyballet is now the UK’s leading pre-school dance concept loved by over 8,000 children (and their grown ups) every week in 27 franchised areas!
Gemma Johnson BaBee Card Services
Gemma's BaBeeCard - the prepaid MasterCard® for families - has already won two awards for the Best Prepaid MasterCard Award* in 2009 and 2010, and Gemma has won the Mumentreprenur of the Year 2009** and Women in Finance 2010**. All this and she's also on the front cover of October's Essentials magazine.
Gemma has overcome some serious hurdles. Gemma, 35, and mum to two young children, set up the business at 5 months pregnant and worked through her both emergency c-sections. Business funding fell through at the last minute, leaving personal money and bank loans to become the life blood of the business.
Gemma set up the business in a male dominated environment and had to fight very hard to keep going · all this while coping with not one but two new babies. In the early days, their programme management company responsible for the supporting the programme and card distribution went into administration, twice.
In developing the BaBeeCard, users sign up for the card, load it with funds and use it anywhere Debit MasterCard's are accepted. Gemma has developed the card so that users benefit from huge discounts ranging from 5%-50% at over a hundred high street retailers. Gemma's BaBeeCard has received much press coverage including articles in The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Daily Express.
*at Prepaid365.com Prepaid Card Awards
**sponsored by WBMN and Women on their Way Awards 2010 for Women in Finance.*
Shazia Mustafa Third Door
Shazia Musafa had her eureka moment while trying to brainstorm ideas for a new business while looking after her daughter, but found she could get nothing done in between feeds, changes and playing. She wished for a place where she could work productively for a few hours and leave her child in trusted care. That’s where the idea for Third Door began. After a lot of planning, Third Door opened its doors in May 2010.
It is a flexible workspace with OFSTED registered childcare, operated on a pay-as-you-go basis. The modern space is divided into two levels. The downstairs has the ‘playspace’ an OFSTED registered crèche able to take up to 24 children aged 0 – 8, and a communal ‘time out’ space for networking. Upstairs is the large flexible wifi-enabled ‘work space’ including hot desks, meeting rooms, lounge area and kitchen.
The company is one of those ‘no-brainer’ ideas – why has no-one done this before? And as a result, the buzz around the new space has been growing rapidly. It was featured on BBC London TV and radio news, in the Daily Express, Guardian, Daily Candy London, Angels & Urchins, Baby London and many others. Shazia is on target with her business plan and is about to look for her second location.
Sam Pearce & Helen Woodham Mum's The Boss
Mum’s The Boss is a support network for mums who work from home, run their own business or who would like to set up on their own. The group, founded in September 2008, runs monthly networking meetings (across 5 counties), complete with inspirational speaker and crèche. Our blog has developed into a comprehensive online resource for business mums, and offers informative and motivational tips for working mums.
We have spent a lot of time building relationships online and have harnessed the best experts to give excellent free business advice on our blog. We have networked nationally to bring the best inspirational speakers to talk at our meetings for free, and we have helped to promote many mum-owned businesses to our national audience. We have also removed all the key barriers that might stop a mum with young children being able to access this information and peer support. We have gone the extra mile to provide childcare and excellent quality events at the lowest price possible by seeking out sponsorship and support from bigger businesses, to subsidise our costs. We are passionate about helping other mums realise their potential and be the best business owners, and mothers, they can possibly be.