MumsClub, the award winning business support network has announced the results of its 3rd annual pursuit to find and reward inspiring examples of the UK's most enterprising business women who also happen to juggle family life.
The competition to find the UK's most inspirational mum-owned businesses saw mumsclub present the Business Mum Award to six businesses across the UK, using a variety of criteria to ensure the right winner for each category, including Best start up, Highest Growth, Resilience, Mumpreneur Advocate, best use of media and the overall Best Business Mum. There were also two wildcard awards for a top secret special achievement category.
Jane Hopkins, founder of mumsclub and the Business Mum Awards said: "The Business Mum Awards recognise and celebrate the success of ‘mumpreneur’ businesses. The UK is full of thriving and innovative mum owned enterprise, and theses winners demonstrate the calibre and talent that is out there. These home grown businesses are being created whilst juggling the demands of daily family life, they are not only surviving but thriving and it has been my pleasure once again to recognise and reward all of their hard work and determination."
Three finalists in each category were deliberated over a panel of mumsclub representatives, headed by mumsclub founder Jane Hopkins.
Donna Pinnell, a mumsclub judge and HR specialist said “The quality of this year's nominations has been outstanding with an increase of 600% on the previous year’s entries. This year, as well as self nominations, entries for others were encouraged which saw many of those on the shortlist, also nominating others. The shortlisted entries were then opened up to a public voting where thousands of votes were counted to help select the finalists, and ultimately the winners.”
She added “We were very impressed by the high standard of entries across the board, but we did highlight a number of businesses who although did not meet our strict criteria to win an award, we felt deserved recognition which is why we created the wildcard awards. This part of the ceremony created a sudden buzz in the room when revealed near the end of the day.”
The Winners & prize details:
• The Best Business Mum 2010 sponsored by Butlins Holidays.
Awarded to Cara Sayer - snoozeshade
Cara invented the SnoozeShade, a revolutionary black out blind for childrens prams and pushchairs. With no previous experience, Cara had a light bulb moment and designed a solution to her own needs as a new mum. Cara has been credited with being an incredible support to new, fledgling mum owned business and SnoozeShade is growing rapidly into international markets.
Cara won a 4 night holiday for 2 adults and 2 children to Butlins new spa resort in Bognor Regis.
• The Start up Award sponsored by RosettaStone.co.uk
Awarded to Erica Douglas – ACE Inspire
Erica started by developing a free mum blogger e-course. She has had 500 mums pass through this free course in its first year. She then developed a more advanced course which enables any business owner to learn about social media.
Erica won a language course of her choice from Rosetta Stone.
• The High growth Award sponsored by Premier inn & Dinosaurs Unleashed at The O2
Gill Hayward & Kellie Forbes - Yuu World
Friends, business partners and busy mums Gill and Kellie launched YUUbag just last summer. YUUbag is an activity bag with a desk, colouring pad, magnetic game and space for iPods and DSs. It has also been ergonomically designed to promote good posture and healthy spines. Gill and Kellie sold out within 7 weeks of launching. Since then they've sold a total of 3,600 in just 21 weeks of trading.
Gill and Kelly both won a mini break from Premier Inn and Dinosaurs unleashed at the o2.
• The resilience Award sponsored by micro-scooters.co.uk
Gemma Johnson – BaBeeCard
Gemma has fought hard and overcome many setbacks including the 'glass ceiling' attitudes in the Financial Services industry. BaBeeCard is a prepaid MasterCard® aimed at mums. But two years finally since launching her business, the BaBeeCard has won a number of awards. Gemma has an uncanny ability to fight through anything that is thrown at her to come out the other end on top. This is the level of mumpreneur that so many of us strive to be.
Gemma won a set of micro scooters for all the family.
• The Mumpreneur Advocate sponsored by BecomeaMumpreneur.co.uk
Alison Pinney – My Little Monkey
Alison created ‘My Little Monkey’ – an online business making and selling unusual and unique sock monkeys. In addition she runs, and provides immense business support via the Cambridge Mums Business Club. She has worked tirelessly to get her new group noticed by local media, has built great relationships with local media and now has a loyal following and is invited to speak on BBC radio regularly. She also recently launched and hosted the 1st women in business conference in Cambridge. Alison’s unwavering support for others and volume of votes she received makes her a deserving winner of this award.
Alison won a mentoring session with Antonia Chitty from The Mumpreneur Guide, plus a bundle of books and life time membership to the Be A Mumpreneur course.
• Best use of Media award sponsored by Prima Baby
Keira O’Mara – Mamascarf
The discreet & supportive breastfeeding scarf invented by Keira O'Mara who sells both online & to retail customers internationally, including Tesco, Boots and Jojo Maman Bebe.
This award is based on a full 12 months of PR work. Keira entered the mumsclub PR challenge and logged every media mention. For the second year running, she won by a mile, gaining twice as many mentions and points than anyone else in the competition.
Keira’s prize is editorial in Prima Baby and the Business Mum’s Journal.
Wildcard winner #1 – special achievement award
Victoria Dixon – Enhance-me
From a simple skill of being able to use a computer, Victoria has learnt the valuable skill of photo manipulation; turning a simple photo into a story, and has built a growing business. She now has a range of wonderful illustrations and constantly creates new ideas for expansion.
From her corner in the remote Orkney Isles, she quietly gets on with building her empire. With social networking she’s never far away; she is well known and well liked on the ‘mumpreneur’ circuit. The volume of votes she received is testament to her popularity. The judges felt that Victoria deserved special recognition because of the sheer determination she has adopted to become part of the mumpreneur community, despite her location and the amount of votes she received in her category.
Wildcard winner #2 – special achievement award
Michelle Wall – Shellibobbins
The winner of the special achievement award goes to Michelle Wall, aka shellibobbins on the grounds of the sheer determination that she has shown to overcome a string of physical abilities throughout her life to reach a point in her life where she is at the brink of success.
Michelle suffered an accident at the age of 2 the effects of which stayed with her throughout her life. She has remained positive whilst being in and out of a wheelchair and missing lots of schooling and struggling with dyslexia. After the 3rd redundancy in 3 years she made a life change and came up with the idea of making rag dolls. After research, prototypes and quality testing she now has a range to market. But with no budget to support her plans, she’s used social networking, building a facebook and twitter following and has made ‘virtual’ friends with both Theo Pahpitis and Duncan Bannatyne.
Michelle is a testament to what women in business are all about. Determination, drive and never giving up, despite the obstacles in her path and we are very proud to recognise her.
The judges felt that she has come a long way, is at a critical point in her business career and is showing a huge future and hope that receiving this award will give her a push in the right direction.
All images supplied by Sian Robertson Photography http://www.sianrobertsonphotography.com
Other companies who supplied prizes: Jabra Bluetooth headsets, Museum of London Docklands, Powercube power mat & receivers, Garofalo Pasta hampers, 1980’s pop legend Heaven 17 DVD’s, £15 to spend at JoJoMaman Bebe, boxes of Play Mais - award winning craft products, and fabulous alternative to flowers; the gluttonous gardener hampers.
MumsClub was the first mumpreneur support network in the UK and is still the biggest. Created in 2007 by a single mum on benefits, the group now boasts 4500 subscribers, 25 nationwide networking groups, the publishing arm: The Business Mum’s Journal, and the live event – The Business and Baby Show. MumsClub is also responsible for creating national business mum week; launched in 2009 to celebrate the work of mum owned businesses everywhere.
www.MumsClub.co.uk - The Business Club for Entrepreneurial Mums
UPS Local Business of the Year 2008 as chosen by Theo Paphitis
Women on Their Way Award winner 2009
Remote Employment Award winner 2009
01675 463 963
Fabulous images are available upon request
Further details and interviews are available with all award winners.
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