I have been privileged to have spent over 25 years in executive roles with more than twenty as a business owner. The knowledge I have accumulated has placed me in an excellent position where I can now assist other businesses with growth and improving business resilience.
I am a Non-Executive Director with the Little Soap Company who is particularly excited about assisting with its well-deserved growth. This is an award winning British producer of natural and organic soaps which has captured the imagination of customers of Waitrose, with soap products that exude luxury and best quality with a selection of fine natural fragrances.
I started in business whilst still studying at university, establishing my first undertaking, a fashion retailer in Melton Mowbray, in 1986. After selling my shares to my former partner, I worked as a software developer, trainer and a technical support specialist for a successful systems implementation company, building up my client facing skills and broader business knowledge.
I established my second business, Focus Group, with a co-owner in 1994. We offered the industry bespoke software development, associated training and implemented Ariba Solutions all over the world. This was focused on large corporations and carrying out complex software development in the public and private sectors.
As the software market matured and more packaged solutions became available I changed my approach and moved on to establish a successful training and consultancy business, in 2002. Founding a business as sole proprietor is an exciting challenge which many have experienced. Successfully nurturing a business through two major recessions is less common and taking the business to the point where it is successfully sold is even rarer. The wealth of knowledge and experience that I have been blessed with as a result, is something I remain keen to share.
I have enjoyed mentoring both start up and established business owners, as well as supporting students of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. This has permitted me to share my business experience and help to support a variety of individuals.
In April 2017, I completed the sale of my training business to a substantial international organisation. Friends and business colleagues suggested that I take a sabbatical, and although I am generally good at taking advice, as well as giving it, I do like to keep busy. Thus, in June 2017, I set up Business Centred Solutions Limited. This is a conduit to use my skills and those of other specialists to support businesses in realising their growth plans and addressing other key issues that could constrain performance.
One of my proudest achievements has been collecting the IAB Business Entrepreneur of the Year award at the House of Commons in 2006. That year I also came runner-up to the SCC Midlands Business Woman of the Year.