Merseyside female entrepreneurs shortlisted for host of national awards

Female entrepreneurs driving small businesses across Merseyside are proving to be a powerful bunch with no less than 10 shortlisted for one or more national awards.
Between them these successful businesswomen, many of which are mothers juggling young families, are contributing significantly to the Liverpool economy as well as supporting the community in multiple ways.
Take 48-year-old Jane Hawkes from Little Sutton, who founded her coastal seaside homewares business in 2014 with the dream of creating work experience opportunities for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The venture was inspired by her own autistic son and in the future she hopes to work with other young people across the city who also have autism.
And, Nadine Baynes, 52, from Southport, has developed a social enterprise called Lighthouses Therapy Services, which enables her to provide support to families who have survived the loss of an infant. She’s now on a mission to provide as much support as possible to women and couples experiencing such loss.
They are just two Liverpool businesswomen who have been shortlisted for a national Bizmum award at the Bizmums Conference and Awards 2017 on October 8.
Jane is in the running for the Networking Mum of the Year Award whilst Nadine has been shortlisted for Charity Business of the Year.
A further eight female entrepreneurs running a range of creative micro-businesses in the Merseyside area from storytelling and web design to professional coaching and consulting companies have also been shortlisted.
Among them is bestselling children’s author Jude Lennon, who is passionate about encouraging a love of words, books and language.
The author of 10 books to date, Jude, who has been shortlisted for Creative Mum of the Year Award and Host of the Year Award, has worked closely with Liverpool charity Slow Down Bobby to create two stories which promote road safety.
She is also the host of the South Liverpool Bizmums meet up at Wigwam Coffee Shop on Rose Lane, Mossley Hill.
Although Jude, a former primary school teacher, is not a mum, she has found the Bizmums networking group invaluable since setting up her storytelling business Little Lamb Tales three years ago.
The 42- year-old, from Mossley Hill, says: “Bizmums really has made a huge difference to my business and I’m delighted to have reached the final. I look forward to the awards ceremony in October.”
Figures show that a record number of women are now running their own businesses with numbers expected to rise further over the next 10 years.
In 2016 the number of ‘mumpreneurs’ – women starting part-time businesses from home – exceeded 800,000.
Lynne Horton, 44, from Childwall, is one of these mums who needed to work from home to better manage her family commitments and health. In 2014 she set up Word-Shed, a web design and Search Engine Optimisation company.
Three years on she says it was one of the best things she’s ever done and the Bizmums network has given her confidence and enabled her to grow the business with the support of like-minded women.
“I needed to work from home so I decided to create Word-shed as a collective of freelancers,” she said.
“By working from home these freelancers would ultimately be able to keep costs low for smaller companies whilst giving them the advantages of bigger ones.
“Being part of Bizmums has helped me to feel validated as a serious businesswoman as well as a work from home mum. It has given me the confidence to know that it is okay to choose my own hours and not be made to feel like an amateur when I rush off to the school run. I’m thrilled to be shortlisted for the Bizmums Exceptional Service Award.”
Jan Kiermasz, from Prenton, Wirral, who runs John Jelly Training and Consultancy, helps other business owners thrive and make a success of their digital marketing. The 51-year-old is shortlisted for the Bizmums Online Mum of the Year Award.
She said: “I’m delighted to have been nominated by some of my students for the Bizmums award for Online Mum of the Year. Being a finalist is just fab. My business goal is to help other business owner thrive and make a success of their digital marketing. “Running John Jelly Training and Consultancy for the last two years is rewarding. It’s great to be recognised for supporting others on their business journey.”
Also shortlisted in this category is 45-year-old happiness coach Jo Howarth, owner of The Happiness Club.
Mum-of-two Jo, from Rainhill, is committed to helping people make themselves happy. She has also been shortlisted for the Inspirational Mum of the Year Award, Networking Mum of the Year Award and Health and Beauty Mum of the Year Award.
She said: “I am completely over the moon about being a finalist in these categories. The line-up of nominees is outstanding and I am honoured to be included.”
Mum-of-two Michala Leyland, accredited Life Coach, motivational speaker and founder of Wood for the Trees Coaching, is also a finalist in multiple award categories.
With 18 years’ experience teaching, training and coaching in the education, business and charity sectors, the 44-year-old from Southport is passionate about helping women to make positive changes in their lives.
She said: “I was overwhelmed, with not one but five nominations. I can hardly believe I was shortlisted for all five, ironic for a coach who helps women avoid being overwhelmed in life and business, but it’s a good overwhelm.”
Nominations include the Exceptional Customer Service Award, Networking Bizmum of the Year and Online Bizmum of the Year.
Julie Aldcroft, who works with Forever Living Products, and has also helped bring her community to life by starting a Facebook group called Bring Life to Little Sutton, is shortlisted for Charity Mum of The Year Award.
She said: “I feel it’s important to keep our sense of community in such a busy and online world. Our own village lacked community events and that hustle-bustle feel that I wanted so I started Bring Life to Little Sutton.
“I was blown away by the response. This has led to fundraising, markets, several community groups, and summer fairs which grew and I renamed a festival this year. I now want to see the concept being adopted in as many places as possible because I believe people do care – areas just need someone to get the ball rolling.”
Further businesses shortlisted in the annual Bizmum awards which will be held at The Manor House Hotel in Alsager, Cheshire, include Patricia Harland, of Harland Consultancy and Jessica Dixon-Spain, of JDS Holistics.
Patricia, who works on the Wirral and has two grown up children and four grandchildren, helps people face up to their fears, phobias and anxieties by offering one to one consulting sessions, workshops and seminars.
A finalist in the Networking Mum of the Year category, she said: “I am so thrilled to be a finalist in the Bizmums Awards, whether I win or not, to be recognised for the effort that I put in with regard to networking is fantastic.
Jessica (36) from Southport, who runs baby massage sessions among other things, said: “I’m delighted to receive a nomination for Health and Beauty Mum of the Year.
“Everything I do at JDS is about helping women and men look after themselves in this stressful world. My baby massage classes not only help the babies but also the mums.
“They bring women together in the first few months after giving birth which can make them feel supported. I’d love to win as a reflection of that work.”
The Women’s Organisation, which is based in Liverpool, gave its backing to the Merseyside businesswomen, saying entrepreneurship is a vital step towards impacting the economy.
A spokeswoman said: “The Women’s Organisation would like to extend their congratulations to all the women nominated for a Bizmum award! It is fantastic also to see a few women that are friends of The Women’s Organisation and have accessed our support through our business start-up programmes on the nomination list.
“Encouraging female entrepreneurship is a vital step towards impacting the local and wider economy, and alongside business support agencies, like ourselves, awards like Bizmum work hard to inspire and then celebrate the hard work and successes of female entrepreneurs.”
Michelle Childs, founder of Bizmums added: “We started The BizMums awards in 2013 to recognise the achievements of mums in business across the UK. This is our 4th time of running the awards and each year the number of nominees has grown significantly showing the importance of giving these mums the opportunity to celebrate their successes.
“The biggest group of finalists are the Merseyside BizMums which is brilliant. We have a really well established supportive network in Merseyside and all of these BizMums getting to the finals is a big testament to this. I’m really excited to see them all and celebrate with them in October.”

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