Last weekend I had a small balm (and candle) stall at the Mumpreneur Conference 2014 just outside of Birmingham. I decided to write a blog about it as it was such a positive experience and I know that many of you who read my blog are self employed. As you may know, I haven’t been doing many shows or exhibitions this year, after having been so ill last year I needed a break. The opportunity to have a stall at the conference popped into my email box and it seemed a good opportunity to spread the word and I like what the Mumpreneur girls do to support women in business.
My lovely Mum and I packed the car up and headed off to the Heart of England Conference Centre at 5.30am (ugh) and arrived with plenty of time to set up. We were next to a fabulous couple who had produced a set of books for children, called Clever Tykes promoting entrepreneurs as positive role models. After realising that all business people in children’s books are depicted as mean and nasty, they decided to do something to change that. One of the characters is hearing impaired too so they provide an altogether positive fun and educational experience and we had a laugh with Jodie and Ben. All the other exhibitors were friendly and chatty, including the floating locket ladies who were up for an award and Harry Patterson, who has also written a book Not Before Tea and created a whole brand around it. Age 10.
There was time during the conference to go in and listen to the speakers, who were all excellent and inspiring. Starting with
Apprentice winner Yasmina Siatadan, now running Start Up Loans on behalf of the government who talked about initial investment, then Bill Morrow, who was very funny talking about expanding your business with Angels Den investment and mentoring. This was an eye opener for me, as I was aware of Angels Den, I didn’t realise that they offered mentoring as well. Much less scary than Dragons though! Bill was followed by the Amazing Anna Kennedy OBE, one of my personal heroines as she does so much to support autism awareness with glamour and humour and a fantastic down to earth attitude. I work a lot with children with autism in my therapy practice so am very aware of how hard life can be.
The next speaker I saw was Chris Poad from Amazon Marketplace, clearly far more used to a very corporate (and probably very male) environment who offered useful information followed by the amazing Harry Patterson, talking about entrepreneurship at 10 years old. Another Richard Branson in the making! The final two speakers were the inspirational Annabel Karmel who talked about how tragedy helped her discover her passion and about her new book due next year on women entrepreneurs and Caprice who talked about building a business that would support her once she stopped modelling.
After the speakers came the award ceremony, lots of fabulous women, leading their fields, the whole list is on the Mumpreneur website. We had a great day, the venue and their staff were helpful and friendly, the organisers did a great job and the delegates were, without exception, lovely. The fact that we also got to sell some balm and candles seemed like an extra bonus at the end of the day. Well done to Laura and her team, we will definitely be back next year!
Don’t forget that you can still win a pot of Niki’s Organic Reflexology Balm until the end of the month, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with why you like Niki’s Organic Balms or would like to win and your contact details, more details are here.