Lindsey found her passion and love for events at the tender age of 16 when she completed an apprenticeship for a start-up exhibition organiser in 2000-2002. She worked her way up the corporate ladder moving from event focused roles into marketing led roles to spread her wings and complete her CIM Marketing Diploma in 2007.
Lindsey has been nominated for Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014 and her first event business was nominated for Most Promising New Business at local business awards. With over 18 years’ experience in events, she is now dedicated to running Mums Enterprise Ltd and is the driving force behind the business which organises the Mums Enterprise Roadshow, the UK’s only child-friendly flexible work and business show with its online offering becoming ever more comprehensive. Lindsey is mum to four-year-old Molly and had her second daughter Rosie in June 2017.
Tell me about Mums Enterprise, what is it?
Mum’s Enterprise Roadshow is a child-friendly flexible work and business show, founded and organised by mums. The free to attend event is aimed at helping attendees get into the right frame of mind for change and is a must attend for those looking to retrain, find flexible work, start or grow a business. Attendees are invited to come and go when it suits them and all content is optional including over 90 exhibitors split into five zones, ‘Boost, Business, Flexible Work, Opportunities and Retraining & Upskill’ making it easy to find relevant support, real opportunities and be inspired. A full agenda of practical workshops, an Open Mic Story Stage, Networking and so much more is on offer with facilities on hand for those with babies and young children including a subsidised crèche.
Why did you start it?
My last corporate role was as a Marketing Manager for a London Tech company and then I had my first baby in October 2013. I decided not to return to corporate life and instead set up an event management agency. I personally didn’t want to leave Molly 11 hours a day and cutting a day also meant a 20% cut in salary so I thought to myself, if I have 15 years work experience and I can’t earn £600 a month on my own then what has it all been for. So that was my target, the amount of money I would be left with after childcare, travel and other costs. Then after a year of organising events for other organisations the idea struck for the Mums Enterprise Roadshow. I was a mum, I had set up my own business after facing the conundrum about what to do about work after maternity leave, I had made a lot of new mummy friends who all seemed to be facing the same challenge. I thought there was an event in this, so I set about researching and planning it and sought the help of Lucy Chaplin, who was a freelance graphic designer at the time and is now my business partner.
What has been the reaction from mums and exhibitors?
Honestly…it has been AMAZING!! We are now in year 3 and have many ‘resident’ exhibitors who have been at every show like Hannah of Talented Ladies Club, Nicola of Mpower Mastermind Groups, Nik of Vision Mag and Freddie from Raing 2 Go. We had around 30 exhibitors at our first events and this year will have over 100 at each event.
The best thing about our events is that we attract exhibitors who often don’t do other events, which make out exhibitions very special. This is a very unique platform and there are so many initiatives, individuals and organisations now who offer support, services and real opportunities for this audience that we really are facilitating a movement and connecting mums and anybody who is seeking help in their work or business life can meet and be inspired. Many attendees find opportunities they never even knew existed. It’s incredible actually.
As for the mums it really is heart-warming to hear all the stories and receive messages of thanks. We surveyed our London 2017 audience and we changed the life of 20% of those who attended for the better, and 65% said we helped give them confidence and kickstarted them into action. The mums are incredible, it’s crazy how much experience, talent and expertise is out there, but we knew it existed.
Past attendees have also turned exhibitors, we get sent attendee press stories about their successes and we even have a past attendee working with us on a freelance basis. We really are building an eco-system.
What plans do you have this year?
2018 is the Year of the Woman so lets make this year count! Our mission is genuine and clear, we want to help thousands of mums all over the UK to help change their work or business lives for the better forever, whilst also striving for change and success ourselves as business owners.
This year, Mums Enterprise Roadshow Manchester will be a one-day event, taking place on Wednesday 20th June at Event City in Manchester. Mums Enterprise Roadshow London will be their first ever two-day event in London in the larger venue; Olympia London which will take place from Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September 2018.
What’s the dream?
We did a startup incubator program in October 2017 with News UK. We were lucky enough to be one of 6 chosen startups. That really helped take the blinkers off and open up our minds to the huge opportunity that stands before us. There is a movement happening and I am pleased to say we are facilitating it across the nation, perhaps even spearheading it. Now we need to be able to help this audience all year round so we are working on creating a digital hub where people can access and find the support, know-how and opportunity they need to retrain, find flexible work, start or grow a business whenever they need to find it. We also want to organise a big exhibition in Scotland in early 2019 and we must start organising smaller, more regional bootcamp type events from 2019 too. We want to make sure Mums Enterprise is accessible to all and we can only do that by doing events in smaller regions as well as the big national shows. So yeah lot’s to do but I am excited.
When it comes to THE DREAM. It really comes back to helping as many mums as we can. We really do want to help change the work and business lives of mums for the better forever. We want to keep making the events better so they deliver more and provoke action and change, in 2018 we want to change the lives of 50% of those attending, in 2017 this was 20%. That’s the key driver and is what our big decisions are based around.
We will become a nationally recognised and respected brand and be THE number on place mums, or anybody who needs us goes to with their flexible work or business needs.
I really want to prove that with Mums Enterprise in existence we have positively impacted the UK Economy. We have helped more people get into employment, become self employed and have created more jobs. That is the ultimate mission. We are not messing about 😊
Weds 20th June Manchester and Friday 28th & Saturday 29th September, London, Olympia. #shootforthemoon