Fantastic business woman and previous Successful Mum Graduate Cheryl Huggins asked to interview me as part of her Boss Woman podcast series.
I was so flattered and said Yes! Find out how I started Successful Mums Career Academy, what I’ve learnt so far in my business journey, how Covid 19 affected how we work and more.
“Successful Mums Academy has taken me on a hugely rewarding journey”
Successful Mums Academy was created in 2014, and has become a leading name in business, training and coaching. Founder of this thriving business Jane Knight is committed to working hard in the local community, and to creating professional connections with high street names, local entrepreneurs, including a brilliant growing network of flexible employers, mentors and amazing opportunities for attendees.
Jane and her team are proud to deliver achievable goals to women and men, whilst they are learning more effective skills to kick-start a return to work, create a small business, or open the door to a new chapter in their lives.
How did you notice there was a need for Successful Mums Academy, did you believe that something was missing from the employment market ?
When I had my son I struggled to go back to work part-time and had lost my mojo. This drove me to start Successful Mums Academy to help other women in the same situation to find work, start a business and get their Mojo back through our training courses, created for mums.
Have you always worked in this field, tell us your story?
I’ve always worked in the skills and careers industry across corporate, Government and not for profit organizations.. I’m a qualified trainer, career advisor and coach delivering employability enterprise and digital skills to thousands of individuals.
What’s your most amazing business achievement to date?
It’s been amazing to win a number of awards over the years, that truly acknowledge the work we do, along with recently winning funding to support 500 mums in 2021 to find work, or be self-employed through our online courses.
When setting up the Successful Mum’s Academy what was the one thing you wish you had known when you began your incredible journey?
The sheer work involved, despite working flexibly I don’t work part-time, so the reality is that running a business is full on. I work very early in the mornings and some evenings so I can spend time with my children.
What do you believe is you biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?
Taking on too much myself, if I had my time again, I would have brought someone into my team a lot earlier than I did. I now have a fantastic team who are also committed to the values and purpose of the business.
There are lots of mums who want to invest in professional training and coaching that guides them to gain confidence, by achieving a positive work and family life balance. How many Mums have been through your courses and achieved that goal?
We have supported over 6000 through our taster sessions, coaching and digital courses. Some of the women that have been through our Business Start up Courses include Regan from the Cooking Shed, your good self and Harriet Buckingham Photography. We have also helped thousands of women to find work through our Career Advice, training courses and employer links too. We work with our local employers along with high street names including food retailers Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Ikea, who take our Successful Mums Graduates.
How and where can mums find you, and are men invited to attend your classes?
We are active on social media platforms, sharing the amazing stories of our Successful Mum Graduates, around 70% of our mums are from word of mouth so we are very lucky. The majority of our clients are mums, however we have helped and do welcome dads, non-parents and Carers too!
Can you share with us how the Covid 19 Pandemic and subsequent second lockdown, affected your business and how did you enable the Successful Mum’s Academy, to continue assisting your mums that had hoped to get their MOJO back?
Initially we took a step back and ensured everyone was able to work from home and felt as safe as they could. Our priority was to those mums already signed onto our existing courses. My team were exceptional, we then worked together to transfer all our training courses on line.. This took a lot of hard work however, we completed it in a matter of weeks. Out of the 50 mums that were on our course at the very start of March 2020, all of them went onto complete their course and some found found work too, despite the early days and shock of COVID 19.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to pursue a career path similar to yours?
Understand as many Industries as you can. I was lucky that in my previous role as an Enterprise and Career Advisor, I had worked across a broad range of Industries so had a huge network and set of resources about different jobs. I also had the insight at Policy and Government level about the skills needed, employment in the UK markets, in comparison to the rest of Europe.
Who are the three most important people in your life, that have been the most inspirational to you?
My parents have influenced me to have a good work ethic.
My husband who keeps things real and my children who I learn so much from.
An elegant lady author called Lucia Van der Post who has such a zest for life.
Where can our BossWoman Podcast listeners, and social media followers connect with you online, for more information on your Business and back to work Training Courses?
Successful Mums Career Academy have funding to support 100 London and Kent mums in 2021 in response to COVID 19.
Why not register your interest today here and one of the Successful Mums team will be in touch…
Visit Cheryl’s website here to listen to the live podcast.