Babsnec off to a Flying Start Thanks to Entrepreneurs’ Forum

April 24, 2014 9:01 am


Six years ago, Barbara Moakes was suffering with chronic neck pain, which made sitting up in bed to eat, watch TV or read quite an ordeal.

To solve the problem, Barbara came up with the simple, but effective idea of ‘Babsnec’ – a cushioned headboard, which can be attached to any bed, sofa or chair to provide a perfect and comfortable support for a person’s head and neck.  For Barbara, a School Administrator, this was the beginning of a new business journey, which led her to the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, as she set about trying to find ways of getting her product launched.

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, developed by Ashfield and Mansfield District Councils’ Shared Regeneration Service, provides an opportunity for new businesses and people starting their own business to meet others in a similar situation to share ideas and learn from each other. It also provides much-needed advice, support and information on a wide range of issues facing businesses as well as a one-to-one mentoring support programme.

“The Entrepreneurs’ Forum was so helpful,” says Barbara. “Their sessions helped me with things like finance, social media and marketing. I got to meet other business people and we bounced ideas off each other.

“The mentoring scheme was particularly useful. My mentor helped me with my business plan and my costings and forecasts. I would recommend anyone with a business idea to get in touch with the Regeneration team and take full advantage of everything they offer you, as you gain so much.”

Barbara is now selling her product to retailers across the UK and is hoping to expand her business within the next year. She’s even considering taking Babsnec into the Dragon’s Den.

The Ashfield and Mansfield Shared Regeneration Service has also assisted her to secure funding from their Grants to Support Innovation scheme, which will help Barbara to sell her products at trade shows and produce publicity material, such as banners and leaflets.

Portfolio Holder for Prosperity at Ashfield District Council, Cllr Jim Aspinall, said: “I recently met up with Barbara and I am delighted she is able to move forward with an innovative idea. Many people have good ideas and sometimes struggle to take their idea to the market.

For more information on Babsnec, visit the dedicated websiteemail  or telephone Barbara on 07702 973631.

For more information on the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, view our online brochure, email the Ashfield and Mansfield Shared Regeneration Team or call us on 01623 463165.

For more information on Grants to Support Innovation, view our online brochure or contact Paul Topliss on 01623 463813.

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