Kathryn Eade, Founder of Up+thrive

Supporting businesses to grow from the inside out – from overwhelm and burnout to sustainability and success

Being an entrepreneur can feel like you’re sitting on a burning platform out to sea. You may venture to the edge, even dip in a toe, but sooner or later you’ll need to dive in. You just need a ‘mindset lifebuoy’ to keep your head up and thrive…

I never aspired to climb a corporate career ladder so, having studied international development, I worked in the charitable sector for eight years – setting up volunteer projects overseas in six different locations.

When I turned 30, I founded thinkingpeople – a training and learning consultancy. Working in partnership with a former colleague, I helped 70 UK-based universities to develop their internationalisation strategies – preparing their staff to support students arriving from overseas.

That business helped me to have two children and be around them when they were small. It was a success from the outside, but 12 years in I felt I needed to evolve for my own learning. As a family, we seized an amazing opportunity to relocate to Montreal in 2015 for my husband’s work. It was the crunch move I needed to step back, but a year later I was struggling with my identity and a lack of focus. My family, who know me best, begged me to return to work!

I set up a blog – Kathryn Relocated – and started coaching ex-pat partners who wanted to create their own portable businesses. The entrepreneurial hub I helped to found was a co-working space with added value: a one-stop shop to seek specialist business support.

My next pivot was returning to the UK in September last year and establishing Up+ thrive to inspire, connect and empower entrepreneurs at every stage – helping them to achieve success. I’m a very proud 2019 MPower Mums in Business Awards nominee, and I’m inspired by Maya Angelou, who said: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it”.

Start-ups can feel pressured to have their ‘elevator pitch’ nailed from day one, but you just need to keep moving forward and evolving. You can enjoy the entrepreneurial journey more – including the ups and downs – if it feels less of a rollercoaster and more like a fun ride for kids!