Nicky Chisholm, Director at The Mumpreneurs Networking Club (MNC)
A women’s business network committed to creating opportunities and inspiring members to tap into their own potential
When I was preparing to share my story, I realised that a prevailing theme has been supporting others to step outside their comfort zone.
In my twenties, I taught people how to sail and windsurf – offering gentle words of encouragement to anyone reluctant to get out on the water, as well as helping them embrace a new experience. Further into my career, I spent a few years at World Challenge – a provider of overseas travel programmes targeted at schools. Teenagers are empowered to learn essential life skills such as saving money and planning their own journeys, to undertaking community work and exposing themselves to different cultures. During an expedition to Thailand, it was a privilege to see these teenagers stand on their own two feet and experience life in the ‘jungle’ – and live and work with local communities.
Out of pure necessity, I founded The Mumpreneurs Networking Club in Brighton with magazine editor Sara Guiel in 2010. I’d recently become a mum again to my second son and Sara was pregnant with her third child. Hours-wise, traditional networking wasn’t family-friendly, so we teamed up and created MNC! Since then, we’ve had 30,000 visits from men and women to our events.
Next year, we’ll be launching The MNC Hub – a new online training platform which will enable us to reach and support ALL of the UK’s mumpreneurs.
Sara and I have always led by example – inspiring women to operate outside their own comfort zone by doing that ourselves. In the last few years I’ve completed a cross-country skiing marathon in the Arctic Circle; firewalked with our team; and won several business pitching competitions. This year, the team and I completed a daredevil ‘Wing Walk’ – raising £16,000 to be donated to both the domestic abuse charity Safe in Sussex and Kangaroos, which supports young people with LD. MNC was also invited to Downing Street to support the launch of NatWest’s Alison Rose’s review of female entrepreneurship the UK. These are examples of when I pushed myself that little bit further and, every time – without fail – my comfort zone expanded.
My advice is to ask yourself: ‘What’s my ‘Wing Walk’?’; then be brave, be bold and take action!