Mum’s the word for entrepreneur

Mel Fenna at her desk in the Genesis suite
Mel Fenna at her desk in the Genesis suite
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A Barnsley mum who started her own business in order to balance looking after her new baby with having a career, is urging other people to do the same.

Mel Fenna was spurred on to launch her own design and marketing agency after her previous employer refused her request to work more flexibly.

“My requests to manage my working hours more flexibly – still ensuring I give full commitment to my clients – hit a brick wall,” says Mel.

She has been an account manager for household names such as Casio, Habitat, Taylor Wimpey Homes and Morphy Richards.

“They wouldn’t entertain the idea – and I do think it was short-sighted. I make no secret that I am a mum first, but I have always enjoyed my work and I am ambitious and committed to delivering results.”

Mel secured backing from the Genesis support programme, which is part funded by Enterprising Barnsley.

Genesis helps businesses with growth potential in the first year or two of their life by providing shared office space at Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), intensive business coaching, technical assistance and business development workshops.

With the help of that support, Mel has now been selected to join the Creative Network, a national agency which works with independent account managers across the UK.

The Network is similar to a franchise and the arrangement means Mel owns and manages the accounts of clients based in her patch, but has the resources of a national full service design agency behind her.

“Genesis has given me the confidence to go for it. I am now excited about running my own business and seeing it grow. And I really think others should give it a go,” says Mel, whose daughter, Maisie, was born 15 months ago.

Anyone who has recently started a business or is thinking of setting one up is being invited to an open day at BBIC on Tuesday, November 13, when expert business advisors will be on hand to talk through their ideas and explain more about the support available.