#YouMeEntrepreneur: meet Claire Jones, David Brown and Aya Magdy

Toni Vicars

By Toni Vicars

December 1, 2020

When you start talking to people who have taken the step to become their own boss and create their own future, the two things they all have in common is that they are all from different backgrounds and experiences and secondly, they just did it. They took the step forward to building something new.

Meet: Claire Jones

“I used to work at a corporate PR agency in town and regularly used to feel like I was letting everyone down. Now I have my own consultancy in the countryside and I feel like I’m successful across all areas of my life!”

Why did you start your own business?

Six years ago and I felt like I was failing everyone — most of all myself. Syringing Calpol into my daughter’s mouth in the nursery car park wasn’t an uncommon event. I lived in fear of the ‘call’ that she needed collecting and the palpable disappointment in my boss’s face in the small PR agency of where I was now working (I had to give up my position at the big London agency when she was a toddler — the work-to-you-drop long hour’s culture didn’t mesh with set nursery times). But still, my daughter was the first one into the nursery and the last one to leave. However, I was still the last person into work and the first one to leave.

When I became pregnant with my second child I knew something had to change. I had hit the ceiling career-wise, and the stress of failing everyone was taking its toll. Having seen other colleagues take the leap to a freelance career I knew there was an alternative. But what if I couldn’t get any clients? What if no one paid? Regardless, I had to try — and, by God, am I happy I did.

What is the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

I now truly have the best of both worlds — I work from home and can do the school runs, whilst working across a range of exciting clients who are happy with the work I do. I regularly enjoy days and nights in London (not to mention I’ve enjoyed a fun work trip to New York on behalf of a client) but it’s on my terms. If my child is ill, they can catch up to me watching Disney films while I write a news release on my laptop. And no one feels guilty. I work on referrals and, if anything, I am having to turn down work. I am supporting my family and I feel satisfied in my role as a Mum and a consultant. Everyone is winning!

Meet: David Brown

“I once was a Customer Success Manager and I have since founded my own adtech company and became a Smart Cities Champion”

Why did you start your own business?

I started my own business to solve a problem with online advertising that was annoying me — and most other people who shop online. It was also a problem within the industry that everyone knew about but no one was fixing. I saw an opportunity for a win/win/win and went for it!

What is the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

For me, the absolute best thing about being an entrepreneur is that I control my work. I know what I need to do and why I need to do it so I can organise myself to get things done. It’s so much better than being in a position where my work and schedule is at the whim of someone else.

Meet: Aya Magdy

“I used to be a business development Team Leader, and now a freelance Project Manager”

Why did you start your own business?

I choose to freelance because I needed to work from home at this time. I had just given birth to a beautiful newborn baby and wanted to be more flexible in my working schedule. Freelancing as a business seemed to give me the best options for my lifestyle.

What’s the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

The best thing of running a freelance company is that it allows me to work with different nationalities and mindsets, and it also allows me to engage in different projects in the same time which utilize my skills and experience in different ways.

At ASPIRE we believe in the democratisation of entrepreneurship.

The ASPIRE programme is designed for those who want to take the opportunity to redefine what work means to them by starting their own businesses, becoming an entrepreneur.

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