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Student's Business in Running for Prestigious Regional Business Award

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A University of Worcester student’s business has reached the finals of a prestigious regional contest.

Marie Jenkins’ firm Advance Your Wellbeing is among six companies up for the Midlands Innovation of the Year category of the Midlands Business Awards.

Marie, who is in her first year studying Entrepreneurship at the University of Worcester’s Business School, said: “As you can imagine I am over the moon with this achievement and, while it would be easy to say it was all down to the business idea, I recognise it is ultimately because of the people that have helped around me, namely the University lectures and tutors.”

The Midlands Business Awards, in its 11th year, celebrates the finest business talent across the Midlands, recognising them in 12 categories.

The 44-year-old mother-of-three, of Rubery, near Bromsgrove, set up Advance Events Ltd, now called Advance Your Wellbeing, in February last year.

As a result of not prioritising her own health and wellbeing, Marie left her career in social housing in late 2013. She found herself in poor health; overweight and suffering with depression.

She set about transforming her life by taking responsibility for her health and wellbeing and started her own business in the wellbeing industry.

Advance Your Wellbeing works with housing professionals within the social housing sector to improve or review their wellbeing strategies through innovative approaches in training. The business also offers a wellbeing consultancy service and is looking to offer corporate events and wellbeing walks as the business grows.

Marie’s business was selected from hundreds of other midlands based businesses for the shortlist and she was then interviewed by a panel of highly regarded Midlands professionals and business owners to become a finalist.

She said: “The last year and a half has not been without challenges, but when you take the decision to set up in business accepting those challenges and how you rise to them reflects whether your business is going to be around for years to come.

“I am proud to be recognised as an innovative new business and being born and bred in the Midlands makes this award even more special.”

Marie’s lecturer Dr David Bozward, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, said: “Students within our BA (hons) Entrepreneurship are supported in developing their businesses on a number of levels and it’s great to see that Marie has been recognised by the Midlands Business Awards as an outstanding entrepreneur and business.

“Her passion and business ethics has created an amazing business.”

The award winners will be announced in a ceremony in Leicester on February 24.