Tell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently
My name is Fiona Small and I am a mother of two children and the Director of Young Mums Support Network.
Why did you start your business?
I started my YMSN shortly after the London Riots in 2011. I had just given birth to my son who is my second child and was in total despair with what I witnessed happening on my front door. I decided that I needed to take action and I wanted to do something that would be very impacting on society.
What appealed to you about setting up your own business?
What appealed to me was the need for leadership within the community and also the fact that I am able to restore hope back into socially deprived areas and to empower a disempowered generation. Most of all I like the fact that I can work around the school run and spend more time with my children.
I am a prime example of this and I will empower, support, educate, equip, mentor and coach all of the young females I work with until they become the best they can be in life.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I would say being a single mother and trying to strike the balance between work and motherhood. I would also say developing my organisation into a living so I can earn an income as a lot of organisations will expect you to work for free which can be very challenging.
What’s been your greatest achievement personally?
I would say I have had many in such a short space of time being in business. One of my major highlights to date has been my visit to Number 10 Downing Street on 30th January this year. That was a moment I will totally cherish especially when I collected my daughter from school that week and she told all her friends that her mum went to visit the Prime Minister. Being interview by the BBC and The Voice Newspaper, plus being nominated for a Creating Places Award has also been such great achievements for me also.
If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you be doing?
I would still be pursuing my career in the city and be developing my writing as I now have a monthly column inside of The Jamaica Times newspaper. I would also still be pursuing my Acting, Stage and Television Presenting career.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
For me it has been my mother who I must say has been my support network during my career and really helps me with my children she believes so much in me. I would also say Oprah Winfrey as I love everything about her and all that she has achieved despite her dysfunctional childhood she has managed to turned it right around, She is a prime example of “it’s not where you start its where you finish” Amazing role model for me and I am looking forward to meeting her one day.
What does the future hold for you?
The future holds a lot for me. I am looking forward to seeing my organisation grow globally as I am already in talks with a contact in Australia and Jamaica. We are developing an online publication plus have been capacity building into other local boroughs. Working with schools on our new model for Year 11 students. My end goal is to have my own production and use the young females who we have been working with whose lives have been transformed this will be to highlight that it’s not where you come from or how bad the past was, if you have the right influences and network of people around you all things can be possible. I am a prime example of this and I will empower, support, educate, equip, mentor and coach all of the young females I work with until they become the best they can be in life. I see YMSN having semi-independent properties (similar to mother and baby units) that will teach theses females real life skills and parenting skills so when they fly the nest they are ready to swore through life and all its hurdles raising children the best way they can.
As our slogan say “breaking cycles for a new generation”