This woman’s flexible-working dream became a multi-award-winning business…

Today I’m really excited to welcome Sam Willoughby to the show just one day before one of the biggest days in her business calendar! Sam is the founder and Managing Director of the multi-award-winning What’s On 4 organisation which includes the hugely popular What’s On 4 kids online directory for children’s activity providers across the UK.

When Sam left corporate life because her employer was not interested in offering her flexible working arrangements after she had her daughter, she became passionate about building a business that gave her and her whole team a better balance between work and family life. Millions of parents have used the What’s On 4 websites to help them with family life and over 20,000 have attended their live events too.  

Sam was also shocked to find out that most organised children’s activities have no specific regulations and so in 2014, she brought together a Founding Team of children’s activities providers and experts to launch the not-for-profit Children’s Activities Association to put in place the first independent standards for all children’s activities and much more to help parents, schools and nurseries across the UK.

In this frank interview, you’ll hear how Sam took the skills she’d acquired in corporate life and applied them to her new business, how she learned the hard way to create the right working environment for yourself including building in self-care early on, the importance she places on working with clients and colleagues that you really WANT to work with and how a business coach helped her to overcome some of the challenges she’s faced building the What’s On 4 brand. 

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