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Forum’s help for enterprising idea

Posted onPosted on 23rd Apr
Forum’s help for enterprising idea

Six years ago, Barbara Moakes was suffering with chronic neck pain, which made sitting up in bed to eat, watch TV or read quite an ordeal.

To solve the problem, Barbara came up with the simple, but effective idea of Babsnec, a cushioned headboard that can be attached to any bed, sofa or chair to provide a comfortable support for a person’s head and neck

“There was nothing on the market like this, so I decided to design, patent and make my own product,” said Barbara.

For Barbara, a school administrator, it was the beginning of a business journey, which led her to the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, as she set about trying to find ways of getting her product launched.

The forum, which has been developed by Ashfield and Mansfield district councils’ Shared Regeneration Service, provides an opportunity for new businesses to meet others in a similar situation. It also provides advice, support and information, and mentoring support.

Barbara said: “The Entrepreneurs’ Forum was so helpful. Their sessions helped me with things like finance, social media and marketing. I got to meet other business people and we bounced ideas off each other.

“The mentoring scheme was particularly useful. My mentor helped me with my business plan and my costings and forecasts. I would recommend anyone with a business idea to get in touch with the regeneration team and take full advantage of everything they offer you, as you gain so much.”

Barbara is now selling her product to retailers across the UK and is hoping to expand her business within the next year. She’s even considering taking Babsnec into the Dragon’s Den.

The Ashfield and Mansfield Shared Regeneration Service has also assisted her to secure funding from its Grants to Support Innovation scheme, which will help Barbara to sell her products at trade shows and produce publicity material.

Portfolio holder for economic regeneration at Mansfield District Council, Coun Kate Allsop said “It’s great to hear that someone like Barbara has received the help and support she needs to develop her product.

“The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is an excellent way of connecting like-minded talented people, who have great business ideas and need assistance in bringing them to fruition.

“The mentoring scheme is particularly effective in helping people to increase their business knowledge, self-awareness and confidence.”

Portfolio holder for prosperity at Ashfield District Council, Coun Jim Aspinall said: “I recently met Barbara and I am delighted she is able to move forward with an innovative idea. Many people have good ideas and sometimes struggle to take their idea to the market.

“I am pleased we have been able to assist her and wish her great success with her business. The Entrepreneurs’ Forum and the mentoring scheme are there to guide people through the maze of starting a business.”

For more information on Babsnec, visit or email [email protected] or telephone Barbara on 07702973631. Babsnec is custom-made and comes in more than 100 fabrics.

For information on the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, visit or call the Ashfield and Mansfield Shared Regeneration Team on 01623 463165 or email [email protected]