A woman who set up and runs a dance school in Bedford, VyMy Dance, has been named the winner of an inspiration competition for Bedfordshire business women winning two years’ free mentoring worth £5,000 with one of the county’s most experienced mentors, Elizabeth Toogood.
Nisha Vyas-Myall was chosen by the judges as the winner of The Inspire Initiative due to
the tenacity she has demonstrated in creating and building her business, and her inspiring ambitions for its future. Nisha was presented with her prize by The Lord-Lieutenant, Helen Nellis, at the awards event held on Thursday, 19 July at The Higgins Museum.
A special award was also given to Anne Harnan, home economist and recipe tester, and founder of Taste Bedford, for her work in creating the town’s popular food and drink festival and her commitment to the community.
Elizabeth Toogood created The Inspire Initiative to commemorate 100 years of votes for women inspired by an exhibition at The Higgins Museum, ‘Celebrating the Women of Bedfordshire’, which, along with 60 other Bedfordshire women, features Elizabeth herself.
Commenting on the competition and the winner, Elizabeth Toogood said: “The response to The Inspire Initiative was fantastic with 21 women entering and my sincere congratulations go to the very worthy winner, Nisha. The standard of all the entries was very high and I and my fellow judges had a very tough time in choosing the winner.
“We chose Nisha because she has come so far already in her business and we feel that with the right support she can make a huge contribution to Bedfordshire and beyond. We also wanted to recognise the hard work Anne Harnan has put in to creating Taste Bedford, which is a fantastic event for the town, which is why she was given a special award.
“I was inspired to create the competition when I had the honour of being included in an exhibition at The Higgins Museum celebrating Bedfordshire women, to mark 2018 being 100 years since some women were given the right to vote. Drawing on your sources of inspiration can be so valuable for people who are actively seeking to grow their businesses, and I am very much looking forward to working with Nisha over the next two years and supporting her as she grows her business.”
Winner of The Inspire Initiative, Nisha Vyas-Myall, said: “I still can’t quite believe that I won. I was up against so many amazing women and it’s truly an honour to receive this mentorship. I’m really excited to see what this will lead to, for me and for my students.”
The competition, which was entered by business women from all over Bedfordshire, asked
entrants to submit a video, blog or powerpoint presentation explaining who inspires them.
The entries were then whittled down by the panel of judges including Emma Garrett and Bridget Harris, who are also featured in the Museum’s exhibition, and Alex Falcon-Huerta, award-winning accountant, to just four finalists: Anne Harnan, Elly Hudson, Lindsay Ephgrave and Nisha
Vyas-Myall, with Nisha being awarded the coveted prize worth £5,000.
There was another lucky winner announced at the ceremony, Elizabeth Howard, who won one year of free mentoring with Elizabeth Toogood in the prize draw.
To find out more about The Inspire Initiative and Elizabeth Toogood, visit www.theinspireinitiative.co.uk or www.toogoodcriticalfriend.co.uk. To find out more about the winner, Nisha Vyas-Myall, visit www.vymydance.co.uk.