A woman who set up and runs a dance school in Bedford has won a prize to help her business flourish.
Nisha Vyas-Myall, who runs VyMy Dance, is 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 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.
She was presented with her prize by Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at the awards event held at The Higgins.
A special award was 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, ‘Celebrating the Women of Bedfordshire’, which, along with 60 other Bedfordshire women, features Elizabeth herself.
Elizabeth 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.
Nisha 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 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.
Elizabeth Howard who won one year of free mentoring with Elizabeth Toogood in a 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