Digswell business woman shortlisted for two national awards

Sarah Rushton (sitting), Michaela Buckley, Poppy Stephens, Gemma Crane, Michelle Bacon, Natasha Holek, Alison Marshall, Roxanne Kirkhope-Winnan, and Claire Kitchener (sitting).

Sarah Rushton (sitting), Michaela Buckley, Poppy Stephens, Gemma Crane, Michelle Bacon, Natasha Holek, Alison Marshall, Roxanne Kirkhope-Winnan, and Claire Kitchener (sitting).

Osborne Appointments

A Digswell businesswoman has been shortlisted for two national awards due to the success of her Welwyn Garden City-based company.

Michelle Bacon, who owns Osborne Appointments, has been shortlisted as a finalist in The Best Business Women Awards 2017.

The awards recognise the achievements across a wide range of business categories and is open to any female business owner in the UK.

The mum of two has been shortlisted for the Best Business Women in Recruitment and Best Overall Business awards.

Her company,which has won nine separate business awards in the last two years, specialises in the supply of temporary, contract and permanent placements across a range of sectors.

The former Sir Frederic Osborn School pupil said: “I am extremely honoured to be shortlisted as a finalist in the UK Best Business Woman awards.

“I have an amazing team and like always we will all share in this success and recognition.”

Prior to setting up her company in 1995, Michelle worked as a recruitment consultant for a main stream agency for eight years. Michelle added: “I immediately had a passion for the industry.

“I loved the way I was able to help people find suitable employment and make a real positive impact on their lives.

“I enjoy building client relationships, and finding out about their business.

“I’ve met and built so many relationships in my time, with some becoming long-term friends 20 years on.”

Michelle founded Osborne Appointments with a business partner, who decided she wanted to explore other avenues after 12 months of operation.

Michelle said: “When my business partner left I begged and borrowed money from family to buy out her share.

“I was a single parent at the time with two small children (aged five and two) and was determined to make this opportunity work for them, and their futures.”

But the first few years were extremely tough and in their office in Welwyn Garden City, Michelle and her three employers at the time used cardboard boxes and coffee tables as their desks.

Michelle added: “We had one PC between us, though it was mainly used for payroll.

“I worked all the hours possible between looking after my children.”

The company started to turn into profit three to fours years after it started.

Michelle’s daughter Laura Clark, 28, has worked for her mum’s business for nine years and has progressed through the ranks.

Debbie Gilbert, organiser of The Best Business Women Awards, said: “We were delighted with the number of entries this year, which came in from all over the UK.

“This is a tough competition judged by business experts.

“To be a finalist is a major achievement. Finalists have been selected for their business acumen, determination, creativity and tenacity.

“Over 80% of start-ups fail in the first three years and all our finalists are all shining examples of being successful entrepreneurs who have proved their success to our judges.”

The gala final of the awards will be held on October 12, 2017, at Tewin Bury Farm, in Welwyn, where the winners will be announced.

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