Owner of Harlow performing arts school: “It works around my children so I never miss a moment with them’
Entertainment / Fri 17th Nov 2023 at 07:41am
A MUM-of-three is championing a new scheme to encourage mothers back into work and to set up their own franchises after seeing the benefits herself after building performing arts schools across Essex.
Emma Murphy, a mum from Essex, set up her first Make Believe performing arts school in Basildon twelve years ago is now encouraging other mums to consider setting up their own.
Starting in 2011, Emma took on her first franchise from UK performing arts company Make Believe and she was quickly bitten by the bug. Within a year she had grown her franchise in Basildon and expanded with two more schools, and began growing a network of performing arts schools across Essex.
Combining her own love of performing and her theatre background, Emma says running her own performing arts school was just the first step into a decade long career that she’s never looked back from.
Emma said: “I opened my first school in Basildon in January 2011 at just 21 years old and I knew this is what I wanted to do. By the end of the year I had three franchisees with a school in each area of Basildon, Romford and Hackney, and Make Believe Essex was born. Over the years I opened more and more before hitting one of my career highlights when I became Creative Director at Make Believe.
“In 2018 I was becoming a mum and decided to sell some of my schools after years of success. Now I have three children and my franchise in Harlow has been running for ten years, and I’m now set to expand and grow my business again as my children start school and nursery.”
Juggling a busy career alongside being a parent isn’t easy, and it’s something that Emma knows firsthand. Emma explained: “I am excited to start growing my business again by opening more schools while still being able to be there for my children and not sacrificing time with them.
“It really is the most ideal job to work around them and I have been able to be with them through all of their milestones and childhood, whilst still bringing in an income.”
Make Believe is the fastest growing extra curricular franchise in the UK, and is now offering support to parents who want to create their own business and launch a theatre school in their area that fits around their life. Launching their ‘Mums Mean Business’ support scheme this month, Make Believe has created an initiative to help mums get back into business and create a career that works for them around their family life and their personal goals. The scheme is helping prospective new franchisees to find an area to set up in, hire qualified teachers that can engage and get the most out of children and recruiting students to create classes via targeted marketing support and business advice.
Joel Kern, founder and managing director of Make Believe, commented: “We’re so proud of mums like Emma, who have taken the chance to create their own performing art schools and run their own business with both hands.
“Launching our Mums Mean Business scheme will hopefully help us to empower and support hundreds more mums that want to work again after having children or create a business that works for them but still allows them to be there for every important moment in their families’ lives.
“There’s a huge network of support to help anyone considering starting a Make Believe business as well as creating a business that makes such a huge difference in childrens’ lives and teaches them skills for life.”