babyballet founder finalist for national award

The founder of babyballet Limited, a pre-school dance and movement franchise, has been announced as a finalist of The Mumpreneur Awards, which recognises mums who have established successful businesses.

Mum of four, Claire O'Connor has been shortlisted out of hundreds of hopefuls for The Best Interactive Business Award, which will be given to the finalist who has created the most deserving business that involves working with others, and interacting with clients.

O'Connor created the babyballet concept in September 2005 in order to provide a modern, fun and fresh concept to dance classes, which increase confidence, coordination, movement and agility. Based on her own personal experiences, the babyballet formula has since been taught to thousands of children and offers other women and mums the chance to establish their own babyballet franchise business. There are currently 31 babyballet franchise owners in the UK, all of who are women and 23 of who are mums.

In addition to the franchise model, O'Connor has developed an entire brand to include a popular range of babyballet uniform and merchandise, themed babyballet music, the pink babyballet car and the babyballet characters. The principle babyballet character, Twinkle the Bear, is the brand's mascot who helps to promote the company's ethos of fit and active children.

As well as being shortlisted for this category, O'Connor is also in with a chance of winning the title of The Inspirational Business Mum 2010, which will be awarded to the mum who is an inspiration to all women in business.

O'Connor said: "When I started babyballet all I had was my idea but my true belief in the concept gave me the determination to set up and build the company. Having four children, I had no choice but to combine being a mum with running the business so getting through to the finals of The Mumpreneur Awards is a huge honour."