THE BLOG

Has It Really Been A Year Since the Last Women of the Future Awards?

10/09/2013 12:36 BST | Updated 09/11/2013 10:12 GMT

Last year, I was highly commended in the entrepreneur category at the Women of the Future Awards, held in association with Shell, and what a year it has been since!

Firstly, I have been lucky enough to become a finalist in two other award programmes. This is another incredible achievement for me, and not only has it given me a huge confidence boost, but it is also a big recognition for all of the teachers behind the scenes at The Movement Factory, who are dedicating their lives to inspiring a new generation of dancers.

It's wonderful that my company has been given such a big platform that we can use to encourage exercise and movement for young people across the UK, and during this past year, things have really taken off for The Movement Factory - in fact, I have actually opened up a few more dance ventures, www.danceinschool.co.uk and www.dance-training.co.uk to support demand.

On another positive note, I have been able to fulfil a long-term ambition of mine which is to open my first charitable scheme: The Movement Factory Foundation, which is for 18 to 30-year-olds who are hoping to start their own dance groups or small businesses, the scheme is designed to provide financial resources, mentorship and education by supporting people with the development of a strong CV; helping them gain relevant experience and enhancing their business skills.

I am really enjoying my role as a business mentor to other budding dance entrepreneurs; it's wonderful to see the great ideas and enthusiasm of talented individuals in the local area and reassures me that there is a bright future ahead for my community.

The Movement Factory Foundation means a lot to me. I remember the early years of my business: the hard work, the rejections and the sheer grit it took to get it to where it is today, which is why it is so important for me to be able to support others and help them to achieve their dreams.

I am sure that it was the writer, George Leonard, who said: "Not to dream boldly may turn out to be irresponsible" and I couldn't agree with this more.

It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from in life, if you want something and are willing to work hard enough, nothing is impossible. The alternative is working the rest of your life doing something which you don't enjoy.

My hope is that The Movement Factory Foundation can be a great stepping block in helping dancers and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals - and who knows - maybe they'll go on to become the next generation of Women of the Future Awards winners.

Leanne Pero was shortlisted for the 2012 Women of the Future Awards.

For further information click here.

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 13 November and is hosted by Real Business in association with Shell.