Name: Tina Townsend
Company: Acacia Business Services Ltd
Position in company: Director
Life can be hard. We all know it to a certain extent. It throws us hurdles that we have no choice but to jump and then we carry on running. Well, Tina Townsend is one lady who could hurdle for her country.
In 1999, Tina suffered two life threatening strokes. Six years later she found herself made redundant from her job as a Health and Safety/Environmental Manager refusing to give up on her career. With an old laptop, trademark positive spirit and a steely determination she set about founding her Health and Safety training company, Acacia Business Services Ltd. Ten years later she is still in business, and not only that, she is sitting on several committees that work to make Witham a pleasant place to live.
Her passion for health and safety and sharing that knowledge has benefited many small and larger companies across the east of England for a decade now and her client base is still growing. Furthermore, she has recently returned to Ignite after using their services in the early days, to partner in providing some courses.
Liz Storey, Managing Director of Ignite Business, said: “We are fortunate enough to help many businesses start up and success comes in many forms, but having a company that we have helped return to help us and our clients is fantastic!”
Tina used the Enterprise Agency (formerly Business Development Services) to set up her business, formulate her business plan and for general business advice. Ignite were able to help with all of what she calls ‘complexities’ of running a business.
Tina said: “Everything from tax and insurance to planning I learnt from them. Without their advice I wouldn’t have been able to continue. They really know their stuff and I avoided many pitfalls because I visited them.”
Her advice to anyone she talks to hoping to emulate her longevity is that there is no such thing as a stupid question and that having a sound financial plan is absolutely fundamental to everything you do.
So what does Tina think reflecting on the last decade? She said: “Ignite’s support was invaluable, without it my business may never have got off the ground and survived. I started with an old laptop and my passion, nothing more, so to get to 10-years, for me is amazing!”
It doesn’t stop with a decade in business either, Tina is great a supporter of others and her local community, using the 10-years’ experience she has gained in her own business within several community groups. She is a member of the Witham Town Team, she is Membership Officer at Witham Chamber of Commerce, she is also a Trustee of the Witham Luncheon Club and finally, she supports the Witham Christmas Events Committee.
Celebrating her decade in business, Tina also drew the attention of her local MP, Priti Patel, who said: “It is a great privilege to represent a constituency that hosts so many hardworking entrepreneurs such as Tina, ten years in business is a fantastic achievement and an excellent example of what the Essex entrepreneurial spirit can achieve.”
Displaying a zest for life and commitment to others that leaves many in awe, Tina has taken the adage of when life gives you lemons you make lemonade to heart and done her best to make sure there is lemonade for everyone else at the same time.
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