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Women given a helping hand to live life with passion

KNOWLEDGE: Caroline Marsh

WHEN SECRET Millionaire Caroline Marsh heard the call for women to come to the rescue of Britain's faltering economy by setting up hundreds of thousands of new businesses, she decided to use her extensive business knowledge and acumen to help the cause.

If you have not heard of Caroline Marsh, she is one of the leading female property investors in the UK who made her first million in just nine months.

The former air hostess from Zambia came to Britain with her husband Mike, in 2002. She worked as an administrator and later promoter for marketing companies, promoting everything from cereal bars to cars. In 2007, while attending a business conference in Alicante, she came across cash-positive property investing in the UK hosted by millionaire entrepreneur and property investor Steve Bolton. This was also the start of their business friendship which she credits for giving her a taste for self employment.

Today her passion for business has not faltered. She is a tireless campaigner for enterprise and is a regular speaker on the circuit alongside Dragons’ Den stars Peter Jones and James Caan; and the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee.

Caroline has achieved great success in her life. But her greatest passion is giving back, which was demonstrated when she appeared on the Channel 4 programme Secret Millionaire.

“I came from a childhood where we had everything and then with the death of my father we had nothing,” explains Caroline. “Running my own business changed my life for the better, which is why I work with aspiring entrepreneurs. There are a lot of women anxious to set up their own business, who want to be successful but don’t know where to start or have the confidence in themselves.”

Disappointed in the services offered to start ups, Caroline set up the Concept to Cash business programme to help would be entrepreneurs turn their passion into profits.

“Concept to Cash clearly embodies the Prime Minister’s call to motivate and empower women in today’s economy,” she says. “The programme is designed to inspire, educate and empower entrepreneurs by equipping them with the tools, strategies and models on how to start, run and manage a successful business. We take someone’s idea and turn their passion into something productive. We aim to find their product’s unique selling point; devise a marketing plan and put in place a realistic financial plan so that by the end of the 90 days they should begin to have a customer base.”

With women suffering the brunt of job losses in the recession, Adejoke Abudu was a beneficiary of the Cash to Concept programme. Six months ago she was facing redundancy as a chartered surveyor in the City, but turned to her passion for baking and healthy eating and set up The Guud Food Company which produces wholegrain and fruity muffins.

IN TANDEM: Caroline with Adejoke Abudu (right)

“These were the kind of muffins I always wanted to buy but could not find on the market,” says Adejoke. “By working with Caroline, I found the courage to take a leap of faith and pursue my dreams. Without the programme I would still be sitting on London's best kept secret.

“I am here to revolutionise the food industry, leaving people virtuously indulgent.”

For further information visit www.carolinemarsh. com

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