Entrepreneur Interview: with Bethany Ainsley, Nouveau Wellbeing
Posted on the 24 May 2019
With no experience in business when she started out, only a passion and drive for supporting people's health, Bethany Ainsley has achieved a great deal of success over the last decade.
Bethany, founder of Nouveau Group, provides an insight into how her early passion for dance quickly developed into a multi-award-winning company, which supports a diverse range of people across the North East and beyond, in the latest Entrepreneurs' Forum member interview.
Tell me about your background in business
I don't come form a business background in the traditional sense; I studied towards a degree in contemporary dance and I suppose my first business experiences were when I became a self-employed dance teacher during my university days.
How was Nouveau Group formed?
I'd always had an interest in health and wellbeing which is at the heart of Nouveau Group. Nouveau Group represents a collection of companies, in which the Group is the overarching brand.
I drew upon this interest and passion for dance to form my first company, Nouveau Wellbeing, after spotting a gap in the market just over 10 years ago, in November 2008. Looking at regional and local health statistics, I discovered that life expentancies in the area were below average, and the risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity were all higher. With my knowledge of the local communities and experience in teaching, I established Nouveau Wellbeing as a social enterprise to reduce health and social inequalities across the North East through the delivery of dance and fitness programmes to people of all ages and abilities.
Within six months, I had secured grants from the Department of Health and Social Care to pilot two programmes, which were commissioned by local authorities and from there we've taken on other projects.
10 years later, I established ActivCare Coaching, which provides training and is developing a digital platform to support carers and volunteers in helping the older population remain active in later life. The company offers accredited Seated Exercise Leader training to organisations working with older adults, in addition to the digital platform which includes virtual classes, effective reporting tools and a rewards system for clients.
Another company 'Bethany Ainsley' followed as I wanted to share my passion for supporting entrepreneurs and leaders with their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their teams. As a result, I launched 'Bethany Ainsley' to do just that. We offer a range of wellbeing services from online courses to Workplace Health and Wellbeing programmes.
In your own words, what is it that the Group does?
Nouveau Group promotes and helps to deliver solutions and programmes to support health and wellbeing. Whether through training methods or digital classes, our group of companies work with a range of people - regardless of age and backgrounds - to deliver on that common goal.
What is your proudest moment with the company?
Celebrating our 10-year anniversary was really fun! Clients, service users and everyone we work with all came together and it was just a very proud celebration that was a culmination of all the hard work from the last decade. It was a surreal moment and one that I'll treasure.
I am also incredibly proud to have won so many awards, especially as I have come from a non-business background.
Is there a particular mistake you have made in business? And how did you overcome/learn from it?
It is a continuous learning curve - as most entrepreneurs would testify to! I'm always making decisions and learning from those around me. Thankfully, there hasn't been any significant disasters to date!
What is your USP?
I think it is our broad range of knowledge and the fact that we work with so many different sectors, whether it is the care industry or corporate world. I have learned, while in business, that you must switch your mind and diversify.
How has the Group grown and what do you attribute this to?
Nouveau Group is constantly evolving and the heart of all our practices and work is ensuring that it can be supported by evidence. This is a key indicator and metric, which allows us to pick up on and present, for example, return on investment and the impact we're making.
This then allows us to continue to learn, develop and enter new markets to facilitate our growth.
Do you live by/do business by a certain motto?
Treat everyone how you want to be treated, from clients and colleagues to funders and stakeholders, it's an ethos shared across Nouveau Group.
What's next for Nouveau Group?
ActivCare Coaching is moving into the National Centre for Ageing (The Biosphere, Newcastle), which is an exciting time for the company's growth.
We have also just launched three short online wellbeing courses that are available via the Bethany Ainsley shop for busy individuals including Managing Stress, Creating Balance and Finding your Tribe.
Having successfully delivered workplace health and wellbeing services in a number of sizeable businesses, we are now consulting with smaller businesses to understand their requirements further. Any small business keen to support us in this process, get in touch by emailing email@example.com!