Taverham graduate launches own business

A 23-year-old from Taverham has taken the bold step of setting up a business in her home village, and is hoping her story will inspire others to do the same.

Laura Wood, of Drewray Drive, opened the doors to Humpty Dumpty's Kindergarden for the first time last Monday, just a year after graduating.

Miss Wood achieved a BA(Hons) in Early Childhood Studies, but after working at another nursery, decided she had ideas she wanted to put into practice.

At the heart of her business, in Fir Covert Road, is a focus on supporting other local companies and providing a natural environment for children aged three months to five years.

'I wanted to provide natural space for the children. The food is all sourced locally and the toys where possible are wooden,' she said.

'We have an all natural garden too, which is why I called it Humpty Dumpty's Kindergarden.'

After studying psychology, biology and English Literature at the Hellesdon-Taverham Sixth Form, Miss Wood took a gap year while she decided on her future.

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She spent time working with adults with learning disabilities at Norfolk County Council, but decided her future instead lay in working with children.

Miss Wood enrolled in the UEA degree that is run through City College, and worked for six months full time at a nursery until she dropped down to part time when the degree started.

She spent one day a week at City College, three days at work and one at home studying.

'As I progressed through the degree and learnt more I wanted to put into practice what I wanted to do differently,' she said.

Last Monday, Miss Wood opened the doors to her new business. She has three fellow members of staff and together they welcomed 15 children, with more registered for September.

She said: 'It was a bit nerve-wracking, having started at the bottom and now being at the top feels surreal but great. I am able to do what I had in my head for such a long time.'

Miss Wood said that she hoped other young people would be encouraged to try to start their own business.

She said: 'The sky is the limit really, as long as you have a big support network around you. My parents have been so supportive, I couldn't have done it without them.

'If you have an idea and get the finance you have to go for it.'

Are you a young entrepreneur starting a business? Contact reporter Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email richard.wood@archant.co.uk