Crystal Palace entrepreneur supports single parents at Downing Street

Croydon Guardian: The group outside Number 10 Downing Street The group outside Number 10 Downing Street

Number 10 welcomed a Crystal Palace entrepreneur to discuss increasing support for single parents in business.

Yvonne Bignall, 48, sat down with the Prime Minister’s aides on November 1, with eight other businesswoman in Downing Street to discuss the challenges single parents face.

The single mother-of-one has run her own businesses for nearly a decade.

She recently set up Launching Women in Business to help women start out on their own following redundancy or long term employment.

She said: “It was a privilege to be invited and it’s certainly not something which happens every day. I think it was a great opportunity to represent women at the grassroots and share our concerns and hopes.

“It’s encouraging to see the Government cares enough to want to listen to and better understand our experiences in order to do more to help.”

Ms Bignall has had a variety of jobs from being an air stewardess to a PA and started her first business in 2004 after being made redundant.

The women met with Daniel Korski, special adviser to David Cameron, and Laura Trott, political adviser on education and family policy.

They looked at issues such as the affordability of childcare, availability of funding and the transition from benefits to running a sustainable business.

Ms Bignall said: “To be a single parent and run your own business is tough. My family have been amazing, but even with their support it’s been hard.

“Running a business means you constantly have to be alert, looking for new opportunities, so it changes the way you behave.

“It can be scary at first, and there are ups and downs, but on the whole it’s really satisfying and rewarding. I now want to help other women to take the leap.”

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