Karen Standen sniffed out a good business opportunity when her dog Chum broke his leg twice and needed hydrotherapy as part of his recovery.
With dogged determination, Karen has now turned her winning idea into reality and is opening a hydrotherapy pool for dogs in the Victory Business Centre, Fratton, with support from Portsmouth City Council’s business and regeneration team, Enham - the organisation that supports people looking for work or starting a business - and the Access to Work scheme and the New Beginnings project run by Jobcentre Plus.
Karen has now attended courses in water management and animal first aid and said: ”After being made redundant, I was looking around for a business opportunity and have to thank my dog Chum for giving me the idea. The support of John Fox at Enham and Kerry Dedman from Open Door Training / New Beginnings project (funded by European Social Fund) has been invaluable.
“I anticipate that local vets will be referring dogs to me and have had a lot of encouragement from my local vet. My family have also been very helpful and supportive, giving me practical help and encouragement.
“Dog owners will get an excellent service at Four Paws Aqua with all the work being done by me while they sit and relax, including drying the dogs with a large dryer I’ve just purchased.”
Councillor Mike Hancock, Executive member for Economy, Planning and Economic Regeneration added: ”Karen has shown what can be done with a good idea and the right support. Small businesses like hers all contribute to a healthy local economy and I wish her every success with her new venture.”
For more information about the help available to start up your own business contact Linda Taylor from Portsmouth City Council on 023 9284 1501 or visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/business/3213.html or www.enham.co.uk/. To find out more about Four Paws Aqua contact Karen Standen on 02392876580, Karen@fourpawsaqua.co.uk or www.fourpawsaqua.co.uk