Dawn Evans, founder of one of the UK’s leading training providers Ajuda, has been named Female Entrepreneur of the Year.
Dawn and her team have trained many thousands of people in skills to keep themselves, their staff and their customers safe while at work and at home. Dawn is now recognised across Wales and the UK as an inspirational business woman as well as an expert in first aid.
Wesley Skene, organiser of the South Wales Business Awards, said:
“Dawn is a truly inspirational businesswoman, who has achieved some outstanding milestones with Ajuda. She’s at the forefront of the Welsh entrepreneurship revolution and will be one of the key figureheads in the local economy for many years to come”
Ajuda was started in 2009 and the team now run 52 different courses in the first aid, food hygiene and health and safety areas. The expanding company also offers vocational qualifications and employability skills’ courses.
Born and bred in Cardiff, Dawn, now 45, is very active in her own community and is a mentor for Business Wales and the Princes Trust. She also founded HeartStart Cardiff, a charity delivering lifesaving CPR skills. She has won several awards for her community contribution, innovation, education and recently met HRH Prince Philip where she discussed her passion for helping others.
“The way in which I inspire others to be entrepreneurial is to make sure I lead by example and encourage each individual to be the best that they possibly can be. I am immensely passionate about my company and the people who pass through it. Honesty and integrity lies at the core of this business.”
First aid became a passion for Dawn after she saved her own daughter’s life when she was a toddler and nearly choked to death. Dawn started sharing first aid skills and the fledgling business grew. It became Ajuda three years later. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength and Dawn’s ambition is to increase the portfolio of courses from 52 to 85 over the next 12 months.
She is also developing a full mentoring programme for young female entrepreneurs:
“I feel both honoured and privileged to receive this prestigious award. I hope by sharing my success with others, I will inspire them to also follow their dreams and to not give up. Entrepreneurship may be challenging at times, however it’s highly rewarding. Just remember dream big, because your dreams may come true, mine did!”