Bethany Ainsley

Business Owner, North-East England

Sector: Health and Social Care

Bethany Ainsley found setting up her businesses a “learning curve”. However, she now successfully runs three businesses in the health and social care sector.  

Where do you call home? 

North-East England. 

Tell us about your role?  

I’m the founder of three businesses: OptiMe, ActiveCare and Nuvo Wellbeing. I support the strategic direction of all three and the day-to-day running at OptiMe. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

I established my first business, Nuvo Wellbeing, in 2008. The multi award-winning social enterprise has supported thousands of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Nuvo Wellbeing has been recognised nationally and internationally for its work, demonstrating behaviour change and increasing physical activity levels. Partners include Sport England, NHS, Age UK, local authorities and public health.  

I received the David Goldman prize for innovation and young businessperson of the year in 2015 as a result of my work with Nuvo Wellbeing. 

In 2018 I established ActivCare after identifying a training gap within health and social care for physical activity and wellbeing provision. The training provided by ActivCare has been accessed by individuals and care organisations across the UK, New Zealand, Canada and the US. 

I founded my third organisation, OptiMe, in 2019. OptiMe’s digital platform supports busy, hard-working entrepreneurs, professionals and businesses alike to effectively manage wellbeing and productivity, particularly during times of growth, development and change. We have supported key workers and organisations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic across a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, engineering, logistics, retail, leisure, education, and professional services. Key areas OptiMe focuses on include productivity, burnout and preventative support. This innovative work was recognised by the institute of directors, as I picked up an award for director of the year in 2020. 

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

My journey in business, like many, has been a learning curve. Employing the right people and choosing if/when to take investment have been key. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

Each time we work with an exciting new client, it reminds me how much I enjoy what I do and the passion it brings out in the team. For me, this is success. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring young females? 

Surround yourself with like-minded, supportive people who can advise, encourage, support and celebrate with you.  

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

When times get busy, stay focused – there can be a lot of background noise. Your wellbeing is important – make it a priority.  

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Trust the journey. 

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