Business Excellence Awards winner

Around the world it is agreed entrepreneurship matters, this is the driving force behind a strong business environment. Having an entrepreneurial mindset brings creative solutions to problem solving, increased leadership skills and empowers not only the people involved but also the next generation. These enterprises created significantly boost the economy and importantly enhance the perception of what it means to be in business.

Diversity in business encourages entrepreneurship a fact supported by an increasing number of successful women in business, using their passions, skills, and determination to be great examples of what it means to be successful.

In West Lothian, Scotland we recognize that there are many strong women in business who are great role models for the next generation. Joanne Tod is a prime example of identifying a gap in the market taking your passion and creativity to develop a business model that has the capacity for growth.  Joanne was the winner of the prestigious Shona Sibbald Woman in Business Award Sponsored by Sibbald Training  at the Business Excellence Awards hosted by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce in 2017 for her contribution and commitment to the local business community.

A professional dancer Joanne Tod established her JHM Dance Academy in 2003, bringing quality and affordable dance instruction to West Lothian. Joanne’s vision is to offer full and part time vocational training for aspiring dancers to train and gain accreditations through further education with Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Joanne has developed a team of highly qualified dance instructors, including at RAD level, to offer classes for all age groups – from nursery school, to high school, to adults.

Taking her own passion for dance and stepping into education she has created a gateway for all ages and experience to the world of dance.

JHM Dance started off small teaching around 20 children in a local church hall, but as the academy’s reputation built so did demand and the need for more space, so another studio was opened.

As the business continued to grow Joanne took on a 3-month renovation project of a former bingo hall in Broxburn, bringing together her previous studios and creating one new purpose-built facility for dance, including fully equipped sprung floor for the aspiring gymnasts.

By offering a varied timetable of classes for both children and adults, alongside a competitive pricing structure, encouraged pupils to study many different forms of dance on a weekly basis.  This popular combination of class choices and pricing provided a competitive advantage for JHM, a strategic decision which proved to be extremely successful in promoting the dance studio, as is the location in the town centre making it very visible to passing trade.

Joanne and her staff’s passion for, and love of, dance has not only created a truly successful business but is also an inspiration to young and old alike to enjoy dance, movement, and music.

Joanne is not only passionate about her business but has been heavily involved in a local charity, Friends of Chernobyl’s Children West Lothian, which strives to improve the health, living conditions and social outlook of deprived children from Belarus whose lives have been affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Each summer Joanne welcomes a child into her home to have a respite from their home countries condition, allowing them to enjoy a range of activities here in Scotland.

Joanne is proof that if you have passion and drive you can succeed…. she is a true role model for others. As quoted by JHM ‘Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.’

To learn more about Joanne’s story, click here to view her Shona Sibbald Woman In Business Winner Video.  

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