A Darlington businesswoman is inspiring mums across County Durham about how they can manage and balance their businesses and also their family life. 

For Kerry Metcalfe, the idea of going it alone and trying the world of self-employed came out of the blue three and a half years ago after she was made redundant. 

After considering her options, she set up a marketing business and has never looked back since. 

The Northern Echo: Nikkie O'Kell (Owner of Little Land of Adventures), Paul Howell MP and Kerry MetcalfeNikkie O'Kell (Owner of Little Land of Adventures), Paul Howell MP and Kerry Metcalfe (Image: KERRY METCALFE)

However, despite not looking back, she has looked at ways of inspiring others in the community about the daunting task of raising children and being in business. 

After turning up to several networking events with her child and being told to leave, she was frustrated at the knockbacks and wanted to look at a different way of networking within business. 

The Darlington mum, who owns company KMedia, then set up the Women in Business group in Newton Aycliffe. 

The Northern Echo: Nikkie O'Kell (Owner of Little Land of Adventures) (left) and Kerry Metcalfe (right)Nikkie O'Kell (Owner of Little Land of Adventures) (left) and Kerry Metcalfe (right) (Image: KERRY METCALFE)

Kerry said: "I wanted a different way of networking and the spark lit up. I was out at Little Land of Adventures with my son and saw another mum on her laptop and got chatting and it turns out that you can get business done in a relaxed environment - and the rest is history."

After setting up the Woman in Business group, which meets at Little Land of Adventures in Newton Aycliffe town centre, in February of this year, Kerry has so far run eight successful networking sessions.

The sessions include guest speakers from banking groups, accountancy firms, and a host of other guest speakers who have inspired the group. 

But alongside the world of business within the room, the event is completely child-friendly, where children are free to crash around playing whilst their mothers spend valuable time together discussing the varied challenges and opportunities involved in running a small business.

So far, every one of the events has been a sell-out, and Kerry is now looking to the future of the business network, which also has a growing social media presence. 

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She added: "I set it up on a bit of a whim, and it's paid off. The talent from all of those women is incredible and shows you that you can have success in your own business and have your family life.

The most recent Mums in Business session saw broadcaster Rachel Sweeney attend and talk to the mums about the balance of media and being a mum. 

For more information about the networking group, you can visit KMedia here.