Published: Tuesday, 8th March 2022

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we're showcasing some of the women leading the brilliant businesses in Royal Greenwich which won, or were shortlisted for, the Greenwich Business Awards.

We are very proud of the variety, character and individuality of the businesses here in Royal Greenwich, many of which are women-led. In 2021 alone, 60 of the finalists at the Greenwich Businesses Awards were women-led businesses.  Ahead of International Women’s Day, we took the opportunity to catch up with some of our Business Award winners and finalists.  

These eight women all work in very different sectors, from healthcare to travel, music and graphic design. All are drivers of positive change, and play a hugely important role in the local community and area that they love. 

With National Careers’ Week in full swing too, we discussed their journeys to business success and asked what advice they had for other women wanting to break into their fields or set up their own businesses. Click on the links below each profile to read the full interview. With thanks to: 

Mercy Dingwiza, Founder of the London College of Health & Recruitment (Care College), winner of the Health and Wellbeing Award at the Greenwich Business Awards. Care College works with local people to develop the skills needed to find jobs in health care.  

Mercy Dingwiza photograph

“Find out the “need” within your community. Your business idea must be the answer. Your business must fill the gap”. 

Read the full interview 

Mary Jane Baxter, Curator at Made in Greenwich, winner of the High Street Retailer of the Year Award. Made in Greenwich is an independent, not-for-profit community shop which sells hand-made products, with 80 per cent of the profits going to the maker. 

Photo of Mary Jane Baxter holding her new book on sewing

“Start by volunteering to know if it's something you really enjoy. At GCDA and Made in Greenwich we work regularly with volunteers who often develop new skills during their time with us”.

Read the full interview

Kemi Madumere, Director at Brighter Futures Project, (BFP) a specialist skills hub for adults with a learning disability, and finalist in the Health and Wellbeing category at the Royal Business Awards.

Portrait photo of Kemi Madumere

“Make connections - running a business can be a lonely experience and a stressful one, even more so within the healthcare industry since the pandemic. It’s important to have a support system you can rant to, seek advice from and exchange ideas and just form some really good allies. That kind of network is invaluable”.

Read the full interview

Rhona Manning, Director and Founder at Help Save Lives, finalist in the Health and Wellness category. Help Save Lives raises awareness around the importance of defribillators and LifeVac, an anti-choking device, and has recently launched a First Aid class for Primary schools.

Rhona Manning teaching primary school children First Aid

“Throughout the pandemic, I trained nearly 6,000 children how to save a life. This a great sector for anyone to work in. Know your First Aid and love training younger children. Once you have this you thrive in the job.”

Read the full interview

Meera Mavji, Director of Transglobbal Travel Agent, which was shortlisted for the Greenwich Business Awards, Micro to Small Business category.

Photo of Meera Mavji at her wedding with her mum

"Travel and Tourism is a very relaxed sector, as long as you have general knowledge with an interest to keep learning and support of a licenced Travel Agent, you can work flexible hours around your family life and also from home if needed."

Read the full interview

Anna Mellon, Founder of Boppin Bunnies, which provides the children of the borough with high quality musical shows and classes, and finalist in the Tourism and Culture Award category.  

Anna Mellon posing with her Boppin Bunnies branded van.

“Always be brave and believe in yourself on the days when it all feels too tough. Research things well, trust your gut instincts, surround yourself with people you trust”. 

Read the full interview

Grace Olugbodi, founder of BeGenio, winner of the Micro to Small Business category at the Business Awards in 2019. Grace is the creator of multi award-winning maths board game ‘Race to Infinity’, author of ‘Make Maths Fun’ and co-author of the No.1 Amazon bestseller ‘Get in the Game’.   

Portrait photo of Grace Olugbodi

“What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Never give up.” 

Read the full interview 

Kara Penn, Co-founder and Designer at Fit Creative, a design agency with its roots in the local area, with many local clients including the Council and Visit Greenwich. 

Portrait photo of Kara Penn

“As a designer you don’t ever really switch off, and as many business owners know, it can be hard to switch off! If you want to get into design, you have to love it, as it’s a demanding partner!”  

Read the full interview

We are keen to showcase women-led businesses in Royal Greenwich all year round and not just on International Women’s Day. Look out for more posts on social media celebrating all of our award-winning businesses. Sign up for our newsletters and business e-bulletins and follow us on social media to hear more: 

Keep up to date | Sign up to receive business alerts by email | Royal Borough of Greenwich ( 
Twitter: @Royal_Greenwich
Facebook: @royalgreenwich
Instagram: @royal_greenwich