Mumpreneur Wahida Sultana: ‘I created my business after seeing the wonders it worked for my autistic son’

Theatre company principal Wahida Sultana created her Barking and Stratford performing Arts School after being moved by how it helped her own family. A mum to an autistic son was so moved by the transformation after he attended a local performing arts school, that she joined the business and set up her own.

Wahida Sultana, a mum from Barking, set up the Make Believe Barking and Stratford schools after witnessing the powers of performing arts first hand

Describing how it transformed her own son Nabil, Wahida explained: “As a parent to an autistic son, I understand the significance of creating an environment where every child feels valued, heard, and empowered.

“Make Believe went above and beyond, making space for my son to shine, even in the face of speech challenges due to his autism. Through active roles and unwavering support, they nurtured his confidence and allowed him to truly feel like a star.

“If it can bring magic for my own child, then it can bring magic for thousands of others too.”

After witnessing how well her son responded to the teaching styles and confidence building techniques at his weekly theatre school sessions, Wahida decided she wanted to be able to teach and help others. Setting up her Make Believe theatre school in [area] less than a year ago, Wahida.

She continued: “Having personally witnessed the transformative power of MakeBelieve’s innovative programmes, I embarked on this journey with a profound commitment to nurturing the creative, emotional, and cognitive development of the children in our community.

Wahida Sultana mumpreneur

“From the very beginning, Make Believe has been more than a business venture for me; it’s been a real partnership. With unwavering support and hands-on guidance, the company has empowered me to successfully build a thriving business which delivers the joy of performance to every child in my school.”

Make Believe is the fastest growing extra curricular franchise in the UK, and is now offering support to parents who want to create their own business and launch a theatre school in their area that fits around their life. Launching their ‘Mums Mean Business’ support scheme this month, Make Believe has created an initiative to help mums get back into business and create a career that works for them around their family life and their personal goals. The scheme is helping prospective new franchisees to find an area to set up in, hire qualified teachers that can engage and get the most out of children and recruiting students to create classes via targeted marketing support and business advice.

Emma Murphy, Creative Director at Make Believe, commented: “We’re so proud of mums like Wahida, who have taken the chance to create their own performing art schools and run their own business with both hands.

“Launching our Mums Mean Business scheme will hopefully help us to empower and support hundreds more mums that want to work again after having children or create a business that works for them but still allows them to be there for every important moment in their families’ lives

“There’s a huge network of support to help anyone considering starting a Make Believe business as well as creating a business that makes such a huge difference in children’s lives and teaches them skills for life.”

Make Believe is the fastest growing extra curricular franchise in the UK, and is now offering support to parents who want to create their own business and launch a theatre school in their area that fits around their life.

Started in 2004 with just five students and one school, the company has grown to over 55 schools, 150 classes, 200 teachers and over 5000 students and works on a franchise model to allow individual schools across the UK to create their own businesses that thrive and flourish.

For more information about Wahida Sultana and her project, visit: www.makebelievegroup.co.uk/

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