The Creation Station has beaten over 5,000 other businesses to make it through to this year’s Impact award final and the winner is set to be announced ahead of the national VOOM final 28th June.
Presented by Virgin’s charitable foundation Virgin Unite the Impact Award is a specially designated category which will be presented to a business which measures impact as well as profit; finds a solution or environmental need; has a viable and financially stable business model and has impact at the core of its business.
Holly Branson, Chair of Virgin Unite said:
“It is inspiring and incredible to see so many new and established businesses which have Impact at their core. The attitudes of business are changing, profit is no longer the solitary benchmark for success – more and more I’m seeing businesses who are putting their people, the environment and social responsibility at the very heart of their business. I wish each of the three finalists the best of luck – they’re all fantastic!”
The three finalists are Paint 360 from Norwich, MacRebur from Dumfries, Scotland and The Creation Station with 97 franchises across the UK. The Creation Station is a company which has impact at the core of its business – the company is passionate about nurturing children’s creativity.
Since it’s inception in 2002 the business has gone from success to success thanks to the hard work of its colleague base and founder Sarah Cressall – developing the business from one location growing it so it’s now in 97 locations across the UK.
Sarah is a mum of three and was looking for ways to inspire her children’s creative side and encourage discovery through their unique creative potential. The Creation Station was born and their aim is to help young children learn to make choices, share, listen, observe and problem solve.
The judges were blown away by Sarah’s passionate pitch which showed she had the vision and ambition to scale her already well established company.
Anna Jones, Entrepreneurship Director for Virgin Unite and Judge for Impact Award said:
“It’s clear Creation Station has empowered hundreds of women in the UK to establish microbusinesses through its franchise model, whilst offering a product that creates the perfect environment for families to spend time with their children in creative play. I wish Creation Station and the other finalists the best of luck in the final – they’ve raised the bar and we’re all now so excited for the final!”
And the prize awaiting the eventual winner is almost so good it’s priceless! The winning business will get an all-expense paid trip to Necker Island for a four-day Leadership Gathering taking place in 2017 called ‘Disrupting for Good’, six hours of dedicated mentoring and workshops with Virgin Unite and the opportunity to pitch to the Virgin Impact team for investment.
Sarah Cressall, The Creation Station said:
“I’m absolutely over the moon to have reached the top three in this prestigious Impact award. At Creation Station we are really passionate about nurturing children’s creativity and unlocking potential through art and crafts experiences. I’m particularly proud of all our franchise owners and our Creative Head Office team who deliver our brand values through our art and crafts preschool classes, parties, clubs and events right across the UK. What has been really inspiring is seeing the calibre of great businesses in the UK who are creating change through ideas and innovation. I feel hugely privileged to have reached this stage in the competition. I’d like to thank all the children, families and businesses we have had the pleasure of working with and also to thank Richard Branson and the teams at Virgin who have helped us raise the profile of the importance of creativity in childhood. And finally my wonderful husband Duncan and three boys Sam, Ollie and Josh without whom I would never have started this inspiring business.”
The three finalists will all be invited to the VOOM Live Finale at ITV studios in London on 28th June. Before the Live Finale, they will each take part in in-depth phone calls with the judges in order to decide the winner, announced at event and which will see the national VOOM finalists pitch to Sir Richard Branson, Tyra Banks and some other incredible judges.
Creation Station are entered into Virgin’s Peoples Choice Award which is based on public voting. If Creation Station win they have pledged to invest the £10,000 prize into free local community creative workshops for children and families in need across the UK.