A WORKING mother who won a business award says she is proud to support other self-employed women.

Photographer Kate Henwood, 50, won an Mpower Mums in Business Award for Courage earlier this year after she set up her own business, despite having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

Now in remission, Kate, of Palatine Road in Worthing, said she has never let her cancer define her.

She said: “My ethos is cancer is what I have, not who I am.

“I have a business and a home to run – and I’ve still got to cook the tea when my son comes home from college.”

Speaking about her award, Kate said: “It’s something I’m very proud of.

“As women we’re very good at putting ourselves down, and when you’re a one-man-band you don’t have a line manager telling you what an amazing job you’re doing— so it’s great to be recognised independently.

“Women in business are often not just running a business, they sort out the school run and the home.

“All this stuff almost has to come before business, but it’s all work.”

As manager of Mumpreneurs Networking Clubs for Worthing, Arundel and Littlehampton, Kate said the clubs provide a great opportunity for self-employed women to form relationships in a collaborative environment.

She said: “We’re all about building each other up rather than competing and we encourage members to recommend each other’s services and products.”

There are 15 Mumpreneur groups across Sussex and Hampshire, from Eastbourne to Southampton, and Kate said one of the main advantages is that any member can attend any meeting across the network.

“The unique selling point is that each member can go to every meeting, so you always have different people in the room,” she said.

“I might have someone at my Worthing meeting who has come up from Southampton.

“So you always have that diversity of skills, services and products that each member has to offer.”

Asked what advice she would give to anyone planning to try self-employment, Kate said it was important to choose something you love doing.

“Think very carefully about what you want to do, and whether you are prepared to do it 24/7,” she said.

“You also need to really do your homework and find out if there is a need for that service or product.

“Network with people and be prepared to give back.”

Kate said the Mumpreneur groups are always happy to give advice over a coffee and the first meeting is always free.

The other unique selling point of the group meet-ups is they are during school hours, rather than in the evenings or early in the morning, so mums can attend.

For more, visit www.mumpreneursnetworkingclub.co.uk.