A Test Valley entrepreneur has been nominated for a prestigious award for her work nurturing early years centres across the country.

Vanessa Dooley, the founder of Jigsaw Early Years Consulting, has been nominated in the Test Valley Business Awards following her work advising people on how best to care and educate young people. She said that to win the award would “mean the world” to her and her team.

“It would validate all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone in to date,” Vanessa said, “and will continue to do so.

“It would mean so much not only to me and the team but most of all it would be a win for everyone who works in early years, everyone who creates an impact on the future generation.

“It has been an honour to be nominated and a huge acknowledgement of the passion, effort and work the entire team put in daily.”

Vanessa founded Jigsaw in 2018 following over three decades in early years care as a manager and an Ofsted Inspector. She decided to use her experience to advise others on what they could do to turn their businesses around, and support them through the process.

“It has not been all plain sailing, as any entrepreneur would be able to identify,” Vanessa said. “The number of different hats you need to wear daily is incredible and can be exhausting at times.

However, I know the difference Jigsaw has made to the lives of teams within early years is significant, and knowing that directly impacts the lives of the children is priceless.”

Lockdown has had an impact on Vanessa’s business, leaving her unable to visit settings to provide on the ground advice. As a result, she took to Facebook Live to ensure she remained accessible to questions from different settings.

“Every generation can change the world,” she said, “but before they can do that, we need to ensure we equip them with the skills to make an impact.”

Nominations are still open for the Test Valley Business Awards, which can be entered by visiting https://www.tvbawards.org.uk/enter/ before the deadline of midnight on September 3.