Make it your business

Make it your business
Tracy Garrad of AXA PPP

You have been the CEO of AXA PPP for a year now. How has 2019 been?

It’s been an exciting learning curve! I came to AXA PPP healthcare from a financial services background but was new to health and well-being. Therefore I had an incredibly busy start meeting colleagues from around our business and hearing from those who support our members day in, day out. Getting around locations across the UK was certainly a challenge but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!

What have you enjoyed most about your role so far?

I’m passionate about empowering people to live better and healthier lives. We operate in a fast-moving environment. It never stands still! Health and digital developments mean there are fantastic transformational opportunities.

Tell us how you became involved with the Make It Your Business initiative . . .

I’m driven by a belief in social mobility. For me, learning never stops and we can strive every day to be the best version of ourselves. By sharing our own experiences and insights through initiatives like Make It Your Business we can light that spark in those who are starting out or searching for that next step and encourage them to pursue their ambitions.

You’re the keynote speaker at the event in January, can you give us a steer on what you will be talking about?

I’ll be sharing my career experiences as well as talking about the working landscape for women as I see it.

Why do you think it’s so important for women to have organisations such as Make It Your Business running seminars and providing opportunities for communication and connection?

I think there are huge benefits to be gained from events such as Make It Your Business. So often it’s the support of those who share your experiences – or equally, have a different journey or perspective – that can be motivating and inspire you to push on.

Who are the women you have found to be the most inspiring throughout your career?

My mum was a working mum, and even though she had a big family she instilled a strong work-hard ethic from an early age. I was also fortunate to work for someone in my first real job who spotted something in me and supported me to develop and grow a career. I’d urge that we embrace and engage those role models and mentors that give us a real sense that, with determination, measured steps and hard work, anything might be possible.

Make It Your Business runs from 9.30-11.30am on January 17 at Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells.

Tickets cost £10 and they guarantee lifetime membership to Make It Your Business.

This includes a monthly newsletter full of business advice and tips, mentoring opportunities and networking socials.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite at

The social network

Four successful Tunbridge Wells entrepreneurs will share their business stories at Make It Your Business on January 17.

The event will be chaired by Make It Your Business Tunbridge Wells local champion, Siobhan Stirling, director of marketing and PR agency Sharp Minds Communications.

The inaugural event in Tunbridge Wells happened in June 2019 and was a great success. This year’s event sponsors, along with Sharp Minds and Hotel du Vin, are Office Tribe and Emily Brown Photography.

Make It Your Business runs seminars across the country, providing opportunities for women to meet established local female entrepreneurs, learn from their experiences and network with other local aspiring female entrepreneurs in a relaxed environment.

It is designed to help women considering setting up their own businesses and start-ups and those who have an established business but need inspiration to move forward.

It was founded by successful entrepreneur, writer and broadcaster Alison Cork, who in 2018 was appointed the Government Champion for Women Entrepreneurs.

Who’s talking at this month’s Make It Your Business

Claire Burroughs, managing director of Ansacom, which manages incoming phone answering and live chat services for more than 300 businesses across the UK and employs 26 people.

Debbie Harris is managing director of Autumna, a national website which supports self-funding families to understand and find care.

Amanda Redman held a number of key marketing roles at Kimberly Clark for 22 years before retraining completely to run her own business, Amanda Redman Financial, as a financial planner.

Julia Olden, whose background is in sales and marketing, launched Office Tribe, a co-working space initiative based in Tunbridge Wells with her husband last May.


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