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Boosting working parent well-being with support from the Ingenuity Lab

The ideas, innovations and enterprises of Nottingham have helped shape the world since the Industrial Revolution. From medical breakthroughs such as MRI and Ibuprofen developed at the University of Nottingham, to globally successful businesses like Boots, Paul Smith and Experian, the spirit of discovery has inspired generations of Nottingham pioneers.

See how Anika launched her business with help from the University of Nottingham Ingenuity Lab. Benefiting from business planning support, mentoring and networking, Anika is still an active member of the Ingenuity Lab and her business has now taken on its first member of staff.

Teen-Behaviour.Com Ltd helps businesses improve the mental health, productivity and morale of working parents by supporting them to address the challenges of raising their adolescent-aged children. It is the brainchild of Anika Vassell, a University of Nottingham trained secondary school teacher from Edwalton.

Anika has used the University as a test bed, piloting workshops for University staff who have children aged 9-19 yrs. She is now studying for an occupational health psychology PhD, researching how teen behaviour impacts parents and the consequences for workplace absenteeism, productivity and retention rates.

Anika won two awards from the University's Ingenuity 19 business competition: The Smallwood Trust Innovation Prize which has allowed her to develop programmes of support for working parents who are financially vulnerable and the Research-Related Enterprise Award, which has enabled her to invest and grow the business further.

Anika in a classroom full of students

“It was quite a risk to set up my own business, but I was confident that I could address a need that had so far been overlooked in the workplace. The University has supported me to pursue my goal and make my business a success. It's not just about the practical support like business planning and mentoring. I am able to combine running my business with diving into the latest doctoral research on the impact that challenging adolescent behaviour has on parents in the workplace; where else can you do that?”

Anika Vassell, Founder, Teen-Behaviour.Com Ltd