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Business coach bounced back from redundancy and marriage break-up to follow her dream

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Written by: Gavin Thompson | Posted 18 February 2016 19:00

Business coach bounced back from redundancy and marriage break-up to follow her dream
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A mentor from Stoke Bishop who felt she had lost everything is now a finalist for a top award recognising women in business.

Inge Dowden, who has worked with local business owners for nearly 10 years, has been nominated for the Mentor of the Year award at the Bristol & Bath Women in Business Awards, run by the Bristol Post in association with the University of the West of England.

See all the finalists here.

The journey hasn’t been easy for Inge, 12 years ago she had been left devastated when she was made redundant and her husband walked out on her shortly afterwards.

She felt she had lost everything but pulled herself together to pursue her dreams of setting up a successful coaching business.

She said: “I’m delighted to be nominated for such an award and have regional recognition of my work.

“I had a tough time many years ago and felt I had lost everything. It was devastating to feel I had lost both my career and the love of my life within such short space of each other.

“It took a great deal of mental strength to get my life back on track. I travelled the world and taught English in Mexico for a year. It was a time for reflection.

“I came to realise I had enjoyed passing on my knowledge and helping people succeed, but missed the business side.”

She set up Inge Dowden Coaching eight years ago with a mission to make sure her clients had a good time at work – either as a business owner or employee.

Today she has helped hundreds of clients make career changes, create profitable businesses and achieve a good work/life balance.

Inge, who is originally from the Netherlands, said: “I believe that everyone deserves to be happy at work and I feel very privileged that I get to make a significant difference in people’s lives. To be nominated for an award for it is the icing on the cake.”

One the people she helped is a solicitor who moved from law into the wine trade after several coaching sessions with Inge.

The solicitor, who didn’t want to be named, said: “I felt like a seal trapped under the ice, only coming up for air at the weekend. Now, for the first time in years, the future seems exciting to me, not a black hole of sameness.”

Another person to benefit from Inge’s coaching is Tina Parker, who runs local business consultancy Nozey Parkers. She said: “I love my life and the work I am doing now, thanks to Inge.”

In October 2015, Inge released her first book to help more people find happiness in their work - The Happy Worker: How To Find A Job You Love And Love The Job You Have.

The book, which offers practical step-by-step guides on everything from how to find out what you really want, to writing a good CV and dealing with difficult bosses and colleagues, has already received 5-star reviews.

The winner of Mentor of the Year, organised by the Bristol Post & Bath Chronicle, will be announced at a black tie dinner at the Bristol City Centre Marriott on March 17. Find out more about the awards and buy tickets here .

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