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Easy way of finding a reliable tradesman.

Byline: By Steve Pain Technology Editor

Finding a reliable plumber or electrician is no longer such a problem thanks to an innovative Kenilworth woman.

Miranda de Freston scooped pounds 1,500 after winning the What's the Big Idea? competition run by the Eliot Park Innovation Centre (EPIC) in Eliot Park, Barling Way, Nuneaton, after setting up her new website

The 28-year-old, who has received advice and support from the Coventry-based Women's Business Development Agency, has launched an online website which allows home owners to recommend tradesmen.

"The best way to find a tradesman is usually by word of mouth and in this day and age that isn't easy," said Miranda, who lives in Stoneleigh Road.

"My partner, Phil, and I bought a house in Kenilworth 18 months ago and to say it was run-down is an under-statement. I ripped out most of the walls down to the bricks as well as ripping down ceilings and during this time I had to hire tradesmen for various jobs.

"We found it a nightmare finding out where to look and I thought it would be a great idea to start a website where people could select the kind of work they needed doing and find someone in the area in which they lived.

"If you want your bathroom tiling then you can pin down exactly the type of tradesman that you need and the website will provide you with a list of people that can do the work for you.

"JuggleFrogs will also help tradesmen because as well as being able to advertise their own services online in a customised space, they will be receiving quality leads for work that they are able to complete as opposed to being called on for work that is outside of their remit."

Miranda, who previously worked in the computer industry, entered the What's The Big Idea? competition after spotting a news item in the local media.

After presenting her idea to a panel of judges in a 'Dragons' Den' style showdown and answering their questions, Miranda was delighted to be informed she was the winner.

"It was great to receive feedback from experts and the Business Enterprise Works project which EPIC ran is a fantastic idea," she added.

"Dawn Horn, my business adviser at the Women's Business Development Agency, has been fantastic in terms of giving me advice and positive support. I would definitely recommend them to women setting up their own business because there is a lot of help out there that newcomers to the business world often don't know about."

Dawn, from the WBDA in Puma Way, said the agency had been set up to help women entrepreneurs start their own business and also give them support during the first few years to help their company go from strength to strength.

"Miranda's idea is simple but practical and will not only benefit people moving to the area but also those who need a trusted tradesmen to complete the jobs they want doing around the house," she said.

"It is also a quirky name and I was really pleased that Miranda won the competition. I'm sure the website will prove to be a huge success."


From left: Julian Ingleby, assistant director of Coventry University Enterprise which runs competition organisers Business Enterprise Works, Miranda de Freston and Dawn Horn from the Women's Business Development Agency
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 13, 2007
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