A Dorset woman is a regional finalist for a prestigious business award.

Two years ago, Jennifer Ayrton set up her own cleaning company Elite Cleaning in Bovington in order ‘to give her daughter the best life she could.’

Now Jennifer is a finalist in England’s Business Awards.

The 45-year-old said she started up her own business because: “My daughter's dad died eight years ago, now I am her sole provider I just wanted to give her the best life I could.

“I wanted to be able to just take on the challenge myself and do it and provide for her.”

Jennifer used to work for a cleaning company but realised that this was something that she could do on her own.

Her daughter is now 13 and she also has a 24-year-old son.

She said: “I started about two years ago; it’s my little business and I went out on my own.

“I bit the bullet and just did it - It’s amazing, we can afford to do so much more and being self-employed, I can pick and choose when I work – it’s more flexible and I get more time with my daughter.”

Her advice to other people looking to start up their own business is to: “Just go for it, don’t think about it, just do it.”

She added: “I’m literally inundated with work - Now I don’t have to try and work any job going.”

Initially, Jennifer was nervous about starting up on her own as she had recently moved to Bovington from Milton Keynes.

She said: “I built this up from nothing and I knew nobody.”

Jennifer’s business was nominated by a member of the public and as part of the decision-making process, initial checks were made as well as mystery shopping which she passed.

The awards ceremony will take place at Exeter’s Mecure Rougemont Hotel next month and voting closes on September 8.

You can vote for or nominate a business here: https://englandsbusinessawards.co.uk/dorset/.