At work and at play | Go for it!

With autumn here, I am starting to reflect on my first full year since opening my Montessori International Preschool. We opened our doors for the first time on 17 August 2011. Due to a long drawn-out planning permission process with the City Council, we started at my home in Frederiksberg with three children, myself and our head Montessori teacher. Clearly this was always going to be a temporary measure and we were fortunate enough to be able to rent some space from Frederiksberg Council from September to December. Without direct access to outdoor space, we were limited to a maximum of seven children. Fortunately, by the middle of November, we secured temporary planning permission to establish ourselves at a wonderful villa in Valby, close to Carlsberg and Søndermarken park. Refurbishment started immediately and we relocated to our now permanent location in January 2012.

Just over a year later, it is with great satisfaction that we have 28 little ones enrolled and benefiting not only from a highly international environment, but also from the unique Montessori method. We have now grown to six staff, and we are starting to establish our own little traditions.

When starting a business, what I have experienced is there are many challenges that could hinder the actual start-up phase. The biggest single barrier to opening was to acquire planning permission for the property that I had found. This process actually took two and a half years from start to finish. With that out of the way, plus all the separate building works needed to satisfy the council’s strict yet ever changing criteria, we were able to open. Perseverance paid off in the end. So with summer over, it is easy to start to reflect on the last year and to feel a sense of achievement. And the reason for this little feature is to make the point that there really is nothing stopping anyone coming to Denmark from opening their own business if that is what they want to do. I received a huge amount of support from the business centre at the City Council, and this is a service that it provides for all foreigners who live here.

If you are reading this and imagining trying to start your own business, no matter how large or small, I cannot encourage you enough to go for it! It is just all so worth it in the end.