Hi We're Sam Willoughby and Suzanne Borrell, owners of multi-award winning What's On 4 and now joined by Debbie Bird.
We're all Mums with young families who share the belief that our business can give us, our team and our franchisees the flexibility to spend time with our children, earn money and having a fulfilling career.
Millions of people have used our websites and over 20,000 people have attended our live events.
It's often a juggle but always exciting. We have a network of more than 50 parents across the world that now work flexibly as part of What's On 4!
Just shows what is possible with a good idea, hard work and determination. And we have 10 shiny business awards to show for it!
In 2014 we were delighted to announce the appointment of Mike Dodd as non-executive chairman to join the fast-expanding What's On 4 team. Mike has extensive experience in the financial services industry, specialising in the supplying new technologies to the insurance industry and has a strong marketing background.
In 2016, Debbie Bird joined us. Debbie is a professional editor focusing on lifestyle, health and parenting and has worked within the baby and child industry for more than 2 decades.
We are so excited to attract experience and skills into our business to expand What's On 4 even further!
Jump to our online guides, our events, our expert UK and worldwide franchisees, our team, our story...
There are four What's On 4 online guides helping millions of visitors all over the world. We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive local information alongside inspiring information:
www.whatson4littleones.co.uk for activities, groups and classes for babies and toddlers.
www.whatson4schoolkids.co.uk for groups and clubs for primary school-aged children.
www.whatson4kidsparties.co.uk for local entertainers and services for children's parties.
www.whatson4me.co.uk for activities, groups and classes for everyone .
We also own the recruitment website of part-time, flexible jobs and opportunities for parents,www.mumandworking.co.uk
BabyExpo has been an established regional baby show since 2007. A fab day of shopping, advice, information and fun for Parents-to-be, new parents and young families. Visit www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk for much more information!
We have three hugely popular awards programmes that we've been running since 2006 and we have had over 200,000 online nominations and votes - and awarded more than 100 awards!
The What's On 4 Junior Awards were established in 2006 and have attracted over three hundred thousand nominations and votes to reward and recognise the best children's activities and party services across the UK and world!
And our mumandworking Awards raise the profile of flexible working and to applaud the many companies and individuals flying the flag for family-friendly working.
If you want a flexible, home-based business just like we have then you could become a What's On 4 franchisee. In the UK you could become the Children's Activities Expert in your county with our What's On 4 children's websites
We employ a small team of parents across the UK that work flexibly at home in a variety of roles. We're very proud that we can offer employment and careers in a way where they can still spend all the time they need with their families. Join Us!
Hi I'm Zena - What's On 4 Franchise Manager and Editorial Promotions, Digital, Content Manager
I joined What's On 4 back in 2006 when it was just one website. I look after our fantastic websites and digital communications.
I also support our What's On 4 franchisees all over the world! I make sure that they have everything they need to keep the business buzzing!
Hi, I'm Mel, Sales Manager, I'm responsible for key account sales across What's On 4 and our sales team. I love working with our customers to help them grow their businesses and working with our own team on all the new projects we have.
I work at home and have full flexiblity as well as a challenging and interesting job. It's never dull at What's On 4!
Hi I'm Kristy, I'm one of the Customer Account Managers for mumandworking. I have two children, William aged 15 who is Autistic and Catherine aged 13. As an army wife who moves every 2 years I have a vast understanding of the need for flexible working, especially around childcare, and the need for parents to feel welcome within the company they work for. I love learning about the views of the fantastic companies who advertise with us and their commitment to helping parents achieve a flexible working role.
Hi, I'm Nicki and I'm a Customer Account Manager too. I have 1 child Jacob who is 11 years old. Trying to juggle home life and work can be tough, but What's On 4 has made it possible to get the balance just right and to have the best of both worlds.
I like cooking, aqua aerobics and being with my family. Uniquely I can pat my head my head and rub my tummy whilst singing the national anthem!
How we started
What's On 4 was founded in March 2006 by Sam Willoughby, a Mum with a young baby who wanted a flexible but rewarding career.
Before-baby, Sam delivered key projects within the financial services industry and on-line directories.
Initially Sam launched www.whatson4littleones.co.uk to address a personal need for an up to date and comprehensive directory of activities for children under 5 years.
Within 18 months WO4LO (as we quickly started abbreviating the site name to!) became the most comprehensive national on-line directory for activities and classes for babies and young children.
In 2007 WO4LO won 2 awards, the Hantsweb Special Interest Website 2007 and Inspire07 E-business of the Year. And Sam was also named Practical Parenting magazine's Business Parent of the Year 2007.
But the story doesn't stop here.
In March 2008, www.whatson4schoolkids.co.uk launched. WO4SK is the big sister to WO4LO providing an up to date and comprehensive directory of activities for children aged 5 to 12 years.
The kids use WO4SK as much as their parents and they have their own Kids Only page looked after by our Junior Ed!
In November 2008, www.whatson4kidsparties.co.uk launched. WO4KP is a natural progression for us giving a single source of local and national entertainment, goods and services for children's parties, right from that all important 1st birthday up to teens. WO4KP has some extra special party information and ideas with our party planner - and much more.
In July 2009, www.mumandworking.co.uk joined the What's On 4 family. Offering flexible roles for parents is such a core part of What's On 4 and why Sam set up in the business in the first place. With mumandworking we can now ensure many more parents find flexible employment and many flexible employers can benefit from the massive pool of amazingly skilled and talented parents wanting flexible work.
In July 2010, www.whatson4me.co.uk launched. Our 5th website is for everyone to find comprehensive information about local clubs and groups as well as great ideas to inspire you to take some time out for yourself to have fun, learn a new skill or get active.
In December 2010, we launched our children's websites in Australia under the management of our Australian franchisee Elise Easdown. Take a look at www.whatson4.com.au
Then in January 2011 Suzanne Borrell joined What's On 4 and with her came the BabyExpo Baby Shows.
We were delighted in May 2011 that Sam Willoughby was a finalist in the EWIF Woman Franchisor of the Year award!
Sam attended the EWIF awards sponsored by Natwest in London in May and said "To be recognised by EWIF after just 12 months of franchising our business is fantastic news. My whole team are over the moon!"
We are delighted to report that in November 2011 we won two more business awards: Sam won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Inspire11 awards and a week later won Best New Business Idea at the EDBS Celebration of Entreprise awards. What a fantastic achievement for everyone!
Then in February 2012 we launched the new BabyExpo website and announced the next BabyExpo was held in Milton Keynes in September 2012 and we were back to Brighton in June 2013 with our first Surrey show in Guildford in November 2013.
In September 2012 our Australian franchisee made us very proud by winning our 1st business award outside the UK but then quickly won another when she was named Practical Parenting magazine's Mumpreneur of the Year in Australia,bringing our awards tally up to 10.
In 2014, we are delighted to announce the mumandworking awards are being held at Campus London in October. And the excitment doesn't stop for us as our iOS What's On 4 UK app is now available for free download in the App Store as is our Android What's On 4 UK app on Google Play.
Sam is featured on the Acas video explaining the right to request flexible working for all UK employees.
Sam explains how flexible working is a key part of the What's On 4 business model and how we can offer our team and franchisees a flexible business and career.
Find out more about how we can do this for you wherever you live!
2015 gave us lots of excitment already with the launch of the Children's Activities Association - the first independent organisation to set and raise standards in all children's activities.
And plenty more in 2015 with the launch of mumandworking in Australia.
The mumandworking 2015 awards was a shining star in our calendar with a fabulous ceremony hosted by NatWest in London and attended by 180 sponsors, speakers, finalists and judges. We were particularly inspired by our Keynote speaker Annabel Karmel and also Caprice Bourret. A huge congratulations to all our winners and finalists who really show why flexible working really does work!
In February 2016, Debbie Bird joined What's On 4 as a Director and we are delighted to welcome Debbie to the team.
Debbie has more than 20 years experience in the baby and child sector and works closely with a wide range of audience; PR organisations representing many major brands in the family sector; advertising and marketing agencies and numerous social media connections.
We are delighted that our Australian franchisee, Elise Easdown, was the proud recipiant of the Silver winner award in the Service Business category at the Ausmumpreneur awards in August 2016. Huge congratulations to all the team in Australia - our 3rd business award win 'down-under'!