Grace Francis

Grace Francis

Founded in 2019, DramEd is a creative education company which delivers pre-school clubs and school workshops to advance education and nurture the development of young children through Performing Arts. DramEd pride themselves on being a company of highly skilled performers who turn everyday learning into a magical adventure.

Core purpose of my business

DramEd is a creative education company which delivers pre-school clubs and school workshops to advance education and nurture the development of young children through Performing Arts. DramEd pride themselves on being a company of highly skilled performers who turn everyday learning into a magical adventure. 

Why I started my business

We believe all children should have access to high quality arts. So, our team of skilled performers make core subjects experiential with three early years programs; Lilly and Larry Learn Phonics™, DramEd's Number Fun™ and Toddle Fit™. With our three programs we teach performers valuable skills in business through our licensing opportunities. 

About me

I’ve performed in theatres ranging from the Battersea Arts Centre to The National Theatre and on Channel 4 and the BBC. 

As an 11-year-old, my stint at a theatre school ended prematurely due to a lack of family funds. It was this experience that led to my lifelong passion for making quality performing arts more accessible to children. 

With memories of childhood poverty, leaving school without GCSEs and becoming a mum at the age of 16, I recall that the little access I did have to the arts in childhood inspired my imagination, nurtured my confidence and inadvertently made learning fun. DramEd now has a mission to make quality arts more accessible to young children in education, regardless of their background. It was my experience of taking unfulfilling work in-between acting jobs, that is behind my crafting DramEd to support performers within the business, alongside children in education. 

My main role model in life and/or business

My first role models in business were Peter and Bill Hodgins (my Dad and Uncle). I now have lots of role models, who I follow on an Instagram account I created purely to follow those who inspire me!

My biggest achievement in business

DramEd has engaged thousands of children in schools and nurseries across the country. I also recently won the 2020 ‘Women of the Future’ Awards, for being an entrepreneur leading positive social action.

Challenges I’ve faced in business and how I’ve overcome these

My biggest challenge was learning to build a business with a young family and very little financial and business literacy. At the age of 19, I started reading and listening to books I could learn from and have read 2-3 books a month ever since.

Advice I’d give to someone currently starting or growing a business 

Find role models who you can relate to and learn from them. Apply time to the activities you enjoy and delegate anything else as soon as you can. Keep learning. Write letters to your future self and then write as if she is giving you advice from wherever she is in your exciting future. 

Find out more about DramEd:

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