Jennifer Hood, Jump Gymnastics, Vancouver
Jennifer Hood had always dreamt of a program that gave children the basic building blocks of physical movement, no matter what sport they chose and no matter whether their goal was recreation or excellence. Inspired by her vision and her 3 young children, she opened Jump Gymnastics in Yaletown in 2008. Since its opening it has been a favorite destination of parents, and Jump expanded with another location in North Vancouver in September 2014.
Jump Gymnastics’ curriculum is based on building physical literacy and offers classes, camps and birthday parties for children aged 6 months to 8 years.
Find Jump Gymnastics online: jumpgymnastics.ca
Q. What services has Women’s Enterprise Centre provided you and how have these services helped you?
A. Women’s Enterprise Centre helped my business grow. Despite having a long-standing and strong relationship with our bank we didn’t fit their lending criteria. WEC provided us with a loan that enabled us to open a second gym and grow our business.
Q. What inspired you to take the leap and start your own business?
A. Jump was born out of two very practical needs:
- To provide the community with the highest quality, non-competitive physical literacy programming in hopes of putting more kids on the podium and keeping all kids active for life.
- To provide my family with the flexibility and financial stability (over the long term) that business ownership can create.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you learned when starting your business?
A. Oh, there are so many! But the one I keep re-learning is the importance of freeing myself up to actually lead the business. I understand how important it is for me to focus on leadership or growth.
Q. What are your goals for the business?
A. My short-term goal is to create an internal system to develop leadership within our organization. My long-term goal is to reach out to more children, open more locations and/or expand our curriculum to older children.
Q. What is your greatest strength as an entrepreneur?
A. I love people. As a coach and a teacher I loved watching my athletes grow and develop as individuals. As an entrepreneur, I love watching our team grow and develop as coaches, managers and leaders.
Q. What personal lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?
A. One of my favourite lessons was an in-passing comment from Madeleine Shaw of LunaPads. She told me that she believed in the importance of a sustained effort in a focused direction. It caught me off-guard and whenever I am distracted by the next shiny thing in business I try to refocus on my original goals and keep my efforts moving in that direction.
2020 Update: From Client to Mentor
Since first connecting with Women’s Enterprise Centre, Jennifer now volunteers as a Mentor in our One-to-One Mentoring program to share her experience!
The ripple effect of Jennifer’s business is huge – building physical literacy and active kids, promoting confidence in coaches, creating leaders and giving back to other women entrepreneurs!