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Date: 02 Oct 2009

Karen Mercer only started her business, My Coffee Stop, with her partner, Gunter Hollenstein, in February this year, however, My Coffee Stop has just won the Innovation Category in the North and West London Business awards. This is a fantastic achievement for Karen, who also suffers from post-natal depression, having given birth to her second child in January!

Karen’s Coffee Stop, situated at Platform 1, Enfield Chase Station, is much more that just a coffee shop and among other things offers a book-swapping service which raises funds for local charity, The Chickenshed Theatre. The judges of the North and West London Business Awards were impressed with this novel scheme and awarded My Coffee Stop the top prize in the Innovative category – which includes £6,000 worth of advertising to help attract more customers. The business is committed to Fairtrade products (the only coffee shop in Enfield on the Fairtrade Steering Group), and sales have been boosted by an extended service delivering coffees, cakes, muffins and smoothies straight to their customers’ hands on the train, to their workplace or even in their home.

Karen recently completed a free 6 month women’s programme, at Enterprise Enfield, which gave her the knowledge, skills, confidence and support she needed to get her business off the ground. The RSA Trust Inspiring Women Programme is a unique programme delivered by Enterprise Enfield and funded by local charity, The RSA Trust. It includes a diverse mix of one to one business support and advice, personal mentoring, residential weekends and networking opportunities – all designed to empower women to run successful businesses in Enfield . Karen says: –

I can’t believe we have won this fantastic award, our book exchange scheme has really taken off and we are now in talks with publishers to do book signings.

It’s really difficult starting up a business just a month after having a baby and struggling with depression. The support and guidance that I received on the RSA Trust Inspiring Women programme and from Enterprise Enfield has been invaluable. I know that we would not have been able to start our business without this fantastic resource.!’

The next RSA Trust Inspiring Women Programme will run from January – June 2010. Eligible applicants must be living or looking to start a business in the London Borough of Enfield and firstly, attend a FREE Start Right Introduction to Business Seminar for Women (one day) at Enterprise Enfield. Seminars will be held from 10am- 4pm on 15th October, 9th November and 23rd November 2009. Bookings and further details are available at or by calling 020 8443 5457. For more information about My Coffee Stop at Platform 1, Enfield Chace Station visit